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Beautiful Rose – everything you need to know about the super skincare ingredient

As I dropped a handful of pale pink roses into my bag, their sweet scent filled my nostrils. Picking roses at a sustainable farm in central Bulgaria, I was having a go at field-to-face farming, and getting to grips with the manufacturing process of one of our favourite beauty ingredients – rose oil...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶▶▶

Hannah in Bulgaria

Hannah visits a rose farm in Bulgaria with beauty brand Lush (Image: Hannah Britt)

“You’re going to need more than that,” my host Anya Dale, of sustainable beauty brand Lush, told me.

You need around three million rose petals (about 4,000kg) to make 1kg of rose essential oil. As they are so fragile, rose petals need to be picked by hand. A skilful farmer (certainly not me) can pick 75-100kg a day, making around 2-2.5g of essential oil.

For this reason, rose oil is expensive, costing £8,000 to £12,000 per kilo.

Yet despite its cost, rose has been a key beauty ingredient for centuries. The ancient Egyptians boiled roses to create healing beauty balms, while the ancient Greeks used the petals to perfume their baths.

Roses in Bulgaria

You need around three million rose petals (about 4,000kg) to make 1kg of rose essential oil (Image: Hannah Britt)

“When it comes to skin benefits, rose oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It tones and soothes the skin and helps to rebalance skin tone, restoring radiance and elasticity. It is also thought to be astringent, reducing the appearance of broken capillaries,” says Anya.

“And in fragrance, rose oil holds a complex profile. It can be used in a very small percentage in the fragrance formula to add depth and richness.

“It also blends well with other essential oils, bringing sweet, sensual accords.”

With the morning sun growing fierce, my rose picking came to an end. Tossing my meagre offering into a cart, my precious petals made their way to the distillery to be turned into oil.

And this summer, rose oil is in hot demand, with a blooming lovely selection of launches.

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