Roses are said to be the pinnacle of the floral kingdom.
In Summer they provide sweet scented blooms, then come Autumn there are bright red rosehips. Food for birds and a treasure trove for humans!
Rosehip seed oil is one of my favourite ingredients to work with. (I’ve updated my 2020 Guide with recipes! Enjoy)
Why? Because it’s jam packed with skin loving nutrients that benefit sensitive, dry or lacklustre skin.
And you can use it in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and after menopause. Scrumptious as an anti-ageing option.
I’m going to answer the many questions on rosehip:
Where does rosehip come from?
Rosehips are the fruit from the wild rose called Rosa canina. This rose grows mostly in Europe and parts of Africa and Asia.
Another variety, Rosa rubigosa, comes from the Andes. It is called Mosqueta by Aubrey Hampton, one of the original pioneers who makes the most gorgeous shampoo and condiitoner.
Rosehip vs Rosehip Seed oil
Rosehip oil is extracted by cold pressing.
If the entire fruit is pressed, you get the oil from BOTH fruit and seeds, while Rosehip Seed Oil is harvested only from the seeds of the rose hip.
Both types are cold-pressed to preserve nutrients.
Rose vs Rosehip
Many people confuse rose (essential) oil with rosehip seed oil. Rose essential oil is steam extracted from flowers through distillation. The resulting liquid is clear and smells of rose.
Rosehip seed carrier oil is cold pressed from the seeds and fruit. It smells nutty. Not rosy at all.
Now it’s interesting that rosehip and rose are in the same plant family along with
- Plum kernel oil
- Peach kernel oil
- Almond oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Rose hip seed oil
- Raspberry seed oil
- Blackberry seed oil
- Quince seed oil
- Apple seed oil
- Cherry kernel oil
- Strawberry seed oil
- Cloud berry seed oil
Rosehip oil vs Argan oil
Which one is best? Both are great for healthy skin and hair – argan can be used 100% but rosehip needs to be blended due to the orange colour and the nutty smell.
Using undiluted/unblended rosehip liberally on your face can result in stained pillowcases.
Pomegranate seed oil vs Rosehip oil for wrinkles
Both rosehip and pomegranate are excellent for addressing wrinkles, fine lines.
Both are stinky! Both are best in dilution. I find pomegranate thick and gloopy like syrup – it has to be heavily diluted/blended otherwise it’s like tryign to smear sticky molasses over your skin which will stretch it.
Rosehip on the other hand is non greasy and absorbs really fast.
You can add both to a delightful recipe for your skin, neck, hands… try 5% pomegranate with 10-15% rosehip and the rest of your recipe your favourite oil or oil blend. And keep notes on what you mix so that you can tweak as needed. Good luck!
organic rosehip oil
Why is rosehip seed oil so good for skin?
It’s jam packed with skin loving nutrients…inside Andean Rosehip Oil you’re getting the motherload of skin joy
- 16.4% C18:1 oleic fatty acid (Omega 9)
- 39.8% C18:2 linoleic fatty acid (Omega 6)
- 30.3% C18:3 linolenic fatty acid (Omega 3)
- 0.5% phytosterols
- 0.1% tocopherols
- 0.335 ppm tretinoin or all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)
The rich content of antioxidant carotenoid pro-vitamin A makes it your superhero must-have.
Rosehip as a Retinol alternative
Rosehip’s gorgeous orange colour comes from the natural antioxidant carotenoid pro-vitamin A, tocopherols (vitamin E) and 2 essential fatty acids ( Linoleic and alpha-Linolenic acid)
It’s a safe alternative to retinol along with Cacay and Babchi
The term “retinoids” refers to vitamin A and the various compounds derived from vitamin A.
Common side effects after applying retinoid’s to the skin is “retinoid dermatitis.” Adjust the dose and frequency of retinoid application.
Retinoids have been used to treat acne and photoaging and can reduce fine wrinkles, increase smoothness, diminish hyperpigmentation.
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Rosehip oil for sunburn
Can rosehip seed help for sunburnt skin? Yes you can apply rosehip oil along with lavender and helichrysum essential oil to sunburn to soothe and cool your inflamed skin.
But before you reach for rosehip you need to bring down the heat. So get into the shade and apply cooling aloe vera gel or if that’s not available, put ice cubes in a hanky or sock, and hold against the read area for 10 minutes. Then remove the ice for a further 10 minutes and repeat.
