What do age, pregnancy, genetics and lifestyle have in common? All are factors that influence changes in skin condition. During pregnancy, a number skin changes occur--from blotchiness to stretch marks to dryness.
But unlike age, genetics and lifestyle, pregnancy spurs unpredictable skin changes. A pregnant woman who experiences one or more of these shifts in skin condition may benefit from rose hip oil.
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The ancient beauty antidote known as Rosa rubiginosa seed oil--rose hip oil for short--is a natural skin emmolient drawn from the seeds of the Rosa rubiginosa plant. It can be found in dozens of skin tonics and lotions intended to lessen the formation of scar tissue, even out skin tone and prevent dryness.
Why It Works for Pregnancy
Those cosidering using rose hip oil for pregnancy, whether to reduce hyper pigmentation and stretch marks or ease dry skin, should consider the following evience. In a study of 20 women ages 25 to 35 conducted by Dr. Bertha Pareja and Dr. Horst Kehl, daily applications of rose hip oil were linked with wrinkle reduction and the fading of sun-damaged skin. In addition, all subjects of the study, conducted at the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Chile in the 1980s, reported a "visible improvement" in skin appearance.
During pregnancy, the skin experiences a number of changes. As the baby grows, the skin stretches and can become blotchy (or patchy). That's where rose hip oil can be helpful, as it increases the skin's ability to produce new skin cells. As these new cells take the place of old ones, darker pigmentation spots will start to lighten.
The Role Essential Fatty Acids
Thanks to high levels of certain fatty acids--specifically linoleic (47 percent) and linolenic (33 percent)--rose hip oil heals skin by speeding up the process of skin regeneration.
This is key, as women can experience a number of skin changes while pregnant, from acne, melasma (a condition that causes the formation of spots on the face, also known as the "mask of pregnancy") and chloasma to blotchiness or redness.
Sometimes these changes are due to hormonal shifts, and they vary depending on the pregnant woman's lifestyle, ethnicity and genetics.
Soothing Dry Skin
Though not as common as "the pregnancy mask" of melasma, dry skin patches sometimes appear during pregnancy when they have never appeared before. That's because skin tends to stretch in new directions during pregnancy, resulting in itchiness and dryness, especially late in the pregnancy.
Because of its light, moisturizing properties, rose hip oil is also an antidote for softening rough patches. Among rose hip oil's magical qualities is its high absorbtion level; it penetrates the skin's first few layers almost instanty to help soften dry, rough patches. To boost, the shell of the rose hip is a hub for vitamin C, another dry skin antidote.
The Vitamin A Kicker
Rose hip oil has also been shown to be rich in trans-retinoic acid, a topical derivative of vitamin A. Synthetically, this is also known as retinol, which is used to treat sun-damaged skin.
Where to Buy
Like many herbal antidotes and tonics, rose hip oil is available in a number of natural health food stores in the United States. It may also be purchased online--Amazon.com, for example, sells packets of three 4-oz. bottles of rose hip oil for less than $50. A bottle of Kosmea rose hip oil is available for less than $30 online.
No matter what brand is selected, reading the directions is of utmost importance to ensure the best results.