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Should You Use Rosehip Oil Before or After Azelaic Acid?

by Ella Goodman 28 Nov 2023

Hey, skincare enthusiasts!

Are you juggling bottles of rosehip oil and azelaic acid, wondering how to make these skincare superstars work together like a dream?

You're not alone!

Let's dive deep into the art of layering these products, ensuring you're getting the most out of each drop.

Buckle up for a journey into the world of skincare alchemy, where we'll blend science, practical tips, and a sprinkle of fun!

Do You Put Rosehip Oil on First or Last?

Alright, let's get into the nitty-gritty of where rosehip oil fits into your skincare routine.

Think of your skincare routine as an art class where you're layering different colors to create a masterpiece.

And rosehip oil? It's like that final glaze that brings everything together.

Rosehip Oil in the Skincare Sequence:

The Logic of Light to Heavy:

  • Understanding Skincare Textures: Products range from thin, watery textures to thick, creamy ones. Rosehip oil, with its rich and nourishing properties, falls on the heavier side of this spectrum.
  • Why Light Before Heavy? Lighter, water-based products like serums and essences are absorbed more quickly and deeply into the skin. If you put oil on first, these lighter products can't penetrate through the oil barrier – it's like trying to water plants with a raincoat on.

The Role of Oils:

  • Occlusives Explained: Oils, including rosehip, are considered occlusive agents. They form a protective layer on the skin's surface. This layer traps in moisture and the active ingredients from your previous skincare steps, ensuring maximum absorption and hydration.
  • Why This Matters: By applying rosehip oil last, you're essentially locking in all the benefits of your serums, toners, and moisturizers, making sure they don't just evaporate into the ether.

But Wait, There's More!

Tailoring to Your Skin Type:

  • Oily Skin Alert: If your skin already produces a significant amount of oil, adding more can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. In this case, use rosehip oil sparingly or look for a lighter, non-comedogenic oil.
  • Dry Skin's Best Friend: For those with dry skin, rosehip oil can be a savior. It provides an extra layer of much-needed hydration, especially in harsh weather conditions.

Time of Day Considerations:

  • Nighttime – The Perfect Time: During the day, our skin is in defense mode, battling UV rays and pollution. At night, it switches to repair mode. Applying rosehip oil before bed can enhance the skin's natural nighttime rejuvenation process. Think of it as providing your skin with the tools it needs to rebuild and refresh while you sleep.
  • Daytime Use: If you choose to use rosehip oil during the day, ensure it's followed by a good SPF. Oils can increase sensitivity to UV rays, and we're all about protecting that gorgeous skin of yours!

A Little Extra for the Curious Minds:

The Composition of Rosehip Oil

  • Packed with Goodies: Rosehip oil is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. These components are fantastic for skin regeneration, elasticity, and maintaining a strong moisture barrier.

The Multi-Tasking Marvel

  • Not Just Moisture: Alongside its hydrating properties, rosehip oil is known for its ability to help reduce scars, fine lines, and pigmentation. It’s like giving your skin a nutritious meal and a pep talk, all at once.

Can You Use Face Oil Over Azelaic Acid?

So, you've got azelaic acid and rosehip oil in your skincare artillery, and you're pondering, "Can these two get along on my skin?"

Let's break down this duo's dynamics and discover how to make them the ultimate tag team for your skincare routine.

Understanding Azelaic Acid:

Before we layer these two, let's get a bit chummy with azelaic acid.

This skincare gem is not just another acid; it's a multitasking maven.

Known for its prowess in reducing inflammation, killing acne-causing bacteria, and tackling hyperpigmentation, azelaic acid is like that friend who's good at everything but still down to earth.

  • Deep Diving Into Its Mechanism: Azelaic acid works by unclogging pores and lightening dark spots. It's effective yet gentle, making it a sweetheart for sensitive skin.
  • Where It Fits in Your Routine: Typically, azelaic acid is used after cleansing and toning, right before moisturizing. But when we bring face oils into the equation, the plot thickens (or should we say, the skincare layers!).

Layering Rosehip Oil and Azelaic Acid:

Step 1: Azelaic Acid First

  • Why Azelaic Acid Leads: Think of azelaic acid as your skincare routine's opening act. It prepares the skin by dealing with the nitty-gritty issues like inflammation and pigmentation. By applying it right after your toners or hydrating serums, you're allowing it to penetrate deeply into the skin without any barriers.
  • Consistency Matters: Azelaic acid typically has a lightweight, gel-like consistency. This texture is perfect for ensuring that it doesn’t just sit on top of your skin but gets right down to business.

Step 2: Then Comes the Oil

  • Rosehip Oil’s Grand Entrance: After azelaic acid has had its moment (read: completely absorbed), it's time for rosehip oil to shine. Why wait? Because layering oil immediately can prevent azelaic acid from penetrating the skin effectively.
  • Sealing the Deal: Rosehip oil acts as a sealant. It locks in the azelaic acid and all the goodness from your previous skincare steps. It's like the closing number in a spectacular skincare show, leaving your skin hydrated and glowing.

Pro Tips for Optimal Application:

Wait It Out:

  • Patience is a Virtue: Give azelaic acid a few minutes (let's say about 5-10 minutes) to fully absorb into your skin. Use this time to brush your teeth, dance to your favorite song, or meditate – skincare is self-care, after all.
  • Touch Test: Gently press your fingertips to your skin. If it doesn’t feel tacky, you're good to go with the rosehip oil.

Massage in the Rosehip Oil:

  • The Art of Application: Warm a few drops of rosehip oil in your palms and gently press it onto your face. This not only helps with absorption but also turns your routine into a mini spa session.

