Grape seed oil – the “anti” guy
Updated: Jan 25
In this episode of the “Hello Ingredient!” series I’m going to talk about the grape seed oil. Grape seed oil is one of my favourites. It is light and absorbs easily, without leaving a greasy residue and it has a multitude of benefits for aging and dry skin but also for acne prone complexions.
Grape seed oil or grapeseed oil
Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil
Geographical distribution of the plant
Wine growing is widely spread throughout the world, in regions with temperate climates with warm, dry summers and mild winters.
Part of plant used
Appearance and smell
Yellow to yellowish green. Subtle, characteristic smell.
Comedogenic rating (0-5)
Grapes and grape seed oil were used in Europe and Asia since thousands of years. The health enhancing properties of the plant were even recognised in the Bible. Extracts from various parts of the plant were used to treat the ailments of the skin and the eyes, reduce inflammation, relieve constipation and nausea. In Ayurvedic medicine the plant is used to treat memory loss, fatigue, depression, hypertension, diarrhea, indigestion, and bloating.
Nowadays, grape seed oil is mainly produced as a by-product of the wine making industry. In recent years many research studies have been conducted to investigate the oil’s cosmetic properties.
Scientifically proven benefits to skin
Grape seed oil is rich in phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, tannins, and stilbenes. It also has a large quantity of gallic acid. Resveratrol, tocopherols (e.g. vitamin E) and tocotrienols are also found in the oil. All of these compounds are very strong antioxidants, protecting the skin cells from the oxidative stress from UV radiation and the environment. The studies show that the antioxidants contained in the grape seed oil are more biologically active than their synthetic equivalents.
The above components of the oil also have a very strong anti-inflammatory effect, reducing the excess free radicals being produced.
The researchers have also confirmed that phenols and polyphenols have a positive effect on strengthening the collagen and elastin in our skin, therefore promoting skin elasticity and youthful appearance. If that wasn’t enough, they also moderate melatonin production, therefore evening the skin’s tone and reducing the appearance of age spots.
On the other hand, grape seed oil is made of up to 70% linoleic acid, which was proven to play a key role in repairing the skin’s barrier and therefore strengthening it and reducing the appearance of dry skin, often connected with aging.
Dry skin and eczema relief
Grape seed oil is a very effective emollient. It is non-greasy and easily absorbed. Through its high linoleic acid content it repairs the skin’s protective barrier, therefore reducing the Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL).
The anti-inflammatory action of the phenolic compounds, tocopherols and tocotrienols helps to reduce redness and itching connected with dry skin conditions. These same phenolic compounds together with oleic acid, contained in grape seed oil, help to accelerate wound healing.
Phenolic compounds, being great antioxidants, relieve the oxidative stress to the skin cells connected with UV exposure. They also inhibit the resulting inflammatory response in the skin. Moreover, resveratrol is an antimutagen, meaning that it protects the skin cells from turning into cancerous cells.
The gallic acid contained in the oil has a strong antimicrobial effect against Propionibacterium acnes and the other phenolic compounds, like resveratrol, were proven to damage the bacterial membranes of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli without damaging the human skin cell.
As mentioned in the previous sections, the grape seed oil has a great ability to repair the skin’s barrier, reduce inflammation and induce wound healing. All of which can greatly help in treatment of causes and appearance of acne.
Not all grape seed oils were created equal
Research has shown that unrefined, cold pressed grape seed oil contains a lot more phenols and polyphenols, which are the compounds responsible to the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil.
Our products containing ORGANIC, COLD-PRESSED AND UNREFINED grape seed oil:
Garavaglia et al. Grape seed oil compounds: biological and chemical actions for health. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights. 2016:9 59– 64 doi:10.4137/NM i.s32910
Działo M. et al. The Potential of Plant Phenolics in Prevention and Therapy of Skin Disorders. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2016 Feb; 17(2): 160.
Korać R., Khambholja K.M. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul-Dec; 5(10): 164–173.
Katiyar S. K. Grape seed proanthocyanidines and skin cancer prevention: Inhibition of oxidative stress and protection of immune system. Mol Nutr Food Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2008 Oct 7.
Green B. et al. Grape seed proanthocyanidins increase collagen biodegradation resistance in the dentin/adhesive interface when included in an adhesive. J Dent. 2010 Nov; 38(11): 908–915.