It’s that time of year again. My old-fashioned rose bush has finished blooming and the rose hips are ripening. If you have been following me for the last two years you probably know about, or have even purchased, my Rose Hip with Shea butter soap. If you haven’t, I thought I’d share with you the benefits of rose hips and what goes into using them in soap.
From the beginning my goal, with Cedarwood Soap, has been to use all-natural ingredients and, when I’m able, botanicals I grow myself. I knew how amazing this particular rose bush smells when it’s in full bloom and that I wanted to use those petals to make soap. In late summer or early fall, when the flowers have stopped blooming and all the petals have fallen off (or I’ve picked them all!) what remains are these lovely, brilliant red rose hips and I wondered what I could use them for.
I started researching rose hips and learned that they have amazing health benefits! Rose hips are one of the plant sources richest in vitamin C, essential for healthy skin. Vitamin C fights off free radicals and decreases the production of melanin which can cause discoloration of your skin. Rose hips also contain high levels of vitamins E, A, and D. Rose hips also have anti-inflammatory properties and contain a variety of antioxidants including carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, leucoanthocyanins and catechins.
Suffice it to say I got very excited about creating a new rose hip soap. And here’s what I came up with.
Once these beauties turn red they are ready to be picked (carefully though! I got poked by lots of thorns last night!). When I have picked all of the ones that are ripe, I cut each of them in half and remove and discard the seeds and the fuzzy insides.
At this point I set about a third of them aside it dry. (When I’m ready to make the soap I’ll add the chopped, dried pieces to the soap and use the rest to decorate the top of the bars.) I make the liquid base for the soap with the remaining fresh rose hips. To do this I simmer the rose hips in distilled water until they have softened completely. Next, I take this liquid and purée it in the food processor. When it is completely liquified I put this mixture through a strainer. What remains is a lovely burgundy liquid with all of the vitamins and antioxidants of the rose hips. I then add enough distilled water for the quantity of soap I’m making and put it in the fridge to cool. Then it’s on to making the soap.
And what a lovely, simple, all-natural soap it is. The only other ingredients it contains are olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and Shea butter. It is unscented (it doesn’t contain any essentials oils) and, of course, no artificial coloring. That amazing color comes solely from the rose hips!
I hope you have enjoyed this behind the scenes look into using rose hips in our Rose Hip with Shea Butter soap. There is a very limited supply remaining on the website and I anticipate this new batch will be fully cured and available on the website by the end of August or early September. In the meantime, there are plenty of other wonderful, handmade, all-natural, vegan soaps currently available. You can check them all out by clicking here.