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Research Shows How Rose Hip Oil May Benefit The Skin

Updated on January 4, 2014

Topical Application Of Rose Hip Oil

Nature's Best

Rose Hip oil grows on a bush, not in a laboratory. It is a product of nature, not of science and studies show that it works. Don’t you agree that even the name sounds wholesome? Sounds so much nicer than say, ‘Skintastic Night Serum formulated with Derma-bond tx’ (patent pending)!


Rose Hip Oil is derived from a rose belonging to the Rosacea family, which grows wild in Chile. Classified botanically as Rosa aff. Rubiginosa, the species is favoured for the commercial production of its oil because of the high content of certain active elements. These include essential fatty acids, known to help regenerate and repair the skin; properties understood by Chilean natives for centuries. However, it is only since the late 1970’s that clinical research has attempted to evaluate and verify those properties.

Rose Hip Oil contains the following fatty acids:-

Oleic- 13.9%

Palmitic- 3.7%

Linoleic- 44.4%

Linolenic- 35%


Rose Hip Oil is traditionally used for scarring, stretch marks, burns and photo-aging; including wrinkles, dry skin and pigmentation. There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that the oil is able to shrink the pores. Its efficacy was originally believed to stem from the high content of unsaturated essential fatty acids, essential for healthy skin cell when ingested because such oils are components of cell membrane and prostoglandins (local messenger hormones). However, according to a study carried out by Kehl and Pareja in 1990, this did not explain the oil's ability to repair and regenerate. This was explained by the content of retinoic acid within the oil. Retinoic acid is a product of Vitamin A. This is the same retinoic acid, contained in many expensive skin care brands, known to help stimulate the growth of collagen. The oil also contains high quantities of Vitamin C and E, which further promote healthy skin. It could be concluded then, that the oil acts as a skin nutrient with the added bonus of being beautifully packaged by Mother Nature in such a way that irritants are minimised in the way that their active ingredients work together.

Other Studies

Not surprisingly very few studies have been carried out into the efficacy of Rose Hip Oil,(it is not possible to patent a wild rose bush!). In other words research costs a good deal of money and skin care research is generally carried out by pharmaceutical and/or cosmetic companies. Such lack of ‘scientific evidence’ then has to be weighed against centuries of pure common sense and observation. Having said that a study in 2006, was carried out by Concha et al, (Pharmaceutical Faculty, Pontificia University, Valparaiso, Chile) to compare the effects of cold-pressing the oil as opposed to using organic solvent for extraction. This showed a marked improvement via cold pressing for retinoic acid content.

Other studies, show only minuscule amounts of retinoic acid in the oil and a more recent study carried out at King's College was unable to find any trace of retinoic acid within the oil. This then begs the question, as to the source of the oil in these differing studies. Certainly it is known that differing plant species and different extraction methods produce variable chemical constituents. The oil is also extremely fragile and needs to be kept refrigerated. But its properties of repair and regeneration are so well established that perhaps it is the combination of chemical constituents that comprise an effective whole. I suppose the lesson is to take care to purchase the oil from a reputable source and don't keep it forever!


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