On Valentine’s Day you’ll likely see roses everywhere, being carried to girlfriends, wives, and loved ones across your city. But the power of a rose can last a lot longer than a February 14th bouquet, and we’re not talking about hanging a few flowers upside down on your wall to dry. Instead, we mean rose oil (more specifically, Bulgarian Rosa Damascena), the hero product in celebrity makeup artist Gina Brooke’s beauty kit. She swears by it.
Coming from someone who searches the world for rare, skin-benefitting products as her job, this is a pretty big stamp of approval. “I was introduced to rose oil on a business trip to discuss the ‘importance of skin care’ and a friend gifted me Bulgarian rose oil in a little bottle as a token to never forget Bulgaria and the beautiful people that live there. And I never did …I couldn’t!”
Rose oil is popping up in many products these days, but Brooke is particularly fond of the oil from the delicate and rare roses grown in Bulgaria and Turkey. “They have been cultivating this unique species of rose for many years,” she explains. “They’re experts at harvesting the flowers at the right time, as well as processing and cultivating them properly so the beneficial properties are transferred to the oil in the highest concentration possible.”
The oil is an anti-inflammatory agent and tissue regenerator loaded with therapeutic benefits for the skin. Brooke uses it on the face and neck before she applies makeup, and it not only moisturizes, but also preps the skin and makes the products last longer. “I also use it as aromatherapy while applying makeup which has a calming and relaxing effect.”
The oil is versatile, too, and can be used on all skin types. “Most of my clients have sensitive skin, and since the oil has astringent effects on the capillaries, it’s great for them,” Brooke says. “It reduces redness and calms the skin.”
Reducing redness, calming, moisturizing, and prepping the skin for other products: Rose oil really does a lot. And don’t worry, you don’t have to go all the way to Bulgaria to get your hands on it; you can find many different brands online. It can be expensive since it takes tens of thousands of rose petals to produce one ounce—but it is extremely potent, so only a tiny amount is needed. (Brooke recommends Chantecaille Rose de Mai oil and the Australian brand Intraceuticals, which uses rose oil in lots of its products.)
Brooke’s will be giving more pro tips later this month on The Estée Edit.