IT'S probably not the first oil you'd think of when you think of moisturising your skin, nor is it the first one you'll pick up when you visit the health food store, but rose hip seed oil is the secret ingredient you've been missing in your skincare routine.
Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr are sold on its wonders, and so should you be, aesthetician Nicola Meredith said, as even though it can get a bit pricey, its benefits are enormous.
“It will reduce fine wrinkles, aid with scarring, even out your skin and give you a supple, beautiful complexion,” Meredith said.
“Women of all ages can use it, but for the older woman it will regenerate and heal her skin, and increase collagen production.”
Meredith, who herself religiously uses the oil, says it's safe to use morning and night, in addition to your regular moisturiser and under your make-up.
“Personally I can attest to it working, and working well,” she said. “A year ago I had surgery and was left with a scar on my abdomen. I got a prescription creme, but even after the dosage time ended, there was no improvement to my scar. I started using rose hip seed oil daily, and literally within weeks my scar was fading. Today, it's barely visible, and I use the oil on my face at night as a moisturiser and constantly get complimented on my skin.”
Rose hip seed oil is derived from pressing the seeds of the wild rose bush Rosa rubiginosa. It can also be extracted from Rosa canina, a wild rose species native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia.
Rose hip seed oil is high in the essential fatty acids linoleic acid or omega-6, and a-linolenic acid or omega-3.
A 2017 study, Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils, published online in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, found that in studying the effects of topically applied rose hip oil on skin pathology, there was a definite yes for its effect on ageing skin, as well as being an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and a possible effect on skin barrier repair.
The study noted that the efficacy of topical rose hip seed oil together with oral fat-soluble vitamins on different inflammatory dermatitis such as eczema, neurodermatitis, and cheilitis saw promising findings of its use on these inflammatory dermatoses.
Meredith also pointed to another study, done in 2015, which showed that rose hip seed powder improves wrinkles and skin elasticity. ( The effectiveness of a standardized rose hip powder, containing seeds and shells of Rosa canina, on cell longevity, skin wrinkles, moisture, and elasticity – Phetcharat et al).
“It's also high in vitamins like Vitamin C, which will help with pigmentation issues, and will improve the look of your scars after surgery,” Meredith said.
“Your skin will also absorb it easily, and it's non-greasy, which means you won't have to worry about breakouts,” she added. “In fact, it will help with any inflammation you have, whether it's acne or eczema or another condition.”
She cautions though that you pay attention to what oil you're buying, as there are many fakes on the market.
“The best is organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil, as this would have preserved all of the quality of the oil. If it's not cold pressed, and is extracted using heat, the linoleic acid and the vitamin A degrade when the oil extraction process involves heat.
“The smell should also be woody, slightly rancid, and not rose-like at all. Just like pure, unrefined castor oil, you know you're getting the good stuff when it smells like the earth.”