High up in the Andes mountains in Chile grows a remarkable bush: The wild rose plant. Its bright red fruits (hips) contain seeds that are rich in an oil with remarkable properties.
I first came across this Chilean oil 10 years ago when I was sent a sample from Chile. Having come across this oil locally, I was familiar with a pale yellow colour and a slightly fishy smell. The sample I had from Chile, however, was rich orange/red oil with a fresh clean smell. After some research I realised that the oil I had been sent was virgin cold pressed while the other I had known was a poorer quality. I also realised that the fishy smell was the process of the oil going rancid. I was amazed how a simple oil could work so well – and when I researched it I found several papers that cited how effective Rose Hip Oil was for treating post-surgery scarring, acne scarring and premature wrinkles due to sun damage.
As it turns out Rose Hip has many powerful active ingredients:
Fatty Acids: Rose Hip Oil has one of the highest levels of essential fatty acids known. 46 % Linoleic acid and 34 % Linolenic acid. Essential fatty acids are necessary to maintain a healthy skin (both internally & externally), as they are required for cell membranes and are also prostaglandin precursors, providing hormone-like effects, tissue-regenerating and rejuvenation.
Antioxidants: Ascorbic acid, lycopene, lutein, rubixanthin, xanthophyll & zeaxanthin (carotenoids) & flavonoids . These antioxidants give the Rose Hip Oil its typical orange/ red colour. The more intense the colour the higher the antioxidant content. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radical damage.
Trans Retinoic Acid: Researchers in Chile found that Rose Hip Oil contains a compound called trans retinoic acid a form of vitamin A. Most of you will be familiar with a topical drug called
Retin: A licensed for use for wrinkles and acne. This cream, however, has side effects such as excessive dry, red , swollen or blistering. The exact mode of action of retinoic acid is not understood but research suggests that retinoic acid may activate cell receptors resulting in increased cell growth. Rose Hip oil is rich in trans retinoic acid in its natural state (retinol). Since it does not act alone but is one ingredient amongst many, Rose Hip Oil does not have any of the side effects shown by synthetic retinoic acid. Perhaps its high fatty acid and antioxidant content protect the skin . Whatever the mode of action the end result is wrinkle reduction particularly from sun damage without irritation or any dryness. In fact, elasticity & radiance are restored.
Quercetin & Iso Quercetin Flavinoids: that show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Studies have shown quercetin to inhibit the formation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Other studies have also shown quercetin to inhibit the activity of the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of elastin thereby increasing the elasticity of the skin. Research also shows quercetin to help reduce the formation of keloid & hypertrophic scarring through its action of inhibiting neutrophil contraction & fibroblasts involved in scar formation as well as stabilising cell membranes. Finally, its action as an antioxidant has been shown particularly protecting the skin from damages caused by UVB radiation.
Catechins & Epicatechin: Powerful bioflavonoids & polyphenols known for their protective antioxidant activity, promoting healthy circulation & free radical protection.
Little did I know that a few years later I would need it myself. When a lump in my neck developed and grew bigger and bigger I decided to visit my doctor. Something that happens once every 10 years thankfully. They took a biopsy and said it was cancer but they weren’t sure. Like all people in health and healing, I knew it was not cancer, but allowed the surgeon to remove the lump anyway. Thankfully it came back clear and I have a beautiful scar on my neck that reminds me how lucky I was and to live life every day full of love and appreciation. Our Rose Hip Oil was my saviour and I applied it straight after surgery on my stitches knowing that it would help the healing process and my scar.