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What Are the Benefits of Rose Hips Oil?

By Jenni Wiltz

Derived from a species of rose known as “Rosa rubiginosa,” rose hips oil contains antioxidants, fatty acids and other age-fighting components. It’s used as an ingredient in specialty anti-aging creams, but you can also dab the oil directly onto problem areas of your skin. Depending on the retailers, you'll see it marketed as "rose hip oil," "rosehip oil" or "rose hips oil."

Fights Fine Lines and Wrinkles

According to the Provital Group, a Spanish provider of cosmetics research for active natural ingredients, rose hips oil contains transretinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A that is also known as tretinoin. The acid invigorates and regenerates skin, firming as well as fighting fine lines. adds that tretinoin helps treat sun-damaged skin by lightening it, regulating the turnover process by which old, damaged skin is replaced by younger, fresher-looking skin.

Moisturizes Dry Skin

According to the Provital Group, rose hips oil is a natural lipid that can improve your skin's flexibility and permeability. All oils--vegetable and mineral--are a natural source of lipids. In "Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice," Dr. Leslie Baumann writes that lipids are an essential component of your epidermis, responsible for keeping moisture in and harmful bacteria out. Your skin needs these lipids to help form and sustain skin membranes, preventing transepidermal water loss.

Age-Fighting Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight the damage caused by free radicals, chemically imbalanced molecules that attach to body cells, causing damage that appears in the form of wrinkles, sunspots, sagging skin or even skin cancer. According to the Provital Group, rose hips oil contains a natural supply of vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant. Although some essential oils lose their antioxidant supply during processing, this isn't the case for rose hips oil. According to a 2007 study by D. Franco and colleagues and published in Bioresource Technology, the "antioxidant capacity of Rosa rubiginosa extracts was much higher than that reported for other agricultural matrixes."

Encourages Healing Without Scar Formation

The Provital Group summarized the results of several scientific studies testing the efficacy of rose hips oil in healing wounds and preventing scars. Varicose ulcers, post-surgery scars and mastectomy scars all responded well to topical treatment with rose hips oil. According to "Horticultural Reviews," this healing effect stems from the oil's transretinoic acid, also responsible for gently treating the signs of aging. Salves and lotions with rose hips oil have been used to treat skin conditions ranging from eczema to scars and burns.

Encourages Skin Cell Regeneration

Rose hips oil contains approximately 80 percent fatty acids, essential for skin health. According to the Provital Group, most of these are polyunsaturated acids such as oleic acid, cis-linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. These acids help form ceramides, lipids that guard the outer layer of your skin from moisture loss and damage caused by external stressors such as the sun’s harmful UV rays or pollution. One acid in particular, transretinoic acid, acts as an anti-inflammatory, allowing cells to regenerate quickly.

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