After reading all the rave reviews I thought I would give this a try, I am partial to organic/natural products, since if you find the right one they seem to work better and almost always are far, far cheaper.
I didn't have any high expectations since I don't usually get the same miraculious results that others do or I start to break out in a week. I am on week three and I have had no breakouts, my skin is very smooth, no dry flaky skin.. none!! I use it when my skin is still moist from showering or washing my face at night. If I use a small amount it soaks right in, ( just a couple drops) make up over it is no problem. At night I use a little more (my face looks a little greasy) but in the a.m. its just soo smooth and moisterized, it is truly amazing. I think my acne scars and dark spots are fading a little, I think it will continue slowly, which is fine with me. The smell is almost nothing, to me it's smells kind of like tea, but only for a few seconds. I will update, but so far, so good!! UPDATE: 03-25-2012 I have noticed that my "dark spots" are indeed fading, not completely but totally noticable, i.e. for the first time in a looong time I went out with only under eye stuff and mascara -- nothing on my face. wow... I have had a couple pimples but they don't last more than a day, and my skin is younger looking, moisterized.. love this stuff! UPDATE:05-24-12 can't say enough about this stuff. It is awesome, keeps my skin looking great,young, moisterized. when I do get a pimple, it just last a couple days, healing immediately. Dark spots fading, last week, I FORGOT to put base on.. seriously girls, I know it wont work on everyone, but it is worth a try!!!
I love Rose Seed Hip Oil for my face, neck, and chest area! I use it every night in place of Retin A, which I used for years, and my skin is smooth and wrinkle free. I use it like I would a serum, 4-5 drops, and follow up with Cerave PM moisturizer. If you use too much, it can be greasy, but if you only use a few drops it will sink into your skin fairly quickly. I do not use this during AM hours, as it can increase sensitivity to the sun, so it is my nightly ritual. I have noticed a big difference in tone and texture of my face and neck. Also good to use on the backs of hands, where the signs of aging seem to creep up 1st.
UPDATE (2013-07): not used in a while, and not missed it. For topical sunscreen-boosting antioxidants, I've been using a combination of vitamin C (+/- E) serums (ex. from Silk Naturals) and green-tea-based ones (ex. from Garden of Wisdom); and meadowfoam seed oil for moisture. *shrug*
Favourite rosehip seed oil, and the one I've repurchased the most often over the last couple of years.
I've used RHO off and on for about five years; twice daily for around about the last two years. Skin here: sensitive, dryish, prone to irritation breakouts (or, irritation as expressed as a breakout--first place is the thin skin around the nose). Used various brands. Applying it like a serum, after washing, to damp skin. About 2-3 drops for face, a similar amount for neck and throat, and a drop patted in around the eyes. More than that--can feel greasy. Then moisturiser and sunscreen on top in the morning. Evening: usually nothing over it unless my skin is really parched.
What's the point of the stuff?
It's a lightweight oil, easily absorbed. RHO varies enormously from brand to brand; many can be quite dry. Still, nowhere near as dry as something like grapeseed. The NOW RHO is at the less-dry end of the spectrum. Like any oil, it will moisturise. It's fairly well-tolerated on quite a range of skin types and conditions. Not all, no guarantees, YMMV, do research reviews and other online resources to see if it seems likely to suit *your* very individual skin.
Main point of the stuff: antioxidants, especially retinol, plus essential fatty acids. Very high in vitamin C and A; A as retinol: the only plant-sourced oil to contain vit A, otherwise found in many animal fats, like fish oils. Useful for dealing with photodamage, retinol helping with cell regeneration/turnover, collagen renewal, elastin levels. Great if you can't use any other forms of vitamin A without massive skin reaction. General skin food: linoleic acid or omega-6, and linolenic acid or omega-3: good for moisture, repair, soothing and smoothing, especially on more sensitive and eczematic skin.
Can be eaten too--or drunk in the form of rosehip tea--indeed, as many benefits from ingestion as from topical application (if not more).
Effects and results:
Skin smoother, more even, firm.
No irritation, feels soothed. May be increasing skin resilience (and may "toughen" it up slightly--in the case of thin fragile skin, this is a great thing)
Helps moisture levels (in my case, in combination with moisturiser and sunscreen on top).
May help reduce scarring; also used for stretch-marks.
Main types of RHO:
1. Unrefined, cold-pressed: most RHO on the market is this type, from cheap (Garden of Wisdom etc.) to very expensive (Trilogy etc.).
2. Unrefined, but different manufacturing process, supercritical CO2 extraction: ex. A'Kin
3. Unrefined, CO2-extracted seed oil + fruit CO2 extract: ex. Kosmea, Pai Organics, or you could mix your own, with 95% RH oil + 5% RH fruit extract (ex. the GoW CO2 RH fruit extract)
4. Refined, seed only, like the NOW one.
+ see the MUA reviews in "unlisted brand" for "rosehip seed oil" for some brand comparisons.
Pros and cons:
Blend of seed oil + fruit extract vs. oil only: more sterols and carotenoids, compared to seed-only. But: YMMV on skin tolerance.
Unrefined vs. refined: goes off fast. Needs refrigeration and, even refrigerated, to be used up fast. If not, if it goes off, watch out for bacteria and mould (and applying them to skin).
CO2 extraction vs. cold-pressing: more stable, doesn't oxidise, kills all bugs dead, longer life. But: expensive.
Refined from seed: same benefits as CO2 extraction, better tolerated on sensitive skin, longer-lasting, and cheaper. But: lower levels of antioxidants.
Also, on that antioxidant business? As with anything else, most of the research has been done on ingestion rather than topical application, and, roughly speaking, you'll get most benefits from consuming the stuff rather than slapping it on skin.
If you've had issues with RHO before, try this. Should be +/- odourless. Very light yellowish shade, nearly colourless. I've found NOW to be pretty regularly available in health-food stores and online. Some bottles smell slightly of rosemary; not to worry, doesn't seem to make any difference. A mystery to me, as this stuff claims to contain nothing besides RHO & refinement usually entails less odour.
Cost: CAD 10.50 / 1 oz (30 ml), online from USD 4.00 / 1 oz (not including shipping costs). I've put this as a 2 for price, though relative to other RHO, it's more like a 1.
Packaging: amber glass bottle (good), silly dropper and screw-cap (crap). I replaced the top with a pump-dispenser. Minimises air getting in, can be held in one hand, minimises risk of dropping glass bottle on floor. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that sort of thing regularly.
INGREDIENTS: refined rose hip oil (rosa mosqueta) continued >>
Another product I had to try based on all the good reviews. Tap in around eye area when extra moisture is needed, actually use on other areas of face and neck as well. Lovely, absorbs in, does not sit on top of skin. The packaging of this product is superb, 1 oz in amber glass container and the top allows only a drop out at a time, super! 7/2012 I've had to cut back using this on my under eye area. I was getting a bit of brown spotting. I can't really use ss close to my eyes because they flip out if I do so I will discontinue use until fall.