Like many women in their late twenties, I have found myself becoming more interested in being healthy and learning how to take good care of myself. With this in mind (and taking Reisa’s advice!), I am cultivating the habit of reading ingredient labels and making sure I take note of exactly what I am putting into — or onto my body. While this is so important with our food, it is equally as important with skin care products, since whatever you put onto your face or body gets absorbed directly into your skin. Knowing this, I want to do my body good and make sure I am putting in only the best ingredients!
During my research, I found that grape seed oil was a very common ingredient in many skin and body care products– and when I checked the face wash and moisturizer that I was already using, it was there too! I decided to learn why. What exactly is grape seed oil and is it beneficial to use on my skin?
What is grape seed oil? The basics:
Grape seed oil is one of the lightest body care oils. It is a nutrient rich oil derived from-you guessed it- grape seeds. The oil itself is made by cold pressing the grapes after they have already been used to make wine.
What makes grape seed oil good for your skin?
This oil is very rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and antioxidants. The antioxidants in grape seed oil are known as PCO’s (procyanidolic oligomers) which are known for their health giving properties and are more powerful than BOTH Vitamin C and E.
We all know that antioxidants are great for our our bodies and our skin, and due to grape seed oil’s high antioxidant count, it combats the free radicals in the environment that cause damage and premature aging of the skin. It also stops some of enzymes that destroy collagen, elastin and other connective tissues.
The antioxidant proanthocyanidin found in grape seed oil provides anti-inflammatory protection and helps maintain healthy collagen. Collagen is the structural protein found in tissues and is essential for maintaining healthy skin. As we age, we produce less collagen and our skin begins to sag. Hence why using products which contain grape seed oil would be beneficial to maintain a healthy and youthful appearance. Grape seed oil also contains polyphenols-which are what we need when it comes to looking younger. Polyphenols help slow the process of aging.
In addition to fighting free radicals, grape seed oil can also lessen allergic reactions on the skin. Unlike other oils, which may tend to sit on top of the skin and leave a greasy film, grape seed oil penetrates the easily and quickly; therefore, it doesn’t readily clog pores. Due to these properties, grape seed oil can often be found in skin care products used to help acne.
For those of us who have a hard time with scents, grape seed oil has almost no odor and is non irritating. For these reasons, grape seed oil is commonly added to many hypoallergenic products. Since it doesn’t have a scent, it doesn’t need to have other scents added to cover. The flavanoids contained in grape seed oil inhibit allergic reactions in skin and may even be able to help with eczema or psoriasis.
A 2010 study by the International Journal of Medical Science found that the flavanoids resveratrol and anthocyannis in grape seeds are phytonutrients (nutrients from plants) which, when ingested provide anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and anti-microbial properties.
Grape seed oil also contains a high amount of linoleic acid-a fatty acid essential for the health of skin and cell membranes. Linoleic acid has also been linked to being anti-inflammatory, acne reductive and moisture retentive.
Wow! See all the things you can learn by picking one ingredient in your beauty care products and doing a little research? Grape seed oil is a wonderful ingredient to be using on my skin. It can help me look younger, fight free radicals, and even protect my collagen and reduce acne. With all these benefits, why wouldn’t you pick a product that contains grape seed oil?