Rosehip oil – a natural retinol

Rosehip oil
Rosehips, from whose seeds rosehip oil is extracted

It almost seems apt that I’m writing about rosehips as we’re going into Autumn (I promise you it is a coincidence). Rosehips make an appearance at this time of year, being the fruit left behind after roses’ petals have dropped. The oil is made from the seeds of rosehips, and is the second oil to go into our blend of face oil.

Rosehip oil. It is a champion oil for sensitive skins. It was my saviour when my skin was reactive and I was unable to even have water anywhere near it, back when I was starting to discover the strengthening and nourishing power of face oils. I call those days my elephant skin days, because that was exactly what my skin looked like; completely unrecognisable from the lumpy eczema and lesions, forcing me to stay indoors for weeks until my skin had healed.

Rosehip oil works well because it has a high linoleic and linolenic acid content, making it thinner and more readily absorbed by skin, helping it to retain moisture, which in turn brings some comfort to reactive skin. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions also make it suitable for sensitive skins. The Duchess of Cambridge is said to use rosehip oil in her skincare routine too.



Retinols and retinoids (derivatives of Vitamin A) are promoted as ingredients which should be in everyone’s skincare routine, because they can help support skin cell regeneration. They are recommended by dermatologists for the treatment of acne, reduction of pigmentation, and smoothing of wrinkles. Retinol, when applied to skin, converts into trans-retinoic acid, which is the active which does all the hard work on skin.

Retinol itself is synthetic, making it difficult to include in a natural skincare routine. It is also quite strong (harsh), and can cause increased sensitivity in skin, which is not great for anyone with sensitive skin. Personally, I find it too harsh for my skin, but also want the beneficial effects it can provide – skin cell regeneration.

This is where rosehip oil comes into its own – it contains Vitamin A, which is a natural trans-retinoic acid. This is the active which assists with cell regeneration and increasing levels of collagen and elastin in skin.



Rosehip oil also contains Vitamins E and C, anti-oxidants which, when paired together, work hard to protect skin from environmental aggressors and pollution. They help to even out skin tone and brighten skin, working synergistically together – Vitamin C works on the top layers of skin whilst Vitamin E penetrates deeper into skin to work its magic there.

The Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) in rosehip oil help boost hydration in skin and restore elasticity, as they are able to travel through the outer layers of skin with ease, and work to create healthy cell membranes¹. EFAs are the building blocks to healthy cell membranes, which is why it is encouraged that they be a part of a healthy diet.



Rosehip oil is one of the few oils which has been clinically proven to smooth wrinkles, fade scars, help smooth the skin, and boost moisture levels.

Full disclosure, they are not my clinical trials. Studies have been carried out to test the efficacy of rosehips on wrinkles, moisture levels, elasticity in skin, and fading of scars. If you’re a science geek like me, then read some of the studies here, and here. You can find more studies if you google them :).



This is important to know when selecting oils in general. Cold pressed oils are ones which have been extracted without the use of solvents or heat, helping to retain their nutritional content. This ensures there are no unwanted by-products in the oil, which can sometimes be left behind with solvent extraction. All our nut and seed oils are extracted using the cold pressed method, including rosehip oil. Our rosehip oil comes from France.



I am of the opinion if something is good or healthy enough to eat, then it is good enough to put on skin. Oils contain a lot of nutrients, which can feed skin both from the inside and out.


¹  Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health, Oregon State University, 2012

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