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What is Rosehip Seed Oil?
Rosehip seed oil is an oil pressed from the seeds of the wild rose plant. It is considered a “dry” oil meaning it soaks up into the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
This seed oil contains a unique blend of essential fatty acids as well as beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A). The fatty acid composition of Rosehip seed oil is:
- Oleic acid – 13.9%
- Palmitic acid – 3.5%
- Linoleic acid – 44.1%
- Linolenic acid – 33.9%
How is it Extracted?
Rosehip seed oil is extracted from the wild rose plant. It is also found under the name ‘Rosa Mosqueta’ and has been used by the native peoples of Chile for hundreds of years.
Rosehip oil can either be cold-pressed or solvent extracted. A relatively new method of using carbon dioxide to extract the oil (called CO2 supercritical extraction) is similar to solvent extraction but does not leave any solvent residues. The resulting oil is red colored and has a sweet scent.
CO2 supercritical extraction is the best method of extraction with cold-pressing being the second best method.
- CO2 supercritical extraction gently extracts the oils while preserving the complete properties of the plant.The shelf life of CO2 extracted oil is 2 years.
- Cold-pressing allows oxidation of the oil during extraction, giving it a short shelf life of just 6 months.
- Solvent extracted rosehip seed oil should be avoided, as solvent residue gets left behind and the process damages the antioxidants and vitamins in the oil.
- Rosehip seed oil has a delicate nature and should be stored in the refrigerator.
Rosehip Oil Skin Benefits
The natural healing effects of rosehip seed oil are due to its fatty acid content, vitamin E, and vitamin A. People claim that rosehip seed oil contains Vitamin C, but this vitamin is not present in the oil because it is a water-soluble vitamin.
Rosehip seed oil benefits the skin in these ways:
- helps correct UV damage from the sun
- reduces the appearance of scars
- treats fine lines and wrinkles
- hydrates the skin
- evens skin tone
- helps heal burns
- increases skin elasticity
Rosehip seed oil contains trans-retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A and the active ingredient found in Retin-A or Tretinoin. It has been heralded as a wrinkle cure due to its ability to increase the speed in which your skin regenerates. Rosehip seed oil has been extensively studied for many of the same actions attributed to Retin-A. It has been shown to be effective without the side effects such as drying and peeling.
Studies Done on Rosehip Seed Oil and the Skin
Drs. Pareja and Kehl
In December 1988 two researchers published a paper titled: Contributions to Identification and Application of Active Components Contained in Rosa Aff. Rubiginosa. In this 2 year study, rosehip oil was applied to 180 patients with surgical, traumatic or burn scars, as well as to a group suffering premature aging. Continuous application of the oil had remarkable results. It effectively reduced scars and wrinkles, halted advanced premature aging, and restored natural skin color and tone (source).
Dr. Hans Harbst
A surgeon and radiotherapist practicing in Chile has had extensive experience in the application of rosehip seed oil for treating skin alterations.
“I work with many patients who have undergone surgery and therefore have scars. Subsequent radiation causes secondary reactions to the skin such as inflammation, darkening and dermatitis. This presents an aesthetic problem for patients, but the application of rosehip oil has produced faster healing ofthese lesions. We have achieved a loosening of the tension in the skin with rosehip oil. The results have been very good with some patients and spectacular with others. I have applied rosehip oil on all types of skin and on scars to reduce hyperpigmentation, flattening hypertrophy (bulky scars), and loosening up fibrous chords.”
Dr. Leonardo Rusowsky
A surgeon at Enrique Deformes Hospital in Santiago, Chile has researched the healing properties of rosehip seed oil and has found that it improves the texture and quality of the skin. It increases elasticity and flattens out scarring and improves the color of the scars and surrounding skin. Rosehip seed oil has helped in the recovery of thousands of burn victims and is presently being used by several teams of plastic surgeons for the treatment of scars.
Using Rosehip Seed Oil on the Skin
Rosehip seed oil is extremely gentle and can be applied undiluted to the skin. It can also be blended with other oils such as jojoba and argan oil. It also makes an excellent carrier oil for aromatherapy. Blend it with essential oils that have skin regenerative and soothing properties such as Lavender, Helichrysum, and Rosemary.
- moisturizer (use a couple drops on your face for hydration).
- mix a couple drops with your toner (put a couple drops on a cotton ball and add your toner).
- mix it into your powdered mask before using (mix water or apple cider vinegar and a couple drops of rosehip seed oil and add to your powder).
- use it in your own anti-aging serum blends (click here for recipes).
Rosehip Seed Oil Hair Benefits
The fatty acids in rosehip seed oil nourish the hair. It naturally conditions the hair, prevents dryness and breakage, adds shine and bounce, and helps with manageability.
- Warm some rosehip seed oil and apply to your hair and scalp, leave on for an hour and then wash out.
- Add a few drops to your shampoo.
- Apply a few drops to the ends of your hair before styling.
How to Buy Rosehip Seed Oil
Look for CO2 extracted oil. It is an environmentally friendly extraction method that produces a superior oil. Oil extracted this way will have a shelf life of 2 years as opposed to a cold-pressing extraction that produces an oil that will only last 6 months.
Pai Skin Care makes a CO2 extracted rosehip seed oil that also contains oil from the fruit, giving it twice the regenerative sterols and five times the carotenoids. The oil is a deep orange color (meaning it is high in carotenoids), and it is made with organically grown roses.
Products Contianing Rosehip Seed Oil
So, whether using rosehip seed oil for healing your skin, or healing your hair, you will almost certainly be happy with the results. This luscious oil, with its broad range of positive effects, is sure to take a prominent place in your natural beauty botanical collection.