What Is Grapeseed Oil?

A Natural Oil Made From the Byproducts of Winemaking

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Grapeseed oil is an all-natural oil extracted from grape seeds that have been leftover from winemaking. It has been touted as a natural beauty wonder with health benefits as well. Grapeseed oil has become a popular addition to many beauty products for its all-natural benefits, but can it really deliver on those promises?

Bottle of organic grape seed oil for spa and bodycare and fresh ripe grapes berries on old wooden table.
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What Is Grapeseed Oil?

Grapeseed oil is the oil that is extracted from grape seeds. It usually comes from the seeds leftover from grapes used in the winemaking process. It is rich in nutrients like omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Grapeseed oil has become a popular supplement. 

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Grapeseed oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Our bodies do not make these healthy fats, so it is essential that we get them in our diets. Adding grapeseed oil into our diets, such as cooking with it, has a variety of health benefits.

A diet rich in omega-6 fatty acids has been associated with better protection against the sun. This is because these compounds can reduce inflammation in the body and improve the pain and swelling in sunburns. It can also make our skin better protected against the sun’s harmful rays.

Lowered inflammation is also why omega-6 fatty acids may speed wound healing. Another benefit of better skin protection is brighter, more youthful-looking skin. Omega-6 fatty acids can help protect against signs of skin aging, like wrinkles and dryness.  

Vitamin E

Grapeseed oil is rich in antioxidants like vitamins C, D, and E, as well as polyphenols. Antioxidants protect against free radical damage and help to prevent certain types of cancer. Grapeseed oil has more vitamin E than soybean or olive oil.

Antioxidants can strengthen our immune systems and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They also lower inflammation in the body, which protects us from chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. 

Types

Depending on the benefits you're looking for, grapeseed oil can be taken by mouth or through the skin.

Consumable 

Grapeseed oil is naturally found in grapes, but won’t pack the same nutritional punch. Grapes are a healthy snack, but don’t have the same concentrated amount of antioxidants and healthy fats as the extracted oil does.

Grapeseed oil is also available as an over-the-counter supplement. As with any dietary supplement, the National Institutes of Health recommends always checking its Supplement Facts label and talking with your doctor before taking it. 

Cooking Oil Tips

Packed with healthy fats, grapeseed oil makes great cooking oil. It has a clean taste, so it won’t add unwanted flavor to your cooking like some other oils can (looking at you coconut oil).

It also has a relatively high smoke point, making it a safer choice. An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to break down from the heat and won’t offer the same benefits. Grapeseed oil’s smoke point is 420 degrees F, higher than both olive and vegetable oils. 

Topical

Topical grapeseed oil products are popping up on grocery shelves and natural beauty shops. Most oils and lotions containing grapeseed oil are meant to be used once per day. Apply your product after washing your skin with a gentle cleanser.

Grapeseed oil should dry completely once applied and won’t leave a sticky or greasy feeling, so it can be applied morning or night. Avoid trying a topical option if you are currently using any harsh skin care treatments like retinol or salicylic acid, as it could cause irritation. 

Benefits

Grapeseed oil is rich in nutrients, and that means potential health and beauty benefits.

Improved Elasticity

Grapeseed oil gets its beauty benefits from its fatty acids; these compounds can help to rebuild collagen in the skin. As we age, our skin loses collagen, and that can contribute to dullness and sagging skin. Collagen gives skin that youthful bounce and glow. 

Moisturizing

Thanks to its fatty acid composition, grapeseed oil is an ultra-hydrating oil for our skin. If you tend to experience skin dryness, especially in the winter, consider applying a grapeseed oil moisturizer after showering or washing your hands to provide a protective layer. 

Scar Reduction

The fatty acids in grapeseed oil have been proven to decrease inflammation in the body. This can help to heal wounds faster and reduce scarring caused by chronic inflammation of the wound.

Decreased Sensitivity

Because grapeseed oil has compounds that moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation, it is a promising treatment for people with sensitive skin. The redness, itching and burning that come with skin sensitivity may be soothed and protected with a topical grapeseed oil lotion or cream. 

Does It Help With Acne?

Acne is caused by clogged pores on the surface of the skin. Our pores can become clogged with dirt or bacteria, leading to an acne breakout. Grapeseed oil has antimicrobial properties, which means it can kill bacteria. While there are no large scale studies proving a link between grapeseed oil and acne prevention, it may be worth a try.

Other Health Benefits

The possible benefits of grapeseed oil don’t just stop at great skin. Because of its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, this supplement may help prevent chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal conditions and Alzheimer's disease. Further studies are needed to determine how strong these benefits are. 

Risks

While grapeseed oil is natural and safe, there are possible risks due to how it is extracted. Most experts recommend using grapeseed oil that has been cold-pressed because this process does not involve any chemicals.

Most grapeseed oil products on the store shelves have been extracted using a chemical like hexane. This makes the extraction process easier and cheaper but hexane is classified as a neurotoxin.

It’s unclear how much of the chemical is present in grapeseed oil products, so look for cold-pressed options when you can. Grapeseed oil can also be extracted using heat, but that process may inactivate any of its beneficial properties. 

What About Allergic Reactions?

If you have never used grapeseed oil products before, it might be helpful to start with a drop on a tiny patch of skin. If you don’t notice any reactions, such as redness or itching, then it is probably safe to try a larger amount. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to grapes, then it’s best to pass on grapeseed oil for now. 

A Word From Verywell

As with any natural health supplement, grapeseed oil has no guarantees. While the potential benefits sound promising, results will most likely be mixed. Fortunately, the risk of any side effects is extremely low, making it a worthwhile option for minor skin irritations. 

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