Known for being packed full of antioxidants, its mega-rich hydrating properties and its ability to heal scars, rosehip oil sounds like a magical cure for the skin. But is it really all that it pans out to be? We asked two dermatologists to give us the low-down on this viral oil that everyone seems to be talking about (including flawless-skinned supermodel Miranda Kerr and everyone’s favourite, Kate Middleton). Dr Shari Marchbein, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the NYU School of Medicine and Dr Rashmi Shetty, Mumbai-based dermatologist to Bollywood celebrities and member of the international advisory board of the Anti-Ageing World Congress, give us their insight into whether this super oil is worth all of the hype.
What is rosehip oil? Rosehip oil is harvested from the seeds of rose bushes, primarily grown in Chile in South America. It has a long history of use for the skin and hair and dates back as far as 500 BC, when the Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans used it as a beauty remedy due to its healing properties.
What are its benefits? Dr Marchbein says, “Rosehip oil really packs a punch of goodness in only one drop. It is saturated with vitamins like vitamin C, antioxidants such as lycopene, and essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6”. She adds, “These are known anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that can improve the tone and pigmentation of the skin and hydrate it, giving it a rejuvenated and youthful glow. As a powerful antioxidant, rosehip oil can decrease environmental damage and soothe the skin and scalp.” Additionally, since skincare products can be full of harmful parabens and chemicals, rosehip oil is a great natural alternative.
How can it be used? Rosehip oil can be used either heated to a warm temperature or applied cold. Dr Marchbein recommends using it as a cold-pressed oil, which hasn’t been altered by heat so that it retains more nutrients. Compared to other popular oils, this is much lighter in texture and absorbs more easily into the skin, giving faster results.
On your skin: There are various uses for rosehip oil on the skin. Dr Rashmi Shetty says, “It’s a beautiful oil because of its hydrating properties on the skin. The Omega-3 and Omega-6 help moisturise and repair the skin’s surface, aiding in slowing down the ageing process.” Apply it directly after cleansing and toning your skin, ideally in place of or before your skin cream or serum.
For your hair: Rosehip oil can be used on the scalp to treat dandruff and flaking, because of its super-hydrating properties. Just rub it into your scalp, directly before bed as a treatment and wash it out in the morning. “Reinvigorate dry, frizzy or sun-damaged hair by applying the oil directly onto the hair” says Dr Shetty. Use it weekly as a three-to-five minute hair mask before showering or apply it directly onto the ends after shampooing, conditioning and towel drying your hair.
Are there any precautions to keep in mind when using rosehip oil? When used on the skin, rosehip oil is overall quite safe. The oil can also be ingested as a nutritional substitute for food, however, Dr Marchbein advises, “Always consult a physician before taking it orally. Rosehip oil should be avoided while pregnant or nursing. Additionally, those with bleeding disorders should avoid using it since one of its ingredients, Rugosin E, can slow blood clotting”. She further states, “When applied topically, the main risk would be skin sensitivity which can occur with any leave-on product.” Therefore, use cautiously if you have sensitive skin by testing it on your arm for 10 minutes. Also avoid contact with the eyes, ears and nose.