Later have a lukewarm bath to which you’ve added a cup of milk, oatmeal, vinegar or strong black tea. And then after the bath apply your rosehip oil.
You can also dab the burn with cooled teabags. (Regular tea, green tea or chamomile)
Be sure to drink a lot of water. Peppermint or chamomile tea are helpful too. Read my article on the benefits of naked yoga and sunbathing.
Does Rosehip Oil provide any sun protection benefits?
Rosehip Oil is not a sunscreen. What it does do though, is strengthen the skin barrier and help repair damage caused by free radicals. Use your sunscreen, mineral is best, when you are outdoors in the summer.
Rosehip for scars, stretch marks and pigmentation
Studies have found Rosehip Seed Oil is very effective in reducing hyper-pigmentation of scars and stretch marks, regenerating damaged tissue, epithelising wounds, and reducing the appearance of age spots, as well as repairing damage caused by acne and sun exposure. It improves skin texture and decreases skin discoloration, promoting a more uniform skin colour.
To increase the effects, you can add essential oils with skin rejuvenation properties like helichrysum and carrot seed.
Clinical studies were done in the early 1980s by Dr. Fabiola Carbajal Montiel on 180 people with extensive facial scarring, acne scarring, deep wrinkles, UV damage, radiation damage, burn scars, surgical scars, premature aging, dermatitis, and other skin related problems. In these tests, rosehip seed oil was applied to their skin for four months or longer. The results were incredible. Skin was regenerated, even 20 year old scar tissue improved.
Vitamin A deficiency is associated with impaired immune function and and delayed wound healing.
Studies have been done on cod liver oil taken internally on rats. Rosehip contains both the omega fatty acids and Vitamin A needed to reapir damaged skin.
What does rosehip seed oil do for skin?
Rosehip Seed Oil is beloved for its intense skin healing effects because it’s
- High in unsaturated fatty acids
- High in anti-oxidants
- High in beta-carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A
- Promotes epithelization of wounds
- Reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles
- Its known for being anti-inflammatory
- Rich in Omegas to help regenerate skin without irritation, and restores balance and confidence to unpredictable skin
- Suitable for all skin types, including Eczema-prone skin
How much vitamin c is in rosehip seed oil?
Hmm this is interesting. Vitamin C is a water soluble ingredient. To get this you need to use the fruits where the vitamin C is based. There is no vitamin C in the seeds, What about vitamin C
There is vitamin C in the fruits, this is why many people forage to craft their own remedies with wild crafted rosehips.
The fruity hips are used in cold and flu products for their immune enhancing effects. These can be collected from wild grown hedgerow roses as long as they are not sprayed with pesticides or near traffic.
Rosehip oil facial serum
Rosehip is often part of a serum for it’s skin repairing properties. Whether it’s acne scars for those with long standing or recent acne scarring, or where skin has thinned and forming fine lines. Rosehip is best blended to increase synergy. Pick an oil that suits your skin condition. You can add essential oils to this blend. The very best essential oils for antiaging are helichrysum, frankincense, rose and neroli – yes the pricey ones! There’s rosehip in Empress Elixir
Rosehip oil before and after
I ran an experiment on myself unintentionally. I scratched my maskne spot till it bled – naughty.
I made a special plaster big enough to cover the injury with a piece of silk soaked in hydrolat.
Rosehip oil for scars
I applied rosehip and hyaluronic acid. – you can see the recovery it made.
Within the month, no scar at all!
Rosehip oil for hair
Rosehip oil benefits your hair by feeding your scalp with omega fatty acids and pro-vitamin A.
You can massage rosehip oil into your scalp to help hair grow.
While you can use it neat/undiluted, it is expensive so I suggest you blend it with more affordable oils that also suit healthy hair.
Healthy Head Massage Recipe suggestion:
In a small bowl or bottle, blend together 15ml jojoba or sesame with 15ml argan oil.
Add ten drops of rosemary essential oil.
Rosemary is the key hair health essential oil as it improve circulation, shine and hair growth, so if you are shedding hair during menopause this could be part of your new healthy hair ritual while watching Netflix.
Massage this blend into your hair at night. Place an old towel on your pillow to prevent staining (from the rosehip).
And then you can shampoo in the morning. If possible leave the massage blend on for longer.
FAQ – eyes, face
Can you use rosehip oil under eyes?
