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Rose Hip Seed Oil: the Holy Grail of Botanicals

Rose Hip Seed Oil: The Holy Grail of Botanicals

Dry skin? Fixed.

Concerned about fine lines? It’ll help with those.

Chapped by the wind? It’ll put an end to that.

Whatever your concerns are, rose hip seed oil has you covered.

Upon application, this lovely oil soaks in immediately; allowing the golden goodness to shine through.

Here at the NC, we are a Medici of oils if you will, and we believe this should be a staple in everyone’s skincare kit.

Rose Hip Seed Oil

What the Heck is Rose Hip Seed Oil and Why is it so Good for the Skin?

Rich, nourishing, and intoxicating, but ultimately earthy and amazing for all skin types.

It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturising, and packed with insane amounts of antioxidants and Vitamin A.

We love just about everything to do with rose hip seed oil: the antioxidants, the beta carotenes, the lovely omegas, and its tretinoin content, which converts into retinol upon application on your skin.

All of which increases skin thickness, wards off premature ageing, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and so much more, which we discuss below.

The rose hip is a small fruit, left over when the wild rose petals fall off; there, the delicate fruits hang until hand-picked and pressed into a gorgeous elixir.

The wild rose grows in thick, spiny bushes, which protect the delicate flowers and seeds. These are attached to the hair-like fronds, which are the basis of itching powder.

The extraction process is an intricate process referred to as winterisation, where heavy waxes are removed by refrigeration, drying and de-hipping, followed by pressing. This allows the oil to be more workable and user-friendly.

There are three main ways of extracting the oil; with solvents, cold pressing, or treating it with enzymes before cold-pressing. The simple cold-pressing technique is thought to give you up to seven times more tretinoin in the final oil than using a solvent – which is far from a trivial difference.

Because extraction is so labour-intensive, corners are often cut when it comes to purity, which is why it is not always the purest oil. The article on CO₂ Extraction Process looks at the critical points to the quality of the final oil.

Rose Hip Oil’s Beautifying Benefits

It is used in many different face care preparations for cellular regeneration.

Anti-scarring agent: Rose hip oil has been used for quite some time in traditional medicine for wound healing and as a topical scar treatment. This is due to the presence of a precursor to Vitamin A, known as trans-retinoic acid or tretinoin; this, combined with the large amounts of linoleic and linolenic acids, is why it is effective in treating both hypertrophic and keloid scars.

Anti-ageing: Rose hip seed oil will help reduce your fine lines and wrinkles as it is cell regenerating, slowing down the skin ageing process. Studies on photo-ageing show that using at as little as 6% in a formula will reduce fine lines caused by UV exposure and lighten hyperpigmentation caused by scars. This is thought to be due to the trans-retinoic acid and free radical scavengers, antioxidants, tannins, and gorgeous orange carotenoids.

Helps with lightly pigmented areas: Rose hip can help to promote a more even skin tone, and it may help with reducing the appearance of age spots, thanks to the beta-carotene – the pre-cursor to Vitamin A, as discussed above.

Anti-inflammatory agent: The fact that the oil is rich in linoleic and linolenic acids means that it’s perfect if you have sensitised, inflamed skin. In 1983, at the University of Santiago, Chile, a study was carried out involving participants with different skin conditions, including sun-damaged skin, premature ageing, burns, acne scarring, eczema, and more. It was found that the oil had noticeable effects on skin regeneration and repair, significantly reducing inflammation within the tissues of the skin.

Cellular rejuvenation: Many clinical trials have proved that rose hip seed oil is an exceptional product in tissue regeneration, improving skin texture and discolouration. It is also used to treat damaged skin tissue caused by scalds, burns, stretch marks, and varicose veins, due to its ability to encourage skin regeneration.

Prevents dry skin conditions: Because this oil is abundant in fatty acids, it helps keep your skin cells healthy. As you age, your skin naturally starts to dry and lose water; the fatty acids work to keep your skin plump and moist, preventing it from drying out.

Why the Oil is so Unique

The ingredient in rose hip oil that is especially interesting is trans-retinoic acid, referred to in the industry as tretinoin. It is a close relative of Vitamin A and the most researched vitamin when it comes to skincare, especially acne. Tretinoin at lower levels has also been shown to have a strong anti-ageing effect.

Tretinoin molecules are very delicate and need to be handled with care; the tretinoin in rose hips is just as sensitive as the tretinoin in pharmaceuticals.

The other important properties include:

Oleic acid (Omega 9) has an interesting fatty acid profile, softening and moisturising the skin.
Linoleic acid (Omega 6) helps speed up the barrier function’s repair mechanisms.
Gamma-linolenic acid helps reduce inflammation and boosts the protective role of the skin’s barrier.
Phytosterols help to soothe and calm inflamed skin.
Tocopherol (Vitamin E) acts as an antioxidant, neutralising damaging free radicals.

