Have you seen grape seed extract mentioned in ingredient lists and wondered why? Turns out this ingredient is great for skin and hair!
Grape seed extract is derived from vitis vinifera, and as it sounds, it is extracted from the seed and sometimes the skin of grapes. Grapes are native to Asia near the Caspian Sea. They were brought to Europe and North America sometime in the 1600s. Grapes have been recognized for their medical value and nutritional properties since early times. Ancient Egyptian art shows Egyptians consuming grapes approximately 6,000 years ago. Ancient Greek philosophers reported the health value of grapes, especially consumed as wine. European herbalists made ointment from the sap of grapevines and used it for the treatment of skin and eye ailments. Healers used unripe grapes to treat sore throat, whereas raisins were used to ease constipation and to quench the thirst. Grapes were traditionally used to treat certain cancers, small pox, skin disorders, kidney and liver diseases, eye infections and nausea.
Grape Seed Qualities
The oil is lightweight; its color ranges from clear to yellowish/green. Grape seed oil has a slightly sweet, nutty aroma. Today many hair and skin care formulators include grape seed extract and grape seed oil in their products such as shampoos and conditioners.
Grape Seed Extract Constituents
Grape seed extract contains flavonoid-rich properties and one of the herbal kingdom’s most powerful antioxidants—oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPC. OPC’s have been studied for their properties to scavenge free radicals. This ability is believed to enable OPC to help maintain youth, resilience and increase healthy life span.
- OPCs exist in many plants but a notably large amount can be extracted from grape seed
- OPC is an extraordinary antioxidant.
- It helps reduce or inhibit swelling and inflammation
- Assists collagen's ability to repair itself
- Reduces unpleasant symptoms of PMS and menopause
- Helps fight pain sometimes, even helping with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia
- Nourishes hair and skin while improving elasticity
- Curtails brittleness
- Deters wrinkles and sagging skin
- Revitalizes hair; leaves a healthy sheen
- OPC is nontoxic
Look for OPC health values in the 100-200 milligram range.
Grape Seed Oil and the Hair
Grape seed oil conditions and strengthen the hair in the following ways:
- It is light and not prone to oily build-up
- Grape seed oil is a natural humectant
- It is moisturizing.
- Grape seed oil is a nutrient-dense conditioner that strengthens and revitalizes
- Wards off free-radical damage
- Grape seed oil is slightly astringent, making it good for oily scalp. It won’t weight down hair
Grape seed oil strengthens weak hair prone to breaking off
Grape seed extract contains vitamin E, flavonoids and linoleic acid, in addition to OPC. It is high in silicon, an essential mineral for healthy hair and skin. Grape seed oil and extract are wonderful additives for creating a nourishing and conditioning hair care product. This ingredient is especially good for kinky, curly or wavy hair because it strengthens the hair shaft, helps the curls stay defined and not weighed down, moisturizes, nourishes and protects against brittleness.