Is Rosehip Oil Safe in Pregnancy?

Rosehip oil is a wonderful product for conditioning, smoothing and nourishing the skin; long-term use can benefit the appearance and condition of skin that has been damaged by eczema, radiation treatment, post-operative scarring or stretch marks. It works to smooth out uneven skin tone and also can also be used as a luxurious, natural facial oil for fragile, ageing or dehydrated skin.

Regular application of nourishing oils after the end of pregnancy seems to be the most effective way of minimising the appearance of stretch marks, but there’s evidence to suggest that applying oils to areas liable to be affected by stretch marks during pregnancy itself can also help maintain the skin in soft, supple condition. Rosehip is rich in vitamin C, essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 as well as the nutrient provitamin A, all of which are great at maintaining the skin’s elasticity and aiding the regenerative process.


Vitamin A is hugely important for both pregnant women and their growing babies; the good news is that most healthy women eating varied, balanced diets will have adequate levels and don’t need to modify their diet to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin A to stay healthy and give their babies what they need to develop.

There are, however, concerns about having too much vitamin A in pregnancy. The official medical line on vitamin A consumption in pregnancy is that:

High intakes of preformed vitamin A in pregnant women can cause birth defects in their babies.”[1]

This advice is based on studies that have shown that high levels of retinoids (which are derived from vitamin A) in the diet can have teratogenic effects on their baby, which in simple language means there is a risk of abnormal development if the mother has too much vitamin A in her system.

It is very difficult to pinpoint exact levels of vitamin A that might be dangerous for a growing baby because scientists can’t ethically experiment on human mothers and babies so we’re reliant on a limited number of old studies and research on animals which looked at the effects of preformed vitamin A on babies. Although it is actually quite unlikely that most healthy pregnant women would be overdoing the amounts of vitamin in their diet, the current advice is to avoid foods that are high in vitamin A (such as liver), not to take supplements with high amounts of preformed vitamin A (or its derivative retinol) in them or take oral retinol as an acne treatment.[2]


Because they’ve quite rightly been monitoring the amounts of vitamin A in their diet, our customers are sometimes concerned that the provitamin A that occurs naturally in rosehip oil might not be safe to use in pregnancy and are worried about whether they should use our Scar Oil on their stretch marks.

There are two important facts to take into consideration here:

  • There are two types of vitamin A: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A (also called retinol) is used directly by the body and is found in animal products like eggs, milk, and liver. Provitamin A carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables, and your body converts this type into retinol. Cosmetics, fortified foods, medicines and supplements that have high levels of added synthesized retinol (not plant-based provitamin A) are the the ones it is sensible to avoid during pregnancy.[3]

     The studies that found links between retinoids and birth defects concerned preformed vitamin A, not plant-derived provitamin A.

  • The studies that suggested a link between retinoids and birth defects were specifically looking at Vitamin A which was ingested, not topically applied. Although the skin does absorb a lot of both nutrients and toxins through its surface the levels of retinoids that would reach the baby via the mother’s bloodstream and then cross the placenta with daily applications of rosehip oil would not be anywhere near the maximum safe advisory dietary levels recommended by health authorities.

Applying rosehip oil on your skin during pregnancy is therefore extremely unlikely to pose the same risk to a developing baby as consuming preformed vitamin A through diet or supplementation.

Please note that Balmonds are not medical professionals; if you have any concerns about using this product during pregnancy please seek advice from your GP or health practitioner. Balmonds Rosehip Scar Oil can be used on stretch marks after your baby has been born; this is an excellent time to work on conditioning your skin and giving it the very best of natural care!



[3] “Rosehip oil contains provitamin A (mostly beta-Carotene). It has been wrongly said to contain retinol (vitamin A) which is a vitamin solely made by animals from provitamin A. It does however contain levels (up to .357 ml/L) of tretinoin or all-trans retinoic acid, a vitamin A acid that retinol converts to.” )

babies and children

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