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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.

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:
Rosehip oil:
Rosehip, healthy beginnings:
Rosehip seed oil:
A foundation for beauty:


93 thoughts on “Rose Hip Seed Oil: the Holy Grail of Botanicals

  1. Shannon says:

    Hi, thank you for this article! I’m a new rosehip seed oil user and I have a feeling my bottle is not the greatest quality (purchased on Amazon). I definitely would like to purchase a CO2 extracted version (not on Amazon where it’s stored for God knows how long) – do you have any personal recommendations on where to buy in the US? Many thanks!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Shannon
      I am sure there are places in the US but I am not sure exactly where you can get really high quality from. In the Uk I get mine from Fragrant Earth, the quality is amazing and they literally store it under pressure before it is shipped. Good luck Samantha

  2. Colleen says:

    Thank you for all of this wonderful information! I recently purchased bottles of cold pressed rose hip seed oil for myself and my two daughters. One of my daughters is pregnant and the other is nursing. I noticed in a previous post that you said the oil was safe to use during pregnancy. Would you be able to share your source for this information so I can pass it in to my daughter? Also, do you know about safety for nursing mothers and if so, what again is the source of information?
    I used the oil on my body and face after a shower today and my skin still feels soft and hydrated 13 hours later!
    Thank you in advance for answering my questions!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Colleen glad you appreciated the article and noted is your success with the oil, so pleased for you. Colleen there is no one source that discusses the safety of rose hip seed oil, but there is a lot of evidence around that points towards its beneficial application during pregnancy. Basically it is not a herb or essential oil, so it contains no properties that are harmful, i hope this helps. Regards Samantha

  3. Rebecca says:

    Hi, I know this is an old post but looks like it is still active with comments. I bought some rose hip seed oil which is slightly yellow (ever so slightly, almost clear) and I’m guessing that means it’s been refined? In your experience is there much benefit to using an unrefined oil vs. refined in terms of anti-aging? Btw, I noticed your post said that rose hip seed oil is full of vitamin C but since C is water soluble, I don’t think the oil contains any. Thanks for any info!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Rebecca Rosehip seed oil is really delicate anyway with a very short shelf life, once it has been refined it has very little benefit to the skin.. Yes i have since learnt that much of the vitamin C in rose hips is destroyed during drying and processing and also declines rapidly during storage, so I will amend my article. Thank you Samantha

  4. Amalynn says:

    Hello there everyone,
    I bought my first bottle of rosehip oil (super excited) I ordered it online and it was super hot when it was delivered. The odor smells like a chicken or fry seasoning. I really have to rub the oil into my skin because it is so orange, it changes the color of my skin. Are these all signs that my rosehip oil has gone bad or is this normal for this oil? Thank you all for listening.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      The colour is normalunrefined/raw rosehip seed oil tends to be golden/orange, thicker, and have a pungent, earthy, scent which is due to a high content of fatty acids. I hope this helps. The colour is key if ti wasn’t orange it would of gone through a refining bleaching process. Samantha

  5. Jackie says:

    Hello, I just came across your website and want to first off say Thank You for such great information! Just yesterday I bought a bottle of rose hip oil and went to see the label just now and it says cold pressed, not fresh cold pressed, I don’t know if there is a difference, where do you recommend getting the CO2 extracted rose hip oil? I looked around a bit and I found some places sell CO2 extracted “seed” rose hip oil, not extracted from the hip of the rose, is that the same? Again thank you for your information!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hello Jackie
      I do apologise for the late delay. They are both the same thing, for purchasing it depends where you are based, but in the Uk fragrant earth offers a wonderful co2 rosehip oil that is kept at low temperatures until you purchase, its really a lovely product I hope this helps. Samantha

  6. Sam says:

    Hello! I was wondering if this oil will help with acne scars and hyperpigmentation? I have acne scars all over my back and I was hoping this could get rid of the darkness to them (I am brown so my scars are dark brown not red like most people). Please reply if you can with information regarding this oil and acne scars on darker complexions! thank you