Don’t Overdo It:

  • Less Is More: Especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin, go easy on the oil. A drop or two is often enough to reap its benefits without overwhelming your skin.

By understanding and respecting each product's role and how they interact with each other, you can create a harmonious skincare routine that leaves your skin feeling loved and cared for.

What Not to Mix with Rosehip Oil?

Now let's talk chemistry, but the skincare kind.

While rosehip oil is like the cool, easy-going friend in your skincare squad, it doesn't jive with everyone.

Here's a heads-up on what you should think twice about before mixing with your beloved rosehip oil. It's like avoiding certain food pairings – some things just don't go well together.

Ingredients to Give a Wide Berth:

1. Retinoids and Strong Acids – The Delicate Dance:

  • Why the Caution? Retinoids and high-concentration acids (like glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acid) are the heavy lifters in skincare. They work hard to resurface and renew your skin. But when you mix these potent players with rosehip oil, it can sometimes lead to irritation, redness, and sensitivity. It’s like mixing two powerful personalities at a party – they might overshadow each other.
  • The Science Bit: Retinoids and strong acids accelerate skin cell turnover. Rosehip oil, though healing and nourishing, can potentially interfere with this process if not used correctly. It might also enhance the penetration of these strong actives, which can irritate sensitive skin types.

2. Comedogenic Oils – The Pore-Clogging Potential:

  • What Are Comedogenic Oils? These are oils that can potentially clog pores. Now, rosehip oil itself is generally non-comedogenic, which means it's unlikely to clog pores. But when you start cocktail mixing it with other oils that have a higher comedogenic rating, you're entering a tricky zone.
  • Personalized Skincare Alert: Everyone's skin is unique, like a fingerprint. What clogs one person's pores might not affect another’s. If you're prone to acne or have oily skin, it's like walking on a tightrope. You need to balance nourishing your skin without tipping over into breakout city.

Here's What You Can Do:

1. The Patch Test – Your Skincare Safety Net:

  • Try Before You Apply: Before you go all-in with a new product combo, do a patch test. Apply a small amount of the mixture on your inner arm and wait 24-48 hours to see if there's any reaction.

2. Timing is Key – The Art of Alternating:

  • Space It Out: Instead of layering these ingredients together, consider using them at different times of the day or on alternate days. For instance, use retinoids or strong acids at night and rosehip oil in the morning, or vice versa. This way, they're not stepping on each other's toes.

3. Listen to Your Skin – It Talks Back:

  • Be Attentive: Pay close attention to how your skin reacts over time. Redness, irritation, or breakouts are your skin's way of waving a red flag.

How Do You Layer Azelaic Acid with Other Products?

Azelaic acid plays well with many skincare ingredients, but there's an art to layering it correctly.

The Ideal Azelaic Acid Routine:

Cleanse First – The Canvas Prep:

  • Start with a Blank Slate: Think of your skin as a canvas. You wouldn't start painting on a canvas that's already got scribbles all over it, right? Cleansing ensures that azelaic acid isn't trying to do its job through layers of makeup, dirt, or oil.
  • The Right Cleanser: Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin. Azelaic acid is going to do some heavy lifting, so you want your skin in its best, most balanced state.

Follow with Serums – The Supporting Acts:

  • Hydration Heroes: If you’re using a hydrating serum, like one with hyaluronic acid or glycerin, apply it first. These serums are like the opening act, setting the stage for azelaic acid by hydrating and prepping the skin.
  • Treatment Serums: If you've got other treatment serums in your routine, like those targeting specific concerns such as fine lines or uneven skin tone, apply them before azelaic acid. Just ensure they are not too heavy or occlusive.

Time for Azelaic Acid – The Star of the Show:

  • Why It's the Headliner: Azelaic acid is a versatile player. It tackles a plethora of skin concerns, from reducing inflammation and killing bacteria to helping with pigmentation. By applying it after lighter serums, you allow it to penetrate effectively without barriers.
  • Application Technique: Use a pea-sized amount and spread it evenly across the face. It's potent, so a little goes a long way.

Lock It In with Moisturizer – The Hydration Seal:

  • Don’t Skip the Moisturizer: After azelaic acid, it’s crucial to apply a good moisturizer. Why? Because moisturizers create a protective barrier that locks in the azelaic acid and all the goodness from your serums.
  • Barrier Protection: A moisturizer also helps to hydrate and protect your skin barrier, ensuring that the active ingredients don't cause irritation.

Seal the Deal with Rosehip Oil – The Finishing Touch:

  • Why Rosehip Oil at the End: Now comes the grand finale – rosehip oil. Applying it last ensures that all the active ingredients from the previous steps are locked in. Plus, it provides an extra nourishment boost, especially at night when your skin is in repair mode.
  • Nighttime Ritual: Consider using rosehip oil in your nighttime routine. It’s a great time for the oil to work in tandem with azelaic acid while you sleep, enhancing the skin’s natural repair process.

A Few Additional Notes:

  • Sunscreen is a Must: If you’re using azelaic acid in the morning, always finish with sunscreen. Azelaic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, and protecting your skin from UV damage is non-negotiable.
  • The Rule of Thumb: Always wait a minute or two between each step to allow the product to absorb properly. This ensures maximum efficacy and reduces the chance of pilling.


  • Listen to Your Skin: Everyone's skin is different. Pay attention to how your skin reacts and adjust accordingly.
  • Patience is Key: Skincare isn’t an overnight miracle. Give it time, and you’ll see the results.

In summary? Incorporating rosehip oil and azelaic acid into your skincare routine doesn't have to be a puzzle.

With these tips, you'll be layering like a pro in no time!

Embrace the process and watch your skin thank you with a radiant, healthy glow.

Happy layering!

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