Rose hip oil comes from the seeds inside the fruits (hips) that develop at the centre of wild roses. These seeds are harvested from the hips in the fall after a frost, then pressed to extract the oil, which can be used as a remedy for damaged skin. The process of cold-pressing rose hip seeds uses a screw-driven machine to extract the oil instead of using a chemical solvent such as petroleum-based hexane. Knowing whether cold-pressed rose hip oil is genuine is important because it retains more beneficial antioxidants and essential fatty acids than chemically extracted oil.
Look at the bottle the rose hip oil came in. It should be blue or brown glass, not clear, to limit the amount of direct light reaching the oil, which can make the quality deteriorate faster or turn the oil rancid.
Read the label closely for clues. Try to determine where the oil was produced and look for any "organic" statements. You may find certified organic labelling or a statement on the label that the product is expeller- or cold-pressed. The ingredients should list 100 per cent cold-pressed rose hip oil. If you see chemicals or additives, then the oil is probably not cold-pressed.
Check the directions on how to use and store the rose hip oil. If the directions say an opened bottle will last for more than 90 days, then the manufacturer used chemicals or preservatives, and it may not be genuine cold-pressed rose hip oil.
Open the bottle and take a whiff. The oil should have a distinct odour but not a sweet rose fragrance. If you smell roses, the manufacturer added fragrance, and the oil probably is not genuine rose hip oil.
Place some of the oil on a white surface and look at the colour. Rose hip oil is naturally a reddish hue, although a cold-pressed oil can be strained or refined into a clear oil. If the oil has a reddish colour, it is more likely to be cold-pressed.
Contact the manufacturer to ask questions about the oil or to clarify any of the statements on the label. The label may provide contact information such as a phone number or website for consumers.
"Natural" rose hip oil may not necessarily be cold-pressed, so ask the supplier if you are not sure. Rose hip oil will keep for up to two years unopened in a cool, dark place, and only 90 days once opened.
Buy only a 90-day maximum supply of rose hip oil because of the short shelf life. Test rose hip oil elsewhere on your skin before using it on your face if you have oily skin and are prone to acne.