By Morwenna Kearns
Sometimes we don't have to look far to find incredibly nutrient-packed natural ingredients. From my window right now I can see a rose bush, pretty bare of flowers (it's January) but festooned with rose hips.
These peach-orange pods are stuffed with vitamin C and other vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants like bioflavonoids, which is why you'll find them in herbal teas.
They're also brilliant for your skin. RosehipPLUS takes super-high-quality seeds of the Rosa Canina and cold-presses them to get rose hip oil, from which it creates its range of skincare. Unfortunately for RosehipPLUS, these plants aren't as abundant in its native Australia as they are in, say, the Andes mountains in southern Chile, which is where it sources its organic roses.
I was sent the whole range: RosehipPLUS Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (£10/15ml, £15/30ml or £25/50ml); Rosehip Oil Skin Boost Roll On (15ml); Organic Daily Cream Cleanser (£19/150ml); Hydrating Day Cream (£24/75ml); and Nourishing Night Cream (£29/50ml). The brand says rose hip oil's essential fatty acids (namely Omega 3,6 and 9) keep skin 'hydrated, moisturised and younger looking' and fend off wrinkles, which, frankly, I was in need of.
My mid-30s seemed to have hit my under-eyes like a tonne of bricks in December, but with a few applications of the pure rose hip oil from the nice glass bottle and dropper straightened out most of those lines – it turns out they were severe dryness caused by a combination of winter and some eye drops I'd been over-using. Some pure essential oils like this can have an unusual scent – does anyone else smell hot dogs from jojoba oil? – but rose hip is warm and sweet; weirdly, like a Cadbury's Fudge.
Seen altogether, the range looked a bit heavy on the packaging – everything except the cleanser comes in a cardboard box – and the Skin Boost Roll On seemed an unnecessary plastic addition. But this proved easier to use than the oil dropper on little areas like around the eye, getting in creases better than fingertips. It could also be handy for travelling – smaller and lighter than the glass bottle, with considerably less chance of it getting damaged.
The packaging itself is bold: the contrast of white, black and soft orange is a fresh approach to organic skincare, which can sometimes be branded in a slightly flower-child way. In short, it goes with the clean lines of a modern bathroom.
Speaking of which, my pre-bed routine has been improved by the cleanser. Silky rather than foaming, it didn't leave my skin feeling tight like some facial washes might and, followed by the oil, had a long-lasting moisturising effect.
I was, perhaps, a little skeptical about needing both night cream and day cream, but a quick look at the ingredients lists on each package suggests they have been developed for different needs – and the night cream is definitely thicker, for absorption over time. Both only need a small amount to provide suitable coverage too.
After using the whole set as part of my skincare regime for several weeks over winter – including the whole cold and boozy Christmas and New Year period – I'm pretty much converted to rose hip oil, although it could do with less packaging.