  7. Amanda says:

    Hello! I purchased a rosehip oil through Amazon. It is a very Amber color with a distinct earthy scent but when applying it on the skin it slightly stains the skin with a yellowish tinge. Is this normal? Thank you so much for any help. Finding info on rosehip oil online is a little difficult.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hello Amanda, difficult to ascertain without seeing but yes it should have an odour which is due to the rich amount of fatty acids, and it should be a nice yellowish orange colour, because it is rich in beta carotenes and it also indicates it has not gone through any bleaching, so sounds like a good purchase. I hope this has helped.

      • Sharyl Geyer says:

        I purchased rosehip seed oil yesterday and was curious about the scent! It smells fishy to me… is that considered an earthy smell?! And it needs to be stored in a cool, dark place, right?

        • Samantha Miller says:

          Hi Sharyl
          I suspect it maybe ok, a fresh rosehip oil will have this fishy smell almost earthy, absolutely store in a cool dark place and use within 6 months 3 to be on the safe side, hope this helps Samantha

          • Organic Body Shop Factory says:

            For Rosehip oil
            If it smells fish
            Pour it into a clear container to check to see if their are any particles that may be mold. If it is one color then it should be safe.
            If not call the company and tell them as all the home crafters are great but if you get mold into to a item then it will cause all kinds of problems on our skin and if we ingest it.
            Better safe than sorry

  8. Kinga says:

    Hello Samatha, thank you for all that interesting information! I have a question about Rosehip CO2 since not sure I understood you well – can I use Rosehip CO2 instead Rosa Canina Oil as base oil (for example in face serum)? Can CO2 be 50% of the recipe?

  9. Suzz says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I have recently bought a cold press rosehip seed oil ,this is the first time I am using this oil so I am not sure if the smell and color of the oil is normal?But there is a distinct type of smell which I can not describe.On the box there is no production date but expiry date shows 2017? How can I be sure that oil is still good?

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Suzz
      This is really difficult to answer, it just smells rancid which is really hard to describe and know without smelling it myself. You just get a nose for it, try against other oils basically it shouldn’t have to much of an odour if it is ok. Hope this helps.

  10. Jenni says:

    I have hypertropic scars on my face. They have made me very self conscious as I used to have very clear skin until I picked obsessively at minor blemishes and ingrown eyebrow hairs. My Dermatillomania worsened significantly after being prescribed Adderall and DHEA in the same time frame. And my KP skin condition seemed to worsen around the same time which gave me more to pick at. I’ve had 3 rounds of laser treatments, steroid injections and then chose to take a break to try more natural methods. I did extensive online research and decided to go with iodine and castor oil. I have had fair results. They scars have gotten smaller and are peeling off and on. I feel like tbe castor oil provided the most benefit. I am now 8 weeks pregnant and stopped using the castor oil last week after reading that the plant from which it is derived contains ricin and that it is also used by midwives (orally) to help induce labor. I am hoping I did no harm by using it topically?! So now I using olive oil daily and iodine every other day. Do you think I can add or substitute rose hip seed oil? Is it safe to use topically during pregnancy? Thank you for your time.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi thanks so much for reaching out. I think rosehip seed oil is going to be great and no known side effects during pregnancy, be sure to stay away from essential oils as well though. I am interested in your research on iodine and castor oil etc, are you able to expand on this for my readers please, it;s something I have never heard of before? Kind regards Samantha

  11. Lee Ann Robertson says:

    Hi Samantha. Thank you for such an informative website! A lot of the information contained here was just what I was looking for. I’m relatively new to oils and have embarked on a complete overhaul of my daily routine incorporating oils into my cleansing and moisturizing routine. I am however slightly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information on oils, their composition and how they interact with individual skin types. I have very sensitive, dry in patches, oily T-zone and quite congested skin which is extremely frustrating as it falls into a number of categories. I’ve been using a combination of jojoba, avocado and sweet almond oil as my cleansing oil and following up wth rose hip and sweet almond oil as my moisturizer. I worried my skin may become clogged up with the oleic acids in my cleanser and have noticed some bumpy areas but as I haven’t been doing it very long in assuming it’s purging? I’m determined to continue with this natural method as my skin is so reactive to conventional face creams etc and cosmetics also. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I feel I’m confusing my skin a little?

