While there are two fundamentally different types of oil that one can squeeze out of a rose, each has their own characteristics and usage for skin. The first is rose petal oil which is probably what most people think of when they think of rose oil. That’s the essential oil which is used in perfumery. As you’d expect, rose flower oil comes from the petals of the flower.
The other type of oil is rosehip oil which comes from the hip of the plant. The hip--which is also called the hem or haw--is the radish-shaped, berry-like portion that’s left behind after the flower blooms. It’s also where the seeds of the plant reside. That’s why this oil is sometimes called RoseHips or Rose Seed oil. You can extract rosehip oil from many different types of roses, grown from all over the world.
In fact, the American Rose Society currently recognizes 37 classes of roses. This is important because different roses yield oils with different concentrations of “active” ingredients.True rosehip seed oil is produced from the seeds of Rosa eglanteria, or on occasion, Rosa moschata Herm, or even, Rosa Mosqueta. It may seem a bit confusing, but it’s important to understand if you’re buying a product with rose petal oil or rosehip oil, because chemically these two oils are VERY different.
The differences in rose oils
Rose flower oil consists of a variety of aroma chemicals that smell great but you wouldn’t want to use this on your skin because these aroma chemicals can be very irritating. In fact, one of the constituents is linalool, which you may have seen listed on other products as a fragrance allergen.
Rosehip oil, on the other hand, is composed of long chain fatty molecules that are both saturated and unsaturated. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids include oleic acid, cis-linoleic acid, α-linolenic acid, saturated fatty acids, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. It also contains other substances such as trans retinoic acid, tannins, flavonoids, vitamin C and beta-carotene.
The key takeaway here is that rosehip oil contains a large concentration of linoleic acid which is really good for skin and a lesser concentration of some other known anti-aging properties.
The benefits of rosehips
As it turns out, there are some plausible reasons to believe that Rosehip oil could be a good anti-aging agent. Here’s a look at what the benefits are:
You have to consider how much of these active components are present in Rosehip oil to understand if enough will penetrate skin to provide any benefit. In the case of linoleic acid, it makes up somewhere between third and half of the oil so if you’re using straight Rosehip oil I would expect there’s plenty of linoleic acid present. However for retinoic acid and vitamin C, their concentration in rosehip oil is between 0.3 and 10%.
The Bottom Line
Rosehip oil is a good moisturizer and it does contain some chemicals that can have an anti-aging affect. However, even though it does have a plausible mechanism and at least some of its components have been shown to penetrate skin, there’s enough animal and in vitro testing to indicate there may be something worthwhile for the things that are important like scar healing and skin lightening.
If you do decide to use Rosehip oil then here are some tips for you:
- Make sure you’re buying the right kind of Rose oil. Don’t be fooled into thinking a cream scented with rose petal oil will work the same way.
- Look for the pure oil since this will have the highest concentration of active ingredients.
- If you must use a cream or lotion, make sure rosehip oil is listed as the first or second ingredient. It takes 15 or 20% of the oil to be effective.
Either way, rosehip oil can be the ultimate anti-aging oil if used properly and the ingredients are of the highest quality. Rosehip oil has a long history as a therapeutic remedy and beauty product. It’s full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that are all valued for their ability to nourish the skin.
Rosehip oil’s promise makes it an intriguing option for anyone looking to reduce the visible signs of aging, clear up scarring, or otherwise improve your skincare routine. Not only is it reasonably affordable and easy to use, it’s considered generally safe for all skin types.