Rose hip oil, also known as rose hip seed oil, is extracted from the seeds of a wild rose bush of the Rosa species. It should not be confused with other types of “rose oil,” including rose essential oil, rose absolute, and rose-infused oil. It is used in aromatherapy practice as a healing carrier oil and you will find it in many skincare blends, too. Here’s a closer look at rose hip oil!
Rose Hip as a Plant
Rose hip is a member of the Rosaceae plant family. It is native to the Andes region of South America, particularly in Peru and Chile, and it has historically been used by South American native people for its therapeutic properties.
The rose hip is a species of wild rose bush which grows to a height of eight feet. The bush has white and pink flowers with fruits of red berry – called rose hips. The presence of carotenoids give the rose hips their bright red color. This particular rose bush goes by several botanical names including Rosa canina, Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa acularis, and Rosa rugosa, in reference to its various characteristics.1 Close species of the plant grow within a short distance of each other, resulting in extractions from various plant species.
Traditional Extraction of Rose Hip Oil
Rose hip oil is extracted from the rose hips traditionally through cold expression; cold pressed oils retain many of the properties which the plant possesses. Rose hip oil is golden red in color, due to the carotenoids present in the original rose hips.
More recently, CO2 extraction has made rosehip seed oil available in a different format. CO2 extracted rose hip oil is closer in comparison to the actual plant and retains a longer shelf life than the cold pressed carrier oil.2
Healing Properties of Rose Hip Oil
Rose hip seed oil has healing properties because of the presence of trans-retinoic acid in rose hip oil. In addition, it has a higher content of vitamin C than oranges. Rose hip oil is anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and it is possibly diuretic (although there are conflicting studies on this). Rose hip oil is particularly useful in skin care; rose hip oil can be used to:
reduce wrinkles (which is why it is popular in skin care creams and lotions)
treat sun damaged skin
hydrate and nourish skin.
Rose hip seed oil is recommended for use in skincare for mature or dry skin. It is easily absorbed into the skin. It is not traditionally recommended for use with oily skin.3
Other Uses of Rose Hip
Historically, rose hips have had several culinary uses; rose hip fruits have been used in herbal teas, syrups and jams. In addition, rose hips were considered a “sweetmeat” in Medieval times.
Learn More About Aromatherapy with Sedona Aromatherapie
Consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program to learn more how rosehip carrier oil is used in aromatic practice!
Price, Len 1999 Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy and Massage UK: Riverhead
Eden Botanicals website, OrganicRose Hip CO2, accessed May 15, 2017
Mountain Rose Herbs website, Rosehip Seed Oil, accessed May 15, 2017
Author is a 20 year veteran in the health care and aromatherapy industry, a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, a consultant, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.