What is rock rose?
At the heart of all our products is oil from the herb, Cistus Ladanifer, or the rock rose. This sticky shrub can be found all over the western Mediterranean region but is very common in the southern province of Portugal.
Cistus Ladanifer's bright white flowers are very delicate and cannot be commercially farmed. Harvested by hand using traditional tools, it must be collected very early in the morning to ensure that the biochemical constituents of the leaves and small branches keep their properties.
Renowned for generations for its immune-boosting properties, the oil from Cistus Ladanifer is a pale golden-yellow colour, with a sweet, warm herbaceous scent of fruit and honey. It is packed full of polyphenols and antioxidants, with studies showing levels comparable to those in green tea.
It was while on holiday in Portugal, that our co-founder Lindsay discovered a moisturiser made with rock rose oil that transformed how her skin felt and looked. When she returned home to Hastings, she set about finding a source of the oil and Rock Rose Beauty was born.
In October of 2018, Lindsay and Raquel took a fact-finding road trip to Portugal to meet another Cistus Ladanifer fan, David Jacob. They visited one of the areas where cistus grows in abundance and saw for themselves how the shrub grows in hot arid areas and how sticky the leaves and stems actually are.
David and his friend are involved in harvesting and distilling high-quality Cistus Ladanifer that can also be used to produce a delicious tea which we enjoyed so much during our visit we decided to start selling it. We'll be adding it to the Rock Rose Range in early 2019.