Yes although you would probably want to add it to some argan or jojoba as rosehip is a bit smelly and also dark coloured. The smell disappears when you blend it and you wont notice the colour if its blended.
Can rosehip oil be used for dark circles under eyes?
Dark circles are caused by congestion of blood capillary around your eyes and lifestyle. Frequently staying up late, restless sleep, emotional upheaval, fatigued eyes from smartphones and blue light, and aging all slow down circulation around your eye. This lack of oxygen and increase of carbon dioxide and metabolic waste give your eyes a dark hue.
Essential oils should not be applied and rosehip can be used in dilution in a formula specially designed for the sensitive eye area.
Some people do develop painful millia around the eye area when using rosehip seed oil.
While you can cover up dark circles with makeup, it’s best to look at you lifestyle and make improvements there first
How to use rosehip seed oil to tighten facial skin
massage a few drops into your face, look for serums that contain it,
How to use rosehip seed oil on face
well you can use it in a DIY face mask mixed into some bentonite clay and rosewater, you can massage a few drops into your face before bedtime, you can add it to your face cream, and you can add a few drops into your aromatherapy massage oil, many ways to use it. If you have scar tissue, you can massage rosehip oil directly over the scar as soon as it has healed. The more often you massage, the quicker you will get results.
What does rosehip seed oil do for aging skin?
it feeds it nourishing omegas and vitamins – older skin is dry and needs the extra TLC from rosehip. Scroll up to see the natural chemical constituents of rosehip.
Is rosehip seed oil good for dark circles?
possibly. Dark circles mean a lot of things including insufficient sleep, stress, emotions, possibly too much caffeine or salt, indigestion causing poor sleep quality. Even food or environmental allergies like mould. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the area under the eye refers to the Kidneys. If you have serious dark circles please consult a natural health practitioner. I terms of natural extracts, green tea and camellia are useful for the eye area, as long as you sort out all the other factors. There is no single magic bullet I’m afraid.
Why is rosehip oil so good for menopause?
Rosehip feeds menopausal skin with omega fatty acids (linoleic acid – 51%, linolenic acid – 19% and oleic acid – 20%),
The high concentrations of Omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9, and antioxidant carotenoids, phenolics, terpenoids, galactolipids and fruit acids works wonders:
- help repair and protect the skin against environmental stresses and visible damage.
- moisturizes and soothe dry or damaged skin and
- promotes the healing of the skin and works to delay the appearance of wrinkles.
- reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
- increases skin’s elasticity or firmness
- anti-inflammatory action on skin without side effects
Rosehip’s skin-regenerative properties make it ideal for face creams and serums
Rosehip seed oil and cancer
A study in 2015 used rosehip extract and found that it significantly reduced the growth and migration of cells from a type of breast cancer known as triple negative. This particularly aggressive form of cancer does not respond to most available treatments and tends to affect young women as well as those who are African-American or Hispanic.
FAQ- storage, shelf life
How long can rosehip seed oil last in refrigerator –
it depends on how old the oil was when you bought it. Follow the use by date on the bottle. Storing it cool and dark will lengthen it’s shelf life but always use up your rosehip up quickly and buy small and often.
How long does rosehip oil last? How to store rosehip seed oil
it has a short shelf life due to the unsaturated fatty acids so needs to be stored cool and dark and used up quickly.
How to tell if rosehip seed oil is rancid
hmm well you need to smell it when it is fresh, and be sure it came from a reliable supplier with a use by date on the jar. Then you will be able to use your nose to smell. This is something you will learn from experience.
How to make rosehip seed oil smell better
– yes the nutty scent is over powering. You reduce the scent by mixing or blending it with a non smelly oil – almond, apricot, argan for instance. That neutralises the nutty scent. And then if you like you can add some essential oils. If you were making a hair care product you’d use rosemary or ylang ylang to stimulate hair growth. If you were making a face cream you would choose essential oils to match your skin type or condition. And if you were adding rosehip to an aromatherapy massage blend, you would be adding oils that suited your client.
How to make rosehip seed oil smell good?
you can blend it with other vegetable/carrier oils as well as add essential oil. With essential oil, you can add a maximum of 6-8 drops per 30 ml of carrier oil. (By carrier, I mean oils like almond, apricot, argan, avocado etc).
FAQ- colour, dilution
I get asked about these often.
