When people think of roses, the image that usually comes to mind is the bright-red bouquets people give their loved ones on romantic occasions. But, just as an apple starts with a flower bud, the rose also produces a fruit. On a rose plant, a small red, orange, or dark purple fruit manifests itself after the petals fade. It’s smooth, round, and generally between 0.6 and 0.8 inches long. We call this fruit a rose hip, and it turns out to be as nutrient-dense as the hemp plant. What’s more, it also seems to be an ingredient you may want to seriously consider adding to your skincare routine. In fact, many popular brands in the skincare industry now feature rose hip seed oil. In this post, we reveal the reasons why.
What Are Rose Hips?
While it may seem strange to think of a rose plant bearing fruit, all seed-bearing fruit comes from flowers. First, seed dispersal occurs after animals ingest the fruit and excrete it in their feces. Plants grow from the excreted seeds, producing flowers, and finally fruits.
Not all fruits are edible, however. Humans ignore some fruits because they’re poisonous, such as holly berries. Other fruits may simply taste unpalatable to humans. So, they are left for the birds and bears to enjoy. However, rose hips are edible, nutritious, and have been used by humans in a variety of ways for centuries.
All roses produce some sort of fruit, but a few varieties are especially valued for the size and quality of their fruits. Two popular varieties of these roses are the Japanese rose (R. rugosa) and the dog rose (R. canina). These are wild roses, and they generally have unassuming looking blooms, with just a single row of pink or white petals. When those petals fall away, the fruit manifests itself. It starts out green, then changes from orange to a deep, rich red color (1).
The rose hip is technically considered a “pseudo fruit,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a fake fruit. A “pseudo fruit” doesn’t originate from the flower’s ovary but from some nearby tissue — in this case, the rose stem. Apples, strawberries, and plums fall into the same classification of fruits. Rose hips have been used as both a food and medicinal ingredient for thousands of years — and humans continue to be fascinated by them.
A Historical Food Still Enjoyed by Many
Mentions of the rose plant are found far back in the historical record. Historians say that references to it can be seen on clay tablets from Mesopotamia. The ancient Roman scholar Pliny the Elder recorded a number of ways to use roses, taking advantage of the petals, hips, and seeds. The Greek poet Sappho even wrote about roses in 600 B.C., calling them the “queen of the flowers.” Throughout the ages, humans have revered roses both for their beauty and varied uses.
Wild roses are found in many parts of the world, so different cultures developed ways to use them in traditional medicines and as a nutritious food source (2). In particular, rose hips have been used to create medicine to treat ailments such as kidney stones, hypertension, stomach ailments, and respiratory problems (3). As recently as World War II, doctors used them to prevent scurvy, due to their high vitamin C content.
Because these fruits are so high in many nutrients, they’re a popular food for foragers today. People collect, dry, and process the hips. Once the fine hairs inside the fruits have been removed, people use the fruits in a number of ways. They can be steeped to make tea, cooked into a syrup, mixed into a salve, and even turned into jelly or jam. Rose hips have a bright, tangy, and tart flavor.
But, although there are many great ways to use rose hips, we’re most interested in the oil that comes from the seeds.
How Rose Hip Seed Oil Is Made
Rose hip seed oil isn’t something that can generally be made at home, because it requires specialized equipment. Commercial producers harvest the hips in October or November. The fruit must be hand-picked, then cleaned, peeled, and chopped. As you can imagine, this makes it a labor-intensive process because so much of it must be done by hand.
The seeds must be removed from the flesh of the fruit before further processing. Meanwhile, the oil is extracted by one of three methods. Producers can opt for supercritical extraction, which uses a carbon dioxide gas at high pressure. Or, they can try solvent extraction, which involves chemicals such as hexane. The last method comprises a cold press extraction. Based on our mission of Wellness Through Oneness, you can probably guess what our preferred method is. We think that cold press extraction generally produces the highest quality rose hip seed oil.
If you’d like to explore the positive effects of rose hip seed oil, it’s best to use oil that has been extracted from just the seeds, not the whole fruit. When we extract oil from the whole fruit, we call it “rose hip oil,” rather than “rose hip seed oil.” Although the flesh of the rose hip is very nutrient-dense, extracting oil from the whole fruit dilutes the biologically active ingredients in the seeds.
And as it turns out, there are some very interesting compounds to be found in rose hip seed oil.
What's In Rose Hip Seed Oil?
Tucked deep inside the flesh of the rose hip is a seed, and for something so small, it packs a powerful punch. Its oil is rich in a number of phytochemicals, the biologically active compounds found in plants. These substances protect plants from things like UV damage, and so they have potent antioxidant properties that make them especially healthy.
The phytochemicals that are found in rose hip seed oil include phenolic compounds, carotenoids, provitamin A (naturally-occurring retinol), and vitamin C. This special oil also contains iron, copper, and tocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E. And, it’s lipid-rich, composed of roughly 50% polyunsaturated fatty acids, including the omega 3 fatty acid linolenic acid and the omega 6 fatty acid linoleic acid.
Rose hip seed oil has been demonstrated to have a high antioxidant capacity. This, combined with its high levels of essential fatty acids, makes it resistant to oxidative damage (4). Basically, not only does the oil contain a number of beneficial compounds, but it also protects itself from breaking down. This is important because polyunsaturated fatty acids can be very fragile and easily oxidized (5).
Researchers have discovered that these compounds offer extensive health benefits to humans.
