The Winter Rose: Favorite Face Serums with Rose

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This was going to be a huge transition to cold-weather post but as I started thinking of products, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share something that I think everyone should indulge in for winter, a face serum/oil, specifically one that is gorgeously dressed with notes of rose. I love face oils, they’re so concentrated nature means that each blend carries a distinct scent. I can almost instantly recall each oil I smell in a blind test. Each time I encounter a rose scented blend, my heart skips a beat. The Queen of Flowers carries a regal air and there is just something luxurious and decadent about the rose that communicates indulgence for the skin. Not only that, but rose oil is very beneficial for skin. Here are a few of its uses:

  • Great at soothing irritated or sensitive skin
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits that reduce redness and inflammation that can cause harm to skin
  • Delivers intense moisturizing properties as the small molecules can penetrate deeper into skin
  • Eliminates harmful bacteria and impurities
  • Antioxidant rich to protect skin and provide anti-aging benefits
  • Stimulate regeneration and healing of aged and damaged tissue
  • Energizes on a cellular level
  • Has the highest vibration energy frequency of any essential oil
  • The aromatherapy has been shown to treat depression and boost a feeling of happiness

What better treat for skin and what better indulgence for the winter? The following are a few of my favorites.

MUN No.1 Aknari Nighttime Dream Youth Serum

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Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Argan Oil, & Moroccan Rose Oil. This Moroccon sourced blend might have 3 ingredients, but they each deliver confident results and a subtle, refined fragrance. Prickly Pear and Argan are both very faint oils, Argan can smell a little nutty but it does not have a dominant profile, Prickly Pear only has a slightly richer scent almost like an eraser, which allows the Moroccon Rose to shine. A pure and fragrant essential oil that defines the scent profile of this trio. The scent is luxurious, calming, and sophisticated, lingering for just the right amount of time before dispersing.

Ila Face Oil For Glowing Skin (Click here for a  full review)

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There are products for people who like rose, and then there are products for the rose obsessed- this will delight the latter for sure. I described the scent in my previous review as “a hundred roses and their leaves and branches, other times its cloying overpowering nature just knocks me out“. Which should either excite you or illicit fear depending on how you feel about using fragrant products on your face. This isn’t for the conservative or shy, but rather for those looking for a bold and glorious rose statement. A hint: if all your candles are rose and your perfumes are rose, you will probably want to add this to your collection.

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew (Full review coming soon)

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May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew has a less straight forward but still powerful rose scent with dominant notes from the Rose Absolute, Rose Geranium, and Bulgarian Rose essential oils. Unlike the aforementioned serums, this beautiful scent is more complex and evolving. I would describe the fragrance almost like a mix between rose and fruit roll-up (I mean that in the best way). Not that fruit roll-ups are known for their fragrance but there is a distinct sweet fruity scent (anyone else want to back me up on this?) about this oil that brings me back to the joys of unwrapping the candied treats in elementary school. What is really interesting about the scent is that each time I think I can pinpoint it, I discover something new and it is never like how I remembered it. This is what I find so fascinating and addictive.

YULI Modern Alchemist

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YULI’s Modern Alchemist captures an evocative and intricate blend with a distinct top note of Bulgarian Rose. Its expansive, aqueous Rose floral note gives a faint glimpse of nectar-like sweetness, which is then undercut by hints of fresh, light green notes including Green Tea to form a delicate, balancing act that is both luxurious and decadent without being cloying or overbearing. A testament to their fresh sourcing and production philosophy, somehow utilizing just one rose ingredient, the ode to rose is astounding in detail, encapsulating the entirety of the fresh rose: petals, nectar, stem, and all. This captivating fragrance profile is much like the brand: unique and subtle but endlessly intriguing and demanding of attention.

The best part of this list is that all the products use a natural rose essence which is very expensive and rare. This stuff is leagues better than the synthetics in many perfumes as it contains the full bodied aromatic profile of the rose and nutritional benefits.

Have you tried any of the aforementioned serums? What are your favorite scents?

