Where has all the Rosehip oil gone?

A global shortage of Rosehip oil has skin care manufacturers looking less than rosy. What’s going on?

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Chances are, you’ve heard about Rosehip oil. This humble seed oil shot to fame in recent years when people figured out how good it was for scars and wrinkles. It’s now a go-to for any number of skin problems: scar tissue, eczema, dryness, sun damage, fine lines – you name it, folks are slathering Rosehip oil on it. 

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One of Rosehip’s star qualities it is a high content of provitamin A (mostly beta-Carotene). It’s also high in the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3). Basically, it’s full of all the good stuff your skin needs.

Unfortunately, this precious oil is becoming harder and harder to source. 

The how and why of the Rosehip oil situation is, well, complicated. But here’s a basic outline…

  • Rosehip oil is actually a by-product of a much bigger industry: tea. The demand for Rosehip tea in Europe is what drives and dominates the global production of Rosehip. That means those wanting only the oil get whatever’s left over. And that’s not much!
  • The yield of oil is very small – about 5%.

    Chile is the world’s largest source of the wild rose bush (Rosa moschata or Rosa rubiginosa) from which Rosehip seeds are extracted. In a good year, Chile only produces about 300 tonnes of Rosehip – and, after three consecutive years of poor crops, production is way down.

  • Increased urbanisation has cut into the already-limited pool of labourers available to harvest Rosehip. Many labourers are instead being diverted to more lucrative crops, such as raspberry.
  • In New Zealand, as in many countries, the primary demand is for organic deodorised Rosehip. Factor in a small crop, a small oil yield and the fact that there is only ONE processor and ONE company who can deodorise Rosehip, and you’ve got … not a lot to work with. 
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Combine all that with increasing consumer demand and it’s no wonder supplies are dwindling.  

And, as with any product in limited supply, the cost of Rosehip oil has increased  – globally.

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But all is not lost! Chilean Rosehip oil IS still available – and we have it right here on PureNature. We currently stock both

Unrefined (undeodorised) and Refined (deodorised).

PureNature also stocks South African Rosehip oil, which is

extracted from the Rosa canina found throughout South Africa and Europe. It’s chemically identical to the Chilean Rosehip, with a deeper colour. Available HERE on PureNature!

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There’s no telling when – or if – the Rosehip oil situation will improve. In the meantime, it certainly won’t hurt to look for alternatives. 

So, what’s as good as Rosehip oil? Stay tuned: we’ll give you the lowdown on our favourite oils next week!  

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