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Lee Ann
      Thank you so much for reaching out to me. It’s so tricky for me to diagnose without first seeing your skin, but ideally Lee ann you certainly sound like you need to customise your skin care routine. I would monitor your skin to see how it is reacting to the oils, have you read my articles on oils? over time, I am not sure about the purging by the way? I think less is best if your skin is super combination and bumpy you may need to use some gentle peels to help break down bacteria. I wld also avoid extracts in products and fragrances and essential oils as they can be to stimulating

  12. jo says:

    Hi i really want to try rosehip in my lotion bars, i have been gathering as much info as i can as these bars are destined for family as gifts. Ive read bad reviews as well as good and as the bars are for others i need to buy the best possible, could you point me to the right suppliers please. Thank you so much your article is so informative i,l definately be visiting again

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Jo.Rosehip seed oil in your lotion bars sounds lovely…I am not sure where you live but for top grade in the UK I would go to Fragrant Earth or Penny Price, but it is a bit pricey and not sure if your going to get full benefit, as if you were using it neat on the skin, would love to know how you get on though enjoy formulating..

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Analynn.I’m not implying that you have to get obsessive over your rosehip oil, I think a couple of weeks is fine to travel with it, it’s more about the purity at source your buying it from and understanding how to check it for rancidity..hope this helps

  13. Natalie says:

    Hi Samantha,
    First, thank you for this site and all of the helpful information you provide! I appreciate your professionalism, attention to detail, science- and evidence-based info, responses and practice.

    I am making a mango body butter with Rose Hip Seed Oil and have selected a product using CO2 extraction, per your guidance. Due to cost I will not use this freely (or almost neat), as I have in the past, with the more affordable, cold-pressed. Therefore, I want to use just enough to be effective. I was very excited to find some additional guidance from you. In reading the following statement from your website I just want to clarify, as it reads slightly contradictory:

    “Rose hip seed oil, can be applied neat on the skin or within a formulation. Using it neat suits many of our customers and we have seen good results with inclusions as low as 10%. 5% is the recommended amount to use in skin cream formulas”

    Are are saying that YOU all see results as low as 10%, but the industry standard is only 5%? So I should aim for 10% right?

    Many thanks!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Natalie
      Thanks for reaching out and for your lovely comments, really glad you find the information useful. Natalie I guess what I am trying to say is for those considering formulating, I would include at least 5% in a formulation to get any type of result, however for my clients in clinic I use up to 10% in their personalised oil blends to really get results maybe even more it all depends on the skin condition I am treating. Sometimes dare I say it even use it neat on my skin! I guess it all comes down to cost and stability; Whilst it is a lovely oil, it’s tricky because it’s shelf life is so low. When Rosehip goes rancid it pulls down the rest of the product..try the smell test yourself sometime on bottles that have been sat on department shelves for ages, sometimes you really can tell. I find many companies simply use it for marketing purposes (one very famous New Zealand company instantly springs to mind), they get away with it by adding only very small percentages, which really have no benefit at all, frustrating to see as a formulater and frustrating for customers who really want to see results, which is why education is so key..hope this goes some way to answering your question Natalie.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Jonty, yes it will help to repair the skin to a point, but it’s not going to completely reverse the burns and it will also depend on the age of the burn. You may want to reach out to a company called fragrant earth in the Uk, I know they have excellent grade Rose hip oil and that the owner Jan Kusmerick has had good results with treating burns with blends he has made…good luck.