What dilution rate should i use for rosehip seed oil?
are you making a massage blend or a serum? Rosehip is dark coloured and smells nutty so you would use less than 10% of the recipe if you wanted to be safe. Anything towards 30% of your recipe is going to be a bit nutty scented. Some people don’t mind 100% pure rosehip scent but most find it unpleasant.
What color is good rosehip seed oil?
it will be yellow to orange. It is not a clear oil, unless it has bene highly refined. (see photo above.)
This why you need to dilute/blend it with other less bright colours to prevent your pillowcases being stained.
And no, the stain is not as bad as from turmeric.
That colour is from antioxidant carotenoid pro-vitamin A – so celebrate it!
How to make rosehip seed oil more effective?
Well you can blend it with other oils that work on scarring, dryness etc.
There are also essential oils you can add that work on specific conditions eg reducing scar tissue or bruising, like helichrysum essential oil which is very precious albeit a bit stinky.
Other popular essential oils that work really well to rejuvenate skin are rose and frankincense.
Unfortunately the best skin care essential oils are also the most highly prices.
Another way is to blend it with other vegetable/carrier /base oils like avocado, cranberry seed, raspberry, argan, blackcurrant, plum, cacay, macadamia, strawberry, logan berry, baobab, marula etc.
And you should add Vitamin E anti-oxidant to your blend!
What oils does rosehip seed oil mix with?
well hundreds! You can mix the base oils that suit your skin type and climate etc and then add a little of the rosehip like the ribbon on the gift.
Rosehip is going to be a small component of your blend -why? Price, smell and colour.
Best rosehip oil
The best will be organic cold pressed – so not full of pesticides.
Rosehip oil rosacesa
Yes, you can use rosehip oil when you have rosacea. If you are worried about how your skin will react, be calm, most people are fine. If in doubt begin with a drop and take it slowly. Rosehip is a natural retinol alternative. It’s packed with vitamins that your skin can use to repair and protect itself.
Possible side effects
Some people have an allergic reaction to rosehip, so always patch test before using rosehip oil for the first time.
How to patch test:
Apply a small amount to the inside of your arm and see if you get any reactions. Wait 24 hours. If none, you’re good to go
But if you get any itching, redness, scratchy throat, nausea or vomiting you will need to see your doctor.
And if you have a severe reaction (difficulty breathing, wheezing, swollen mouth, throat, or face, rapid heartbeat or stomach pain) seek emergency attention.
If you would like to make a vitamin C rich syrup to use through Winter, consult one of these excellent herbal websites:
Or use this recipe from River Cottage
Sterilise a couple of bottles and vinegar-proof screw-tops or stoppers by washing thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then putting them on a tray in a low oven (at 120°C/Gas 1⁄2) to dry out and heat up.
Roughly chop the rosehips in a food processor in batches, then transfer to a large saucepan and add 1.25 litres water.
Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for around 15 minutes.
Strain through a double layer of muslin, letting the pulp sit for a good half hour so that all the juice passes through.
Wash out the muslin, or cut a fresh piece, fold to double it and pass the strained juice through it again.
Measure the rosehip juice into a large saucepan.
For every 500ml, add 325g sugar.
Heat slowly, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes, skimming off any scum if necessary.
Decant immediately into the prepared bottles and seal.
Label when the bottles have cooled completely.
Use within 4 months and refrigerate once opened.
Here is a recipe for Raw rosehip Syrup from the Woodland Trust
Raw Rosehip Syrup Recipe
Traditionally the hips are boiled with sugar and water, but I prefer this ‘raw’ syrup for maximum goodness and flavour. It is like the best Turkish delight you ever had, crossed with the tang of tropical fruits like mango and lychee. What a treat this must have been at a time of scarcity.
- Give your rosehips a good rinse under the tap and pat them dry.
- Use a knife to trim the ends and then make a few scores on each hip or pierce them with a fork.
- Sterilise and dry a sealable jar and place a layer of caster or granulated sugar on the bottom, then a layer of hips.
- Keep layering hips and sugar until you run out of hips or the jar is full. Try to fill the spaces between the hips with sugar.
- Seal the jar and put it by a sunny window for a couple of weeks, or up to a couple of months, turning it from time to time. The sugar will draw the liquid from the rosehips and form syrup.
- Strain the syrup through a fine cloth like muslin. Rosehips contain hairs which cause irritation so it is important to remove these.
- Seal the syrup in sterilised bottles and keep in the fridge. The high sugar content will stop bacteria from taking hold.
Some suggested links for your reading pleasure: