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Everything's Coming Up Rosy
Author: Allison B. Vought
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Roses aren't just a pretty flower. They are packed full of nutrients and other qualities that make them a great treatment for abraisons, burns and numerous other skin conditions.

There are over 100 species of roses. They form a group of plants that can be shrubs or climbing plants with stems that are often barbed with thorns. [1] The fruit of the rose is a berry-like structure called a rose hip.

In distilled forms, roses have been included in cosmetics, medicines and therapeutic treatments for centuries. The essential oil extracted from rose petals has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, making it ideal to topically treat a host of ailments including abrasions, burns and skin conditions. [2]

There are generally two species of roses that are used in skin care: rosa damascena and rosa centifola. Rosa damascena, often from Bulgaria, has a deep, potent scent; Rosa centifola, known as the cabbage rose, has a lighter, clean and sweet scent. Both are valued for their pure essential oils, derived from the rose flowers. It takes tens of thousands of rose blossoms, picked at precisely the right time, to yield a single ounce of rose essential oil. This makes rose oil one of the most expensive essential oils on the market. [3]

The natural oils found in roses help lock moisture into the skin, which helps keep skin feeling smooth. Rose is especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin because the sugars in its petals provide a soothing sensation. Naturally antibacterial rose essential oil can help acne and acne prone skin. Combined with its cleansing properties, rose makes an ideal ingredient in face washes and cleansers.

Rose water is a by-product of the production of rose oil for use in perfume. As a natural astringent, rose helps tighten pores and restores suppleness to the complexion. Unlike conventional alcohol-based toners, rose water leaves skin feeling hydrated not dried out. Substituting rose water for all or part of the water phase in cosmetic formulations is a relatively inexpensive way to add the benefits of rose to a cosmetic product. [4]

Rose hips (the flowers which have swollen to seed) are an excellent source of vitamins A, B3, C, D and E. They also contain bioflavonoids, citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, tannins and zinc. Since rose hips and rose hip oil contain high amounts of the antioxidant vitamin C, they are often used in products geared towards anti-aging. This important vitamin can help protect skin cells from damage, such as overexposure to sun. [5]

When used aromatically, rose has a calming and soothing effect. In fact, rose petals are a staple in Ayurvedic medicine to detoxify and calm. While this characteristic doesn’t directly add beauty benefits, it gives rose-scented products an added enhancement. Rose is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially valuable for dry, sensitive or aging skin types. It has a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, which makes it especially useful in diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. It is easy to add value and increase the level of luxuriousness in your sensitive skin and anti-aging formulas by adding rose and its by-products to your ingredients list.

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