ROSEHIPS: How to Harvest, Prepare and Make Rosehip Infused Oil
As summer comes to an end and autumn begins, the cooler weather brings many changes to the flora around us. This is especially true if you live in the mountains of Canada.
As the days get shorter, the trees begin to transform colour and the flowers previously in full bloom start to wilt.
As some of the plants begin to die off for the season ahead, one magical plant produces a nourishing fruit that we can’t get enough of.
That’s right, we’re talking about rosehips.
Native rose bushes grow wild here in Canada, and after the petals from the flower have fallen the plant begins going dormant for the season.
To prepare for the cold, they produce an orangey-red coloured “hip” to protect the seeds.
These little red rubies are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids - basically, they are a wealth of nutrition.
In fact, rosehips have been used for centuries in skincare. Even as far back as the days of Hippocrates.
This is due to the fact that rosehips have many benefits for the skin. Let’s take a look at what some of those may be:
Rosehips are incredibly high in vitamin c. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties and may help reduce ultraviolet light damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C also supports collagen production, which helps reduce fine lines.
Vitamin A, quite like Vitamin C, works to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. It can also help protect your skin from environmental factors like pollution and UV radiation, which can also affect skin health and appearance.
Rosehips also contain essential fatty acids such as:
- oleic acid
- palmitic acid
- linoleic acid
- gamma-linolenic acid
The rosehips we use in our skincare products are harvested locally and by hand.
How To: Harvesting Rosehips and Making Rosehip Oil
You've likely seen rosehip oil in our skincare products, but what exactly goes on behind-the-scenes to make this incredible ingredient?
PART 1: Harvesting Wild Rosehips
First, we gather the rosehips. Take a walk into the wilderness. Look for ripe, plump, firm rosehips that are bright orange or red in colour. We suggest wearing gloves to protect your hands from thorns and when plucking the rose hips from the plant. Collect your harvest in a bucket.
PART 2: Preparing the Rosehips
Wash the rosehips to remove dirt and environmental pollutions. Next trim the tops and bottoms of the fruit and cut in half, removing the tiny hairs. You will need a sharp pair of scissors, and may wish to wear gloves, as this can get sticky when handling the fresh fruits. Next rinse again to remove any more dirt and debris from the fruit. Then allow the rosehips to completely dry out. It is important there is no water left in the fruits as this can cause your oil to go rancid. You can lay your rosehips on parchment paper or an old mesh window screen and sit in a sunny location to dry out (this may take several days). Or to speed up the process, place on a baking sheet and put in a low heat oven for several hours.
PART 3: Making Rosehip Infused Oil
Combine 1 part rosehips with 2 parts carrier oil. We like to use apricot oil, sunflower oil or sweet almond oil. There are two methods for this, depending on when you would like your oil to be ready for use.
Method 1: Heat infusion
Combine your rosehips and oil in a heatproof container. Using a double boiler or slow cooker, allow to simmer on a low heat for 6-8 hours, or longer.
If you would like your oil to be ready to use right away, use this method.
Method 2: Cold Infusion
Combine your rosehips and oils into a glass contain with an air tight lid. Store in a cool and dark location for 6 months for infusion.
Strain the oil and discard the solids. It’s best to line the strainer with cheesecloth and carefully pour the oil through it. This separates the oil from the rosehip solids which can now be thrown away.
You now have rosehip infused oil.
We suggest storing this freshly made oil in a dark glass jar as rosehip oil is sensitive to light. It should keep for about 6-8 months. Add vitamin E at 0.5% to your oil to extend its shelf life.
You can use your rosehip oil as a nourishing, hydrating body oil, add some to your bath, or use in preparation of various other facial, body and bath products.
Rosehips are an amazing component to add to your skincare routine. This is why you can find rosehips listed in many of our products which you can find here.
We hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at one of our favourite ingredients around!Share your DIY rosehip products, purchases and self care routines with us on Instagram at @emeraldearthorganicspa #myemeraldearth
Shop Emerald Earth Products featuring Wild Harvest Rosehips