Botanical Name: Rosa rubiginosa
Extraction method: Plant steam distilled
It moisturizes your skin: “Many people who regularly use rosehip oil note that their skin is less dry, which makes sense considering the free fatty acids, including linoleic acid, that are found in this product,” says Suneel Chilukuri, M.D., founder of Refresh Dermatology in Houston. Howe adds that linoleic acid is an essential component of ceramides, the skin’s main moisturizing element.
It’s anti-aging: The high level of vitamin C alone gives rosehip oil a potent anti-aging effect. “The antioxidant activity of the vitamin C protects and repairs UV-damage and helps to reduce wrinkles,” says Kenneth Howe, M.D., New York City-based dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology. Additionally, the carotenoids, which are vitamin A-like compounds that regulate skin turnover, “lead to a brighter, more even complexion,” says Howe.
It brightens skin: Vitamin C in rosehip oil has been “shown to effectively reduce hyper-pigmentation and brighten the skin,” explains Chilukuri.
It may promote healing: Maybe dab that stuff on the shaving scar that just won’t disappear from your leg. Some preliminary research on skin cells in a laboratory shows that rosehip oil “effectively improved scars.” Rosehip oil help stimulate “ macrophages to shift into a form that promotes good healing, as opposed to a form that causes poor healing and greater scar formation,” says Howe.
It’s antibacterial: The phenols in the rosehip oil have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. “As long as the oil is not irritating to those patients with eczema-prone skin, this product may benefit them in both re-hydrating the skin as well as preventing infections commonly seen in eczema,” says Chilukuri.
It can help reduce skin pigmentation: Retinoids in rosehip oil, such as trans retinoic acid, help to lighten pigment. “They also speed up cell maturation and turnover, which results in an overall brightening effect,” says Howe.
It fights acne: “Retinoids exert an effect similar to Retin-A, regulating cell turnover in such a way that reduces follicular plugging and the formation of blackheads,” explains Howe. The anti-inflammatory effects of rosehip oil calm redness and reduce cysts, too.
It may help with stretch marks: One recent study looked at a stretch-mark prevention cream that contained rosehip oil. Amazingly, “women who used the cream throughout their pregnancies were less likely to develop stretch marks, and those who already had them found that they did not get worse,” explains Howe. Hey, worth a shot.
Rosehip can be used as a carrier oil: A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts.
If applied to the skin undiluted, essential oils, absolutes, CO2s and other concentrated aromatics can cause severe irritation, sensitization, redness or burning or other reactions in some individuals. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential and other oils prior to topical application. The term carrier oil is derived from their purpose in carrying the essential oil onto the skin. Aloe vera gel and unscented body lotion are also commonly used as “carriers.” For the scope of this article, however, we will be focusing upon the use of natural vegetable oils as carriers.
Each carrier oil offers a different combination of therapeutic properties and characteristics. The choice of carrier oil can depend on the therapeutic benefit being sought.
Natural lotions, creams, body oils, bath oils, lip balms and other moisturizing skin care products are also made using vegetable (carrier) oils. From a simple essential oil/carrier oil blend to a more complex natural lotion, your choice of carrier oil can make a difference in the therapeutic properties, color, overall aroma and shelf life of your final product.