Ila Face Oil for Glowing Radiance

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I’ve mentioned Ila before as one of the top British green beauty brands with gorgeous spa grade products, clean formulas, and lovely packaging. Although my first foray into the brand with their body lotion had hits and misses, I’m still very interested in the brand as a whole so I requested a sample of their Face Oil from Spirit Beauty Lounge. Ila’s Face Oil for Glowing Radiance is what I consider their masterpiece product because Spirit Demerson refers to it as the “QUEEN” of all face oils that delivers radiance and vibrancy like nothing else. A lofty title, so naturally, my interest was piqued.

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The sample came within a little booklet reminiscent in coloring to the full sized product, bright pink and metallic text. I feel like this packaging is so chic and looking at it makes me feel like I’m starring at a luxury product with attitude. The ingredients list is simple and straight forward:

ila ingredients

wild-grown argania spinosa kernal (argan) oil*,
rosa canina (rosehip seed) oil*,
santalam spicatum (sandalwood),
rosa damascena flower (rose otto) oil,
tocopherol extract (vitamin e oil),
citronellol**,
farnesol**,
linalool**.

While it isn’t revolutionary for argan oil to be used as the base, I do appreciate the simplicity of the formula. Argan is so widely used because it is a wonderful and versatile ingredient that all skin types will love. The product description summarizes the ingredients as such: The essential oil of damascena rose otto deeply regenerates and nourishes the skin’s cells and imparts glowing radiance while argan oil and rosehip seed oil are high in anti-oxidants and fatty acids to fight wrinkles and help skin cells to regenerate.

The scent of the product is an overt obsession to the fragrant Rose oil. People will either love this scent or find it overwhelming. I know that my girl Lola from No More Dirty Looks cannot stand it. I can understand both sides, sometimes I find myself enjoying the very natural complex scent almost as if I can smell a hundred roses and their leaves and branches, other times its cloying overpowering nature just knocks me out. I hesitate to use this during the day just because I find the fragrance to be too much where I can catch a strong whiff with every inhalation, but at night it is just fine as a luxury oil before bed. I really enjoy the rose scent but I feel like they took this idea of a fragrant rose and dialed it up too many notches for the normal buyer.

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The oil is a darker yellow almost orange color and the texture of this oil is difficult to gauge. I think the cloying nature of the oil makes it ‘feel’ thicker than it probably is as you’ll constantly feel as though the oil is sitting on top of your skin since the scent takes a long time to dissipate. With that said, this sample doesn’t come with a dropper to properly control the amount dispensed but I did my best to keep it to what would amount to 3 drops. I had tiny little breakouts along my hairline and a cystic breakout near my chin after about 3 days of use (day and night). My skin also seemed oilier during the day but at night it was just fine since I suppose most of the excess oil is wiped on my pillowcase. I didn’t have any issues with dehydration but it seems that this oil isn’t a good fit for my skin. I did notice that my skin in the mornings appeared smooth and without any redness but during the day it led to an oilier complexion which probably contributed to my breakouts.

Overall I’d say looking back on my experience, this is a wonderful facial oil if you have normal-dry skin not prone to breakouts and you love roses (as in can’t get enough!) – if that is you, well, I think I’ve helped you find your forever oil. For me, this oil actually works for my skin when used as a nighttime moisturizer because it helped take care of the scent and oil production, leaving my skin very calm and happy in the morning, but it was not suitable for day time use for me. At $110 for 1oz, this is quite costly for a simple oil that I can only use at night, so I don’t think I will be buying the full size. But for those of you who do decide to spring for a full size, I have to say that the pump-button style dropper is sooo cool so please invite me over so I can play with it!

