After decades of reliance on mostly artificial ingredients in cosmetics (such as the infamous parabens), natural herbal recipes are making their comeback. Instead of using expensive facial creams, more and more women go for oils, be it argan, jojoba, coconot, or shea. And recently a new star has entered this constellation of precious oils - that of rosehip seeds.
While many ancient peoples used rosehip oil, it partly owes its recent comeback to the famous model Miranda Kerr, who shared that she uses it every night. And all of a sudden, the modest Rosa rubiginosa (or the familiar dogrose) found itself in the spotlight. It bears tangy small red fruit in autumn, known as rosehips. They are actually one of the richest sources of vitamin C – we wrote about its benefits in an earlier article. Rosehip oil is obtained from seeds in a process similar to pressing olives; and just like you would normally try to buy virgin olive oil, you should go for cold-pressed rosehip oil, since heat destroys part of its vitamins.
Precious vitamins and acids
We have written about anti-oxidants more than once, but just as a quick reminder: while free radicals damage cells in your body, anti-oxidants neutralize these free radicals. Thus, the main value of anti-oxidants is that they prevent aging and keep your skin looking young and glowing (here is a study that proves it). Some of the most powerful anti-oxidants are vitamins A and C – and they are both extremely abundant in rose hips!
Besides, vitamin A is essential for eye health, since it protects the cornea (you can read more on it here). Among plant sources, this vitamin is found in red and orange fruit and vegetables, such as carrots and papaya.
As for vitamin C, it promotes the production of collagen, thus preventing not only wrinkles, but also ligament injuries – after all, our tendons and all connective tissue are mostly made of collagen!
Yet another tremendous benefit of rose hips is their high content of essential fatty acids. These acids cannot be produced by our body, but we need them to make omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which are so important for the prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (you can read more on them here).
No oil is created perfect. First of all, rosehip oil is quite expensive – and since it is not supposed to be diluted by carrier oils, you will need substantial amounts if you plan to use it daily.
Second, rosehip oil doesn’t keep well, unfortunately; it has to be stored in the fridge in a dark bottle, and even then you shouldn’t buy large amounts of it.
Third, as we have noted above, the process of hot pressing destroys most of the vitamin C, so you should only buy cold-pressed oil… which affects the price, obviously.
On the other hand, rosehip oil is very light and is easily absorbed by the skin without leaving an oily look; besides, it can be used in combination with essential oils that suit your skin.
But what if you cannot afford rosehip oil? Do not despair: you are still able to obtain most of its benefits from simple dried rose hips! They can be made into delicious, slightly sour drink (a bit like hibiscus tea): simply boil them in water for 10-15 minutes, let the infusion cool, and add some honey if you like!