Beauty myth bust: Does rosehip oil contain Vitamin C?
Nope. Not one bit. It is one of the prevailing beauty myths in all corners of the Internet, as a cursory Google search will give you blog upon blog praising the wonders of rose hip oil for its vitamin c content. It is the cyber equivalent of the paper cup telephone game where the first person gets a completely different story than the last one. We hate these Internet beauty myths. They prevent people from using what they need and perpetuate a misinformed society. While not always the best source, this Wikipedia entry at least has a peer-reviewed journal to back it up:
(By the way, this link was obtained by just googling rose hip oil and vitamin c and not clicking on a blog.)
While rosehip skins contain a lot of vitamin c, the rose hip seeds do not. Rosehip oil is pressed from the seed only. Add to that fact that vitamin c is a water-soluble vitamin and cannot exist in an oil. It just cannot survive without water. Even ground up dried whole rosehips would not contain any vitamin c because the water is already removed. So there is no way for rosehip oil to contain any vitamin c whatsoever, even if you macerate dried rosehips in an oil.
Rosehip oil is polyunsaturated, (a PUFA) which means it is an unstable, easily oxidized oil. We are looking for anti-oxidants for our skin, not oxidants!
Rosehip oil feels very moisturizing...we absolutely love it ourselves. But since it is easily oxidized, it can create free radical damage and prematurely age your skin cells. Oxidation also causes hyper pigmentation and cellular damage. So make sure your rosehip oil is fresh as possible to reduce your chances of oxidation. It should look thin and light colored, not dark or thick and viscous.
We use Rosehip seed oil in our UV Repair cream and we know firsthand how important it is to make sure it is very fresh. We don't claim to use it for its vitamin c content though, we use it for its fast penetration to take oil soluble vitamins and extracts deeper into your skin. If you come across someone that talks about using Rosehip seed oil for its amazing vitamin c, run. Don't walk. It means they don't understand the ingredients of the very industry they are in.