Remove hair bits from rose hips. Place hips in a mason jar (size will depend upon how many fruits you have). Pour oil to cover over the hips, all the way to the top of jar. Place on lid and screw cap and let sit 6 weeks. Place a coffee filter in a funnel and then place funnel in a dark amber jar. Strain out rose hips from oil by pouring oil into the funnel lined with the coffee filter. For every 1 cup of oil, add in 1 tsp of Vitamin E oil (it acts as a natural preservative to help prolong the shelf life of the oil, which is about 6 months). You can also add 10-20 drops of rose hip seed oil (sold in health food stores) to add in extra hydrating power.
Rose hips are just wonderful: they smell great, are emollient (skin softening & hydrating) and are jam packed with Vitamin C. While rose hips intensify in their sugar content with colder weather, it's not necessary to wait that long to pick the rose hips for this recipe. Indeed, older rose hips can harbor worms, larvae and spiders, so best to leave those ones to make rose hip jelly! Ideally, you want to pick the rose hips for this facial oil when they are orangey-red to red, during the earlier days of fall (September to October in the northern states).
If you have a great nose, that is, sense of smell, you'll be keen to use it: rose hips can smell either more like a rose or have a fruity smell, sort of like an apple. If you have many rose hips, you can therefore choose to sort them according to how they smell. I personally prefer my facial oil to smell more like roses and to leave the fruitier smelling hips to make rose hip jelly, but that's up to you :) I have found that rose hips picked later in autumn, especially if there has been a cold snap, will have this duality: some hips will smell more like a rose while others will smell more like a fruit.
Olive oil (organic, first cold pressed, virgin or extra virgin) is cheap to use and works just fine, but if you want to add more nourishment to your skin, especially during the harsh winter months, then try a heavier oil, such as walnut, avocado or macadamia oil. These oils are more costly than olive oil--- feel free to experiment with other oils if you like. You can even try an experiment like the one I did, where I made 3 oils, one with avocado oil, one with olive oil and one with walnut oil, and then tried each one to see which my skin liked best. I found the walnut oil the richest and didn't notice much difference between the avocado and olive oil.
Since rose hips are high in Vitamin C and since Vitamin C is heat sensitive, your oil may not last that long (about 6 months). As always, sterilize your amber jars before use and make sure equipment/tools you use (funnel, sieve, etc.) are very clean. This helps to prevent any bacteria from turning your nice oil into a moldy, yucky mess --- it's happened to me :(
Vitamin E can be added as a natural preservative to increase the shelf life of your oil. Simply prick each capsule with a sterilized needle and measure out 1 tsp per 1 cup of oil. You can also store your oil in the fridge, if you like. I personally don't as I don't relish the feel of a cold oil on my face during the cold winter weather!
To add further hydrating power to your oil, you can add in rose hip seed oil. These are the seeds from the rose hips that have been pressed to release their oil. This oil is sold in health food stores and online. You can use it straight, as it is.
Speaking of as is, I use this rose hip oil as is, straight onto my face. You could always add in a bit of melted mango, shea or coconut butter to make it a more solid product, if you like.
I have received many compliments on my skin from using this oil. So has an elderly friend of mine, who, being in her 80s, has noticed that this oil offers her softer skin.
I'd definitely recommend this facial oil for dry, sensitive, normal and mature skin.
One last tidbit: use a dropper to place some of the oil in the palm of your hand and then apply to your face. Don't let your fingers touch the dropper and don't let the open top of the bottle touch your fingers either. Even if you think your hands are clean, they may still harbor bacteria that can then be introduced into your oil. Speaking from experience here...so just passing on this helpful tidbit :)
To your smooth & soft, hydrated skin!
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