The Many Benefits of Rose Hips
Scientists continue to study the effects of rose hips on a number of health conditions. A powder form of the dried fruit has been shown to reduce osteoarthritis pain better than a placebo when taken as a supplement (7) (9). Rose hips are also being studied for their possible anti-inflammatory effects (6). Scientists focus on rose hips because don’t seem to irritate the stomach or cause the internal bleeding that often accompanies heavy NSAID use.
There’s a movement in research to study traditional remedies, so scientists can identify properties that can be used to improve or even replace modern medications. Considering how widely they’ve been used in traditional medicine, rose hips are garnering significant attention. Scientists have already identified potential neuroprotective properties in the fruit (11). And, multiple studies are looking into how rose hips may be used to combat cancer, diabetes, obesity, and gastrointestinal disease.
Clearly, this oft-overlooked fruit has more to offer than many people realize. One of the promising areas of study is looking into what rose hip seed oil can do for the skin.
Rose Hip Seed Oil and the Skin
With devotees that include supermodel Miranda Kerr and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, rose hip seed oil is an extremely popular skincare product. When Kerr mentioned in an interview that she uses the oil religiously, consumers took notice. Indeed, both Kerr and the Duchess have beautiful skin, and we believe that science supports their devotion to rose hip seed oil.
The high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids that it contains make the oil a non-greasy moisturizer. But, the effects of these lipids go beyond that. They also help soothe inflammatory skin conditions by repairing the skin’s barrier (6).
The vitamins that are found in the oil, especially vitamin C and tocopherol, have strong antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are the subject of a lot of interest in skincare because they help combat premature aging (10). The combination of anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants can help restore collagen in the skin, reducing wrinkles as well as smoothing scars.
Research also suggests that rose hip seed oil may even prevent UV damage to the skin. This seems to go beyond repairing injuries to the skin after the fact. Rose hip seed oil actually prevents the sun’s rays from causing damage. The same phytochemicals that work to protect the rose plant from UV damage may be able to shield the skin, as well (8).
In addition, the provitamin A that rose hip seed oil contains is a natural form of retinol, which dermatologists maintain is the “gold standard” for fighting signs of premature aging.
By all indications, rose hip oil’s reputation as a skin-nourishing, anti-aging beauty aid has good scientific backing. And, that explains our interest in it, as well.
Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Facial Cream
Given all the promising research that centers on what rose hip seed oil can do for your skin, we’re excited to include it in our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Facial Cream. Of course, we’re big believers in what hemp can do for the skin, and to amplify those benefits we’ve added carefully selected ingredients to deliver impressive results. Soothing aloe vera juice and the skin-pampering extracts of rice bran and rosemary leaf are just a few of the potent but gentle ingredients in our skin cream.
In particular, rose hip seed oil is one of the more important ingredients you’ll find in our nutrient-rich, antioxidant-packed facial cream. Our focus on hemp began long before the current public interest in CBD products. Just as we base our products on a scientific understanding of hemp, our decision to include rose hip seed oil is based on fact, not hype.
Having considered the research, we feel that rose hip seed oil makes our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Facial Cream a superior product. This unmatched facial cream is a nourishing blend of oils and botanicals that delivers the best of hemp to your skin. If you’re wondering “What is Full-Spectrum Hemp?” then we’ve got an answer for you.
Experience the Synchronicity Difference
To ensure we can deliver all of hemp’s beneficial compounds, we’ve developed our unique hand-pressed LipidTrans™ Infusion Process. This technique creates a Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil that is highly bioavailable, and it gently pulls the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytochemicals out of the hemp without damaging them.
This careful handling also makes it possible for us to remove the full complement of important phytochemicals from the plant, including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. All of these beneficial compounds interact in special ways to give our Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil a True Entourage Effect.
Thus, the inclusion of rose hip seed oil in our hemp face cream is one more way Synchronicity cares for your skin. Try it today and see the difference it can make. If you’re no stranger to rose hip seed oil, tell us which products you’ve used and whether you were happy with the results. Share your thoughts with us or check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more information about the world’s best beauty products.
- Encyclopedia.com. (2020 August 22)
- Be Healthy Now. (2019 August 9) The Complete Guide to Rose Hip Oil: How it’s Made, How to Use It, How to Store & More
- ScienceDirect. R. Kadir, F. Anwar. 2020. Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
- ScienceDirect. M. Grajzer, A. Precha et al. (2015 December 1) Characteristics of rosehip (Rosa canina L.) cold-pressed oil and its oxidative stability studied by the differential scanning calorimetry method
- Taylor & Francis Online. H. Ilyasoglu. (2014 March 21) Characterization of Rosehip (Rosa canina L.) Seed and Seed Oil
- National Institutes of Health. L. Zhong, J.L. Santiago et al. (2017 December 27) Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils
- Australian Family Physician (2012 July) Rose Hip: An evidence based herbal medicine for inflammation and arthritis
- National Library of Medicine. Z. Ayati, M.S. Amiri et al. (2018) Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Pharmacological Profile of Rose Hip: A Review
- ScienceDirect. R. Christensen et al. (2008 September) Does the hip powder of Rosa canina (rosehip) reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients? – a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
- Good Housekeeping. (2018 July 19) 7 Amazing Benefits of Adding Rosehip Oil to Your Skincare Routine
- Current Nanomedicine. H. Kayath et al. (2019) In-vitro Estimation of Photo-Protective Potential of Rose Hip Seed Oil and QbD Based Development of a Nanoformulation