  14. Joy says:


    Thank you for the very informative post. I have a question and wonder if you can help me.

    I bought 2 bottles of rosehip oil recently and only opened one. I kept the unopened bottle in the refrigerator thinking that it will help “preserve” it while I wait for the first bottle to run out. And I think it would take me more than 6 months to finish the first bottle. Do u think the 2nd bottle will still be good for use after then? (I don’t plan on taking the second bottle out of the fridge.)

    Hope to hear from you.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi, oils by their very nature are prone to oxidation reactions, which will turn them rancid over time. So Keeping your oil in the fridge can slow down that process somewhat. Take your oil out the fridge at least 12 hours before you need to use them, this will allow them to naturally adjust to room temperature, because when stored at low temperatures some carrier oils will form fatty particles..hope this helps Jo

  15. Sarah says:

    Hello and thanks for the very informative post. So I got a bottle of rosehip oil a while ago and I opened it there yesterday it has a bit of a smell though. Like a strong oily smell. Do you think it might be oxidized? If it is do you think it’s still effective/safe to use?

    Many thanks,


    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Sarah

      Rosehip does have a very faint odour to it.
      However the strong oily smell is most certainly an indication that the fatty acids are oxidised and no longer potent and won’t give you the results you are looking for. i hope this helps a little.

  16. Victoria says:

    Thank you for this post, so interesting !

    I bought rose hip oil to treat a koleid scar. I apply it every night, and add a drop of Lavender oil. But I’ m a little confused, you say rose hip oil is ok to reduce those scars, but it is supposed to help the production of collagen too ? I trust you but I don’t want my scar to get bigger.
    Thank you!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Victoria
      Unfortunately nothing can completely reverse scarring not even laser treatment, unless the scar is completely new.In our clinic we do are seeing some success with dermarolling but again it won’t completely reverse scarring.
      How much collagen is stimulated by Rosehip seed oil is unknown, but not enough that it will make your keloid scar worse. i hope that helps and should you require any further information please do PM me.


    • Helper says:

      you need steroid treatment: straight injection directly into the scar by a dermatologist. Even this takes years to gradually stop the growth of the scar.

      Rose hip oil will soften your scar after everyday use for a year or two. But don’t stop: it will not make it bigger! Only better skin. Rose hip helps all round.

      I know about keloid scars because I’m from the tropics where collagen is abundant.
      See also:,P00313/

  17. Jennifer says:

    Hello, I just bought some rose hip oil yesterday. There was no warning of a short shelf life so thank you very much for the heads up! Would you advise storing it the refrigerator?

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Jennifer

      i would recommend keeping your oils in a dak cool place, and do remeber it oxidses very qucikly, you can tell that by the smell.Thanks for the heads up by the way.



      • Megan says:

        Would you be able to describe what fresh rosehip oil should smell like, and what rancid rosehip oil smells like?

        And what if you are adding essential oils to it? Would they make it hard to detect the rancidity, or would a person still know?

          • Becca says:

            I am also wondering what rancid rosehip oik smells like. I bought some yesterday and it a very strong odor. Kind of like a cooking oil x10. What is it supposed to smell like?

          • Samantha Miller says:

            I can’t explain rancid oil it is almost musty in fragrance. Note Rosehip oil does naturally have a very slight fishy odor in general. Look at the colour is it slightly orange? due to all the caretonoids and a nice rich texture? then you should be okay. hope this helps samantha

      • M says:

        Hi Samantha. I bought cold, pressed organic rosehip oil a month ago. I’ve kept it in the fridge and take it out only when I’m using it. I kept it in the fridge for 5 days straight without taking it out. However, today when I took it out, it seemed to have frozen. It’s back to what it was before i.e normal orange oil. Is it safe to use it? Or has it gone rancid?

  18. keara says:

    hello samantha miller thank you so much for posting this god sent information,you not only inspired me as a person but made my hair care line better! i cant thank you enough god bless you for eternity!

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