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Formulated To Improve Skin Health From The Inside Out*
by SABU VARGHESE, June 24, 2021
First developed in the 1970s, grape seed extract (GCE) is a byproduct of the wine-making process. While its discovery is seemingly modern, its parent – the grape or Vitis vinifera – has long been used for medicinal purposes. In fact, the ancient Greeks have made use of the fruit, its sap and leaves to treat fevers and what not.
Today, the modern man continues with the traditional path of using GCE for health. Such is backed up with science that shows that it may be used for wounds, vein problems, and acne.
Grape Seed Oil: What is it Good for?
Of the many herbal supplements in the market, GCE or grape seed oil is considered one of the finest ones. For one, it may help reduce the symptoms in chronic venous insufficiency. This problem, which is characterized by problematic blood flow, often comes with pain and tension in the lower extremities. Because of these effects, grape seed oil may be used for varicose veins as well.
Several studies also suggest that it may be used to improve blood cholesterol levels and hemorrhoids. As for women, GCE may be beneficial for reducing heavy menstrual bleeding as well.
Why Grape Seed Extract is Good for Pimples
An all-around supplement, grape seed oil is also known for its skin-improving effects. In fact, it is used in many cosmetics and skincare products. More than just a beautifying product, experts believe that GCE may help reduce pimples as well.
Linoleic acid is one of 2 essential fatty acids. While it is widely known to lower cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), it plays a role in skin health as well.
According to Downing et al., low levels of linoleic acid often occur in individuals with acne. This triggers hyperkeratosis or the thickening of the