Friday, December 18, 2009

Rosehip oil

Rosehip oil is what I'd call an exotic oil, something you don't use as the main base of a lotion or other creation but as a wonderful addition. Its fatty acid composition is interesting - 3.8% palmitic acid (C16), 1.9% stearic acid (C18), 15% oleic acid (C18:1), 43.5% linoleic acid (C18:2), and 33% linolenic acid (C18:3). Rosehip oil can come from a number of different rosehip species, so check the INCI from your supplier.

Rosehip oil is believed to contain trans-retinoic acid or tretinoin, a form of Vitamin A. You'll see this on every site about rosehip oil. But a recent study failed to find this compound, which is odd considering every write up you see on this oil mentions it, and the oil shows the ability to reduce scarring and reduce hyper pigmentation of them. It is believed to be the very active ingredient in rosehip oil, so I guess more studies need to be done.

Rosehip oil has been used for quite some time in traditional medicine as a cell regenerating, wound healing, and scar lessening ingredient, and studies are bearing this out. Studies on photo-aging and scar repair show rosehip oil - used at as little as 6% of a formula - can reduce fine wrinkles causes by UV damage and reduce hyperpigmentation of scars. Why is this? It was thought these wondrous powers were due to the trans-retinoic acid - it is likely from all the free radical scavengers, anti-oxidants, tannins, and carotenoids!

Rosehip oil does contain Vitamin C and beta-carotene (the precursor to Vitamin A), both of which are anti-oxidants or free radical scavengers. The beta-carotene gives the oil a yellow-ish colour. And rosehip oil feels a little dry because of all those tannins, making it a more astringent or non-greasy oil when compared to something like sunflower oil.

Despite all these wonderful polyphenols, phytosterols, and fatty acids, rosehip oil is not a good choice for people with breakout prone skin. It is known to make acne worse, and can cause breakouts! Sorry!

It would appear that using a CO2 extract of rosehip oil has its benefits. One study showed higher levels of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids, with a reduction of oleic acids, in a CO2 extracted oil. The oil is also a darker colour, which seems to indicate the presence of more carotenoids.

Because of all those wonderful unsaturated bonds, rosehip oil has a shelf life of about 6 months. Keep it in the fridge or freezer, and make a note of the "best before" date for your products.

So what does rosehip oil offer? Some great anti-oxidants and free radical scavengers, lovely moisturizing and softening from oleic acid, skin barrier repair and anti-inflammatory properties from linoleic and linolenic acid, the possibility of some reduction of fine lines and signs of photo-aging, and scar reduction. Sounds pretty good to me! Add 0.5% Vitamin E to your creations to extend the life of the oil.

Apparently the ideal amount for rosehip oil in a facial product is 6%. Try it in a facial serum at up to 10% (I've already included in the dry skin serum recipe!) Or try it in a facial moisturizer like this one at 6%. You could substitute it for the hempseed oil and still get all that lovely linoleic acid.

Join me tomorrow for more oil related merriment!


Rachel Lewis said...

Thanks for this post! I have been trying to find some information on Rosehip Oil but like you said, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. I have a couple of questions;

Is there a difference between Roship Oil and Rosehip Seed Oil?
Are these essential oils or base oils or something else?

I have heard many people say that it has helped clear up skin problems, including psoriasis, which I have, but I don't know if there are different products and if so am I picking the right one?

I know it hasn't really been studied, but science doesn't have a cure for psoriasis so I've just got to give stuff a try, and if it works stick with it. Here's hoping.

Sheela Tiwari said...

Thanks for the information but am a little confused between Rosehip oil and rosehip carrier oil. Both are priced differently with the former being 40$ and latter about 8$. Am I missing something???

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sheela! I've taken a look at rosehip oil and posted what I found in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answer is that I have no idea. Take a look at the INCI to see what you're getting. Sorry!

Brandi Yates said...

I made the facial moisturizer with macadamia nut oil and rosehip oil. I have a lot of scars but Im also acne prone so this is an experiment! I have never used a cream on my face because I was scared of breakouts but so far my skin really likes this. Im trying your oil free moisturizer next. I hope you dont mind that I comment so much. I am having so much fun with all of your recipes!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Brandy! I love that you comment so much, so keep it coming! I think this just shows how we really have to try the ingredients and products to know how our skin will react! Which is why I keep telling everyone to get into the workshop instead of just researching and planning!

Keep the comments coming!

eattheroses said...


I know I'm late to the party, but I'd love to know what it is about the oil that causes breakouts (any specific component?). I have fairly dry skin and I bought some of it, but every time I used it on my skin it flared up unhappily.

The reason I am asking is that I want to know what I should avoid, so not to bother with other oils that have a high content of the component. For reference, I can use olive oil in a facial cream (and have for a long time!) and the oleic acid doesn't bother me at all so it cannot be that!

Would love to hear your thoughts,

Saba said...

Hey susan
Didn't know abt the anonymous rule thus posting here again

I hv oily acne prone skin
Looking for a facial oil tht keeps my oil n acne at bay n makes skin glowy n flawless :)