Fatty acid profile:

Palmitic acid 3.6%
Stearic acid 2.15%
Oleic acid 15%
Linoleic acid 47.7%
Linolenic acid 28.5%
Arachidic acid 0.9%
Eicosenoic acid 0.45%
Eicosadienoic acid 0.15%
Behenic acid 0.2%
Docosenoic acid 0.15%
Natural d-alpha-tocopherol 0.1%

With all of these wonderful benefits, it makes sense to harness the potent power of the CO₂ extracted oil neat in our cold-pressed Rose Hip Oil.

It can also be found in Bio Lipid Complex, the perfect formula for restoring an impaired barrier. Nectar Treatment Balm, which has been created to heal on a deeper level; delivering delicate, traumatised skin from irritation and inflammation, is also rich in rosehip seed oil.

Because the oil only has a shelf life of 6 months, we use an organic CO₂ extract obtained through supercritical extraction that uses carbon dioxide as the solvent.

Wound-Healing/Anti-Scar Recipe

3-5% Sea Buckthorn
2-3% Carrot seed
1% Calendula CO₂
1% Rosemary
1% Comfrey
3% Helichrysum, known for its regenerative ketones

Add the above ingredients to our rosehip seed oil base.

What to look out for when purchasing this oil

Like all good things in life, this gorgeous elixir does have its downside.

It is a little bit like “buyer, beware” – especially when it comes to the purity and the active nature of the oil.

It would help if you were careful, because the cold-pressed version doesn’t have a long shelf life, and it can quickly go rancid due to all the wonderful unsaturated bonds.

Rose hip oil only has a shelf life of about 6 months, so here at the Naked Chemist, we only use a CO₂ extract that is certified organic, obtained through supercritical extraction that uses carbon dioxide as the solvent. The oil is then stabilised further with Vitamin E to give it more longevity.


To recap, rose hip seed oil has some great anti-oxidants and free radical scavenger benefits. It is extremely moisturising, and the oleic acid helps make it a wonderful softening oil on the skin.

It has great barrier repair and anti-inflammatory properties from all the linoleic and linolenic acid. If that is not enough, there is a possibility that it can help with signs of photo-ageing and scar reduction.

Wow, with all these lovely benefits, we think you’d agree this really could be the holy grail of skincare.


Topical Tretinoin: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Volume 15, Issue 4, Part 2, Pages 836-859, October 1986• Topical tretinoin for photoaged skin Albert M. Kligman, M.D., PhD, Gary L. Grove, PhD, Ryoji Hirose, M.D., James J. Leyden, M.D.
Rosehip oil how it matters:
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Rosehip, healthy beginnings:
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93 thoughts on “Rose Hip Seed Oil: the Holy Grail of Botanicals

        • Samantha Miller says:

          Hi, thankyou for reaching out; whilst most vegetable oils oxidize over time and eventually become rancid, oils differ in the type of fats they contain and the rate at which they oxidize and deteriorate. Highly saturated oils, like coconut oil which is nearly 85% saturated fat, have a stable shelf life. Oils rich in essential fatty acids and other polyunsaturated fats are the most nourishing for our skin. Still, they are also the most fragile of the oils like rosehip, their shelf life is generally shorter than oils that contain saturated and monounsaturated fats. Samantha

  1. rabia says:

    hi samantha,
    i would like to ask if i can use rose hip seed oil for my hyperpigmentation that resulted from popping my pimple and how long will it take to to see the results and i am going to order mine from life flo health. is it fine?

  2. roshni says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Your insights are quite well researched. I was wondering if you could you help me with some specifics about Rosehip extraction process. I have been trying to get my own supercritical extraction done and I must say even with all the available data there is nothing conclusive on its process variables (such as temp./time /pressure/ quantity).
    for eg. how much ingredient is required to produce one kg/litre oil. what is the right temp. as high heat destroys any valuable nutrient in Rosehips. what pressure to be used? I have been trying for a long time to get this inf. could u kindly help me.

  3. Patricia Mandolla says:

    I bought some rosehip oil on eBay it was in a plastic container it has a yellow honey color the lady said it was unrefined do you think I was had

  4. Briana says:

    I brought some
    Rosehip essential oil from Marshall’s. I don’t know if I was using way to much because I was putting it on my whole body like body oil. I didn’t know I was suppose to use one or 2 drops. I began feeling nauseated, dizzy and lightheaded. I also have anemia and heard that it’s not recommended for people who are anemic. Do you know about the side effects?

  5. Renata says:

    Hi, I bought some rosehip oil about 10 months ago and have completely forgotten about it, but it has been stored in a dark dry place the whole time. It has a bit of a strange odor to it that it didn’t have before, is it still safe to use on the face? I know it might not have the same effects anymore but I just love the moisturizing feeling of it, just wondering if it’s still safe to use!

