Grapeseed oil is just one of many potential carrier oils that can be used to dilute other more potent essential oils. If you are looking for a soothing, gentle oil, then it is well worth considering grapeseed as your carrier oil of choice.
History of Grapeseed Carrier Oil
Grapeseed oil is extracted from the Vitis vinifera, which is usually grown to produce wine or grape juice. Usually, the seeds and oil are discarded, even though the seeds have a lot of nutritional value. Grapeseed oil has been in use for at least 6,000 years, and it is even mentioned in the bible, with the prophet Daniel being a fan of the oil for health reasons.1 Healers throughout history have used it to make ointments and to treat disease.
Grapeseed oil contains high concentrations of triglycerides, as much as 89.5to 99.3 percent. The breakdown of fatty acids in the oil can vary depending on the type of grape but is primarily (around 70 percent) linoleic acid, with the remainder being oleic acid and palmitic acid.2
Linoleic acid is thought to have a protective effect against heart disease which is one of the reasons that grapeseed oil has proven so popular as a medicinal oil.3
Uses for Grapeseed Carrier Oil
If consumed in excess, linoleic acid can be bad for you.4 The good news is that there are ways to enjoy the benefits of grapeseed oil that do not involve consuming significant quantities of oil. In moderation, grapeseed oil can provide a range of health benefits, some of which are highlighted below.
Grapeseed oil is quite light and will not clog your pores, so it is good for use on acne-prone skin. Both linoleic acid and oleic acid (which is also found in abundance in grapeseed oil) have anti-inflammatory properties.5 This means that they can help reduce inflammation and soreness, allowing it to soothe acne.
Another ingredient in grapeseed oil is stearic acid. This is known for its cleaning properties and can be helpful for stripping dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from both skin and hair.6
Reduces the Appearance of Aging
Grapeseed oil contains vitamin E and palmitoleic acid, both of which can help to stave off the effects of aging, promote skin repair, and act as a moisturizer to tighten and perk up sagging skin.7 Massaging a few drops of palmitoleic acid into your skin each day could help to prevent the appearance of wrinkles.
Both linoleic acid and oleic acid are readily absorbed by hair, which means that they can help make it look brighter, thicker, and more supple. Massaging a little oil onto the scalp can reduce inflammation and irritation and support healthy hair growth. It can also help soothe itchiness and reduce the appearance of dandruff if used in small quantities as a natural form of leave in conditioner.
Acts as a Preservative
One often overlooked property of grapeseed carrier oil is that stearic acid is a preservative that helps products stay potent when they are stored.8 One of the challenges of making your own massage oils, cosmetics, and facial treatments is that many carrier oils will go rancid quickly.
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Stearic acid can help prevent this by keeping the oil and the other ingredients relatively fresh. Nevertheless, you should still make only small quantities of your essential oil blends and keep them in a dark glass bottle that is sealed when the oil is not in use.
Best Essential Oils to Pair with Grapeseed Carrier Oil
Grapeseed oil is particularly useful as a massage oil, so you should consider pairing it with essential oils that work well for stress relief, pain relief, and revitalizing.
It pairs well with lavender, which is known to be relaxing and good for reducing pain. It also pairs well with ylang-ylang, which is a great invigorating and energizing essential oil. Consider pairing it with bergamot and chamomile to make a stress-relieving blend. For added stress relief, try pairing one of these massage oils with aromatic use of essential oils through a room diffuser or personal diffuser like Zen MONQ.
Grapeseed oil can dry a little faster than other carrier oils, so if you want something that will last a little longer for a massage treatment, mix both grapeseed and coconut oil. If you want something that will work for a quick massage but that will be absorbed readily by the skin, mix jojoba and grapeseed oil and then add the other essential oils to that.
Safety and Precautions
Grapeseed oil is generally well-tolerated, but there is always the risk of an allergic reaction with any new substance, so it is a good idea to perform a spot test before you start applying large quantities of the oil to your face or other parts of your body. Wait several hours (or overnight) after doing the test. If you do not experience any adverse reaction, it is safe to use that oil. Do a fresh spot test whenever you add new oils to the blend.
Do not take essential oils internally unless you have been informed by a qualified aromatherapy professional that they are safe. Note that some carrier oils are sold for use in aromatherapy and there are food grade versions of the same product. The food grade versions may go through stricter processing, packaging, and purification procedures, so do not use a cosmetic-grade oil as a cooking oil.
Store your oil carefully, taking care to reseal the lid fully after using it and put the oil in a cupboard away from direct sunlight.
Grapeseed oil is a versatile oil with a mild aroma that you can use on your skin and hair. You can use it as a massage oil or as a moisturizing oil for your face. It works well with a wide range of essential oils and it is quite affordable too, which makes it a popular choice for aromatherapy practitioners. Try adding this essential oil into your daily routine to experience the health benefits it provides.
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