Suti Rejuvenate Face Oil

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Full disclosure: most of the products that I review are ones that I purchased myself (having a discount at some stores and access to samples definitely helps), so I never really ‘plan’ posts in advance. When I received my bottle of Suti Rejuvenate Face Oil from Spirit Beauty Lounge, I immediately knew I had to review this for the beautiful presentation alone before I even used the product! The oil is a vibrant orange hue and it is housed in a weighty clear glass bottle with a beautiful dropper that is fitted with a clear top. I think the combination of the weight clear glass and the rich vibrant color is a visual feast and even after spending weeks with this product, my mood is instantly lifted when I see this on my beauty counter.
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Enough about the packaging, let’s get to the precious oil itself! The first thing you’ll notice upon using the oil is the scent. Suti’s Rejuvenate Face Oil is probably the most fragrant natural face oil I’ve used period. This isn’t a an overwhelming, cloying trait, but rather quite delightful as the scent of tangerine, neroli, and citrus’ envelop the senses. Not a big surprise from a company that is just as focused on aromatherapy as they are on skincare. The scent plays a part in uplifting mood, which means the ‘Rejuvenating’ isn’t just done to skin but rather to the senses as well. Indeed, this is the only oil I use where I cup my hands over my nose and take in two deep whiffs before I massage it through my skin. 

 

The ingredients are top notch – all the oils are organic and the carriers are Rosehip & Evening Primrose which is rarely seen:

Rosa  Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil*, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil*, Argania (Argan) Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Limonene**, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Oil*, Tocopherol, Santalum Austrocalendonicum (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Boswelia Carterii (Frankincense)*, Citrus Aurantium Bigaradia (Orange) Flower Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Extract*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*, Linalool**, Geraniol**, Citral**              

Rosehip is often lauded as nature’s retinol and it is a wonderful anti-aging ingredient that also fades acne marks. Evening Primrose is known to ward off dry patches and it is an anti-inflammatory high in Omega-6 fatty acids which improve the overall health of skin. Argan is quite common in facial oils at this point but that’s only because it is one of the best for skin. With these three carrier oils, it’s quite obvious that healing and rejuvenating skin is the objective. The natural fragrances at the end (Linalool, Geraniol, Citral) are used to strengthen the scent as they’re derived from citrus plants, but to be honest, I’d much rather have a facial oil that didn’t have these ingredients as I personally think it lowers the purity of active ingredients in the formula. To me, the blend of Rosehip, Evening Primrose, and Argan is strong enough without diluting the blend with all these fragrant ingredients, I’d much rather see 2 or 3 more essential oils to balance out the list instead to make this a more power packed anti-ager.

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The texture of the oil is light. I was quite surprised because rosehip and evening primrose are known to be heavier oils suited for drier skin types. I think what this means is that the concentration has a higher essential oil/carrier oil ratio, which helps explain the fragrant scent of Tangerine and Neroli. Because of the high concentration of citrus oils, Spirit Beauty Lounge advised caution using this during the daytime due to the potential for photo-sensitivity. This is an issue I have with a lot of wonderfully scented facial oils that rely on citrus, while those oils do have great skin benefits in addition to smelling good, it makes me feel like the priority is scent over skincare. As a girl who wears SPF 45 sunscreen everyday, I can’t bring myself to apply this during the day and so I save it for night. So if you’re looking for an oil you can apply during the day, I would advise looking elsewhere.

Despite being lighter in consistency than I predicted, for some reason since I’ve been using this, my skin has been more prone to breaking out. I’m not attributing the blame entirely on this since we did go into summer where it’s easier to breakout in general. I have been swapping it out and I noticed that my skin seems calmer when I am not using this so I’m afraid that this does at the very least play a part in my blemishes. I think the reason might be that the carrier oils are not suited for acne-prone skin types, Evening Primrose is an oil that is typically used for mature skin and Rosehip is also on the heavier side of the oil spectrum as well. I think the ingredients list is fairly straight forward, not a lot of flash, it is divided between two camps: citrus oils used for fragrance and anti-aging oils used for rejuvenating, which tends to center around ingredients not known for playing well with acne prone skin types. 

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So although this oil isn’t right for me, I believe it is going to be heaven for someone out there, may-haps for the reader with mature/dry skin living in a frequently overcast city like Seattle? At $52, it is definitely a great deal for an organic oil, there are just a few caveats that might be deal-breakers for some.