Rosehip oil has been making a name in the cosmetics industry because of its phenomenal benefits for the skin. Supermodels and actors even swear by its skin rejuvenating and clarifying effects. But what exactly is rosehip oil and where does it come from? Keep reading this article to find out.
What Is Rosehip Oil?
Rosehip oil, sometimes called rose hip seed oil, can be obtained from wild rose (Rose moschata, Rosa rubignosa or Rosa canina) bushes, which grow in various areas around the world, including Europe and South Africa.1 Not to be confused with rose essential oil, rose hip comes from the "hips," the small fruits found behind the flowers, which are left once the roses have bloomed and lost their petals.
Rosehip oil has a subtle woody smell — it doesn't have a rosy fragrance since it's not made from the flower. The color can range from a deep golden hue to a rich red-orange color to a light yellow color. This can be an indicator of quality: golden or reddish rosehip oil is cold-pressed, while light-colored ones may be heavily processed or obtained from an inferior source.2
Uses of Rosehip Oil
Rosehips have been used for generations by Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans because of their healing properties.3 The Andean Indians of Chile also recognized the exceptional skin and hair care benefits of the plant as well as its essential oil.4 Rose hips can be used to treat wounds and inflammations. For example, researchers in Germany and Denmark found that rose hip can actually ease rheumatoid arthritis pain and improve mobility by 20 to 25 percent.5
Today, rosehip oil is most notably added to cosmetic products like moisturizers, shampoos and lotions for its skin and hair rejuvenating and healing properties. However, you can actually purchase rosehip oil and mix it with a safe carrier oil to make your own topical applications.
Composition of Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil contains a bounty of nutrients including vitamins A, C and E, essential fatty acids (linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acid), stearic acid and palmitic acid.6 Carotenoids, flavonoids and trans-retinoic acid, which have therapeutic properties, are also found in this oil.7
Benefits of Rosehip Oil
Do a quick search of rosehip oil on the internet, and you will surely be blown away by the number of testimonials on its beneficial effects on skin and hair. Here are some of the most popular benefits of rosehip oil:
• Promotes healthy and vibrant skin. Rosehip oil is widely used in various skin care products. It helps fight the signs of aging and assists in diminishing photoaging.
• Nourishes dry hair and prevents dandruff. Apply lukewarm rosehip oil onto your scalp, leave it on for an hour and then wash it out.
• Keeps nails healthy. Massaging rosehip oil onto dry and brittle nails will hydrate them and make them strong.
• Helps heal wounds and burns and removes scars. Rosehip oil can help speed up the healing of wounds and burns, while keeping the area hydrated. It also helps reduce the appearance of stretchmarks, age spots, scars and hyper-pigmentation.
• Relieves sunburn. Apply rosehip oil to sunburn for a soothing and healing effect, while reducing inflammation.
How to Make Rosehip Oil
High-quality rosehip oil is made via cold pressing, which uses a press or a screw-driven machine to extract the oil, while preserving its potent antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which can be reduced via a chemical extraction process. Cold pressed rosehip oil is solvent-free and rich in nutrients.
As mentioned above, color can be used to gauge the quality of your rosehip oil. However, I still advise looking for one with an independent organic certification. This will guarantee that the oil will come from plants that are grown and processed without chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.
How Does Rosehip Oil Work?
What makes rosehip oil stand out from other essential oils is its vitamin A content, which binds the skin cells together and acts as an astringent. This washes away impurities and tightens your skin, giving it a youthful look. The essential fatty acids also hold the same effect, binding the skin cells together for a more taut appearance. Because rosehip oil's benefits are more readily obtained through the skin, your best bet to ensure that it works for you is to apply it topically as a:
• Conditioner — Add it to your favorite shampoo, or directly rub it into your scalp, and leave it on overnight.
• Facial moisturizer — Gently massage two to three drops of rosehip oil onto your freshly washed face twice a day, once in the morning and at night.
• Massage oil — Mix it with a safe carrier oil and use it as a massage oil.
• Treatment for skin conditions — Simply rub it onto the affected area to get its healing benefits.
Make sure to massage rosehip oil well into your skin to absorb all its nutrients. This oil has an ultrafine consistency and is lighter than other mineral oils, so it can be absorbed more quickly, instantly hydrating the skin without clogging your pores.
As with any essential oil, I advise doing a skin patch test before using this oil onto your skin. Simply apply a drop on your arm and see if any allergic reactions occur. I recommend diluting this oil in a safe carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil before applying it on your skin, especially if you have a very sensitive complexion.
Is Rosehip Oil Safe?
Rosehip oil is typically safe to use, as long as it is used in moderation and in diluted topical applications only. Do not ingest rosehip oil without the advice of your physician or qualified aromatherapist.
While it's been said to help remove or prevent stretchmarks, I advise pregnant or breastfeeding women to use this essential oil with caution, and only with the approval of their doctor. Some rosehip oils may smell slightly fishy instead of woody, which may trigger vomiting in some pregnant women. Very young children should refrain from using rosehip oil.
Side Effects of Rosehip Oil
I advise you to use rosehip oil with caution, as its high vitamin C content may pose a danger to people with diabetes, and increase the absorption of iron, which may affect people with hemochromatosis, anemia and similar conditions.8 It may cause allergic reactions, especially if used undiluted, in people with very sensitive skin.