  6. Victoria Skinner says:

    Hello Samantha,

    I was wondering what your opinion on rose hip infusion within a carrier oil is? I have an abundance of wild rose hips in my area that I’d like to pick. I know that extracting the seeds in vast quantities is difficult and that the hips contain irritants. I plan to infuse a small quantity of whole hips in another oil such as almond oil (or would you recommend another?). I’m hoping will extract some of the great benefits of rose hip seed oil. I’d love to know your opinion on this method and any tips for preservation etc.

    Kind regards,

  7. Allie says:

    Can i just get the name of a good place to buy the Rosehip seed oil? Is Mountain Rose herbs and good one ? I use it for skin care want to get the best ! Thanks!!

  8. M says:

    Hi Samantha.
    I bought organic, cold pressed rosehip oil a month ago and have always stored it in the fridge. However, I kept it in the fridge for straight 5 days. Upon taking it out today, it seemed to have frozen. It’s back to liquid form at room temperature now. I wanted to know is it safe to use it? Or has it gone rancid?

  9. Erica says:

    Hello Samantha!
    I was wondering what your thoughts were, I have been using rosehip oil almost 4 months now- i have these white bumps (acne scars) on my chest and back and I haven’t noticed much of a difference. I know it will not make them go away completely but I was hoping it might diminish their look. Ive gotten them at different times since freshman year of high school and I just finished my sophomore year of college. They annoy me so much!! and Ive heard countless times laser removal probably wont help- so Im just looking for some positive feedback 🙂 thank you!!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi erica

      Hard to consult like this, its most certainly hormonal grade 3 by the sounds of it though. I don;t think laser treats this but I am not 100% sure Overtime they will go away, my advise is don’t pick infection spreads and they will scar. Use linoleic acid internally, do your research on why we need omegas to treat acne. Use fuller earth masks on your back, stay away from harsh chemicals and possibly occasionally use Salicylic acid to flush out the follicular wall. You can go to the doctor and they could prescribe you roaccutane but again this is a last resort as has adverse side effects. Hope this helps. samantha

  10. Kate says:

    Hi Samantha!

    Thanks for all the helpful info here. I am wondering if I need to refrigerate if I am using rosehip oil in an oil mixture. I have two mixtures that both have a bit of Rosemary and Carrot Seed as a preservative. I had hesitated to refrigerate as I use them daily and see it is better to wait 12 hours before use after refrigeration. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Kate

      Yes I think refrigerating them could help, but in saying that in a dark bottle in a cool place is suffice. Carrot and Rosemary are both natural antioxidants so great for helping with preamture ageing to..good luck

  11. Jewle says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I’m new to Rose Hip (seed) oil. After buying my 1st bottle of Rose Hip Seed oil on line, I searched to buy another & found Rose Hip oil. Hmm, what happened to the “seed” I wondered.

    I did some searching & found a site that said the Rose hip seed oil is oil extracted from just the seed, whereas Rose Hip oil is from the whole “fruit.”

    IF this is true (?), which is better to purchase? with seed or without? The prices were about the same. I’m using for directly on face for ache, wrinkles, nourish skin, & use on arms & hands for dryness, as well as on my husbands eczema.

    Thank you :0)

  12. Emm says:

    Hi Samantha
    Thank you for the great post and the thread , really cleared most of my queries
    However there are few things i’d like to know.
    I’m planning to get rosehip oil ( in large quantity 2 ltrs) and refill smaller dropper bottles (mix with other oils such as pumpkin seed etc), i heard that nitrogen is added to increase its shelf life once being bulk packed.
    i)In case where i open the 2 ltr container does it mean ill have to add nitrogen to it to ensure it maintains the shelf life for the remaining oil?
    ii)if im refilling smaller bottles would it have the same shelf life as the bulk or would it get affected in anyway?
    iii) Should i go for Organic non CO2 or CO2 oil


    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Emm
      Thank you for your feedback and enquiry. This is a really good question and one I don’t know the answer to because i don’t bulk pack it. I would go back to your supplier and ask them. However if you find out I would love to know the answer.

  13. Grace-Anne says:

    I recently bought a different brand of rosehip seed oil than my usual brand and this new one isn’t the deep orange colour, it’s more of a deep pink. Now I’m worried that I might have bought something ‘fake’. What’re your thoughts?

  14. Annie says:

    Hi, I purchased a small bottle of rosehip seed oil a while ago and have noticed that it’s gone rancid, (the color has changed and it smells acidic) but I feel terrible throwing the remainder (about half of it) away. Do you think any significant harm will come to my hair or skin if I still decide to use it like that, even though I know it’s not a potent as it can be, or is it unsafe to use the oil once it turns rancid? Thank you.

  15. Sue J. says:

    I purchase mine from Dr. Mercola’s website. It is a very golden/orange color, thick and earthy smelling, I love it !! Also, reasonably priced. Hope this helps!

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