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Grape Seed Oil for Skin

Aastha Dogra
Rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, grape seed oil is commonly used as a carrier oil and a base ingredient for many cosmetics. This story attempts to enlighten you about the skin benefits and possible side effects of this oil.
Grape seed oil is obtained from grapes, by pressing the seeds, followed by refining. It contains naturally occurring emollients, like, palmitic, stearic, and linoleic acids. It is rich in omega-6 fatty acids with small quantities of omega-9 and omega-3 acids, which aid in keeping skin dryness and eczema at bay.
It also contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant, and plays a vital role in healing the skin and protecting it from sun damage and aging.
The best thing about this light, odorless oil is that, it has no known side effects when applied topically, and suits all skin types. It is also beneficial for the treatment of acne-prone skin. The oil is hypoallergenic, hence, those with sensitive skin can also use it.

Uses of Grape Seed Oil for Skin

With so many benefits, it's no wonder that grape seed oil is a popular choice of the manufacturers of several skin care products. Here is an in-depth look at its various uses, and what makes it so effective.

As a Moisturizer

Grape seed oil is full of natural fatty acids, which reduce the TEWL (transepidermal water loss) and seal the moisture. The Vitamin E content in this oil also aids in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, as it is said to play a role in repairing the cellulose fibers.
It is readily absorbed in the skin, leaving behind a thin, silky film―perfect for oily or acne-prone skin. Add a few drops of this oil to your regular moisturizer just before applying it to the skin. Generally, dry skin will need 3-4 drops, normal skin will need 2-3 drops, however, do not use more than 2 drops of oil for oily skin.

For Cleansing

Grape seed oil is used as a base oil in OCM, i.e., the Oil Cleansing Method. However, the results observed, are mixed. While some users have reported an increase in hydration and softness, a few have reported exacerbated acne. Here is the method of using the oil for cleansing -
1. Apply a blend of oil as suggested below -
  • For Normal Skin - 20% Castor oil + 80% Grape seed oil
  • For Oily skin - 30% Castor oil + 70% Grape seed oil
  • For Dry Skin - 10% Castor oil + 90% Grape seed oil
2. Massage the face with gentle circular movements.
3. Take a wash cloth and soak it in hot water. Wring the wash cloth to remove excess water and keep it on your face, so that the pores open up.

4. Once the wash cloth is cold, take it off and wipe the face to remove the dirt and impurities.

5. Wash the cloth in hot, running water.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 two times.

7. If your skin feels dry after the treatment, apply a very small amount of the blend on your clean face.
This treatment works best when performed at night, and for those with dry or sensitive skin. If you have an oily or acne-prone skin, this treatment is not advisable for you, as it may increase oil production, and aggravate the skin problems.

For Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are caused by breakdown of the dermis, the structural and thickest layer of the skin, due to sudden growth spurts, like, puberty or pregnancy. Applying grape seed oil to the affected area is said to reduce the appearance of these marks, most of them tend to gradually fade on their own, though.
Applying the oil regularly (with the doctor's approval), before experiencing growth spurts, will have a better effect, as a well-moisturized skin remains supple and elastic.

For Under Eye Treatment

Vitamin E in grape seed oil is thought to reduce black circles and even puffiness under the eyes. The regenerative powers of this oil also help in reducing Crow's Feet, giving you a healthier and younger look. Just apply a drop of oil around the eyes with your ring finger, at night before going to bed, to prevent dark circles.
You can also use it to remove eye make-up, as it is said to dissolve even the most stubborn of the mascaras, and is 100% natural. Use only minimally processed, preferably organic, grape seed oil, as the area around your eyes is very sensitive. Also, make sure that the oil does not go in your eyes while removing the make-up.

As a Carrier Oil

Grape seed oil is light and odorless, so it makes a perfect carrier oil i.e., a base for the strong essential oils, like, lavender or rosemary, which need to be diluted before using, especially for aromatherapy massages.

For Acne-prone Skin

Contrary to popular beliefs, grape seed oil cannot give you a flawless skin. It is, however, useful as a moisturizer, since it is non-comedogenic i.e., it does not block the pores, which is considered to be a major cause of pimples.

As a Scrub

Its light texture and non-comedegenic properties make this oil ideal for homemade scrubs, like, sugar or salt scrub. It is also a natural, inexpensive, and safe product for all skin types.

As a Bath Oil

Adding a few drops of this oil to your bath water is considered to result in a wonderfully soft, silky skin, as the oil is non-greasy and disperses easily in water.

As a Pre Shave Oil

Grape seed oil can be used as a pre shave oil or as an alternative for shaving cream. As it leaves behind a silky, thin film, it is a good lubricant for shaving, and its anti-inflammatory properties also help to treat razor burns.
In conclusion, grape seed oil is a good, light moisturizer for oily skin, however, it should not be used as the sole emollient for dry skin, as it needs richer oils for proper hydration.
It is also a good cleanser, but the OCM is best suited for sensitive and normal to dry skin types, as it might stimulate oil production. It is an excellent carrier oil for massage oils and scrubs, as it suits all skin types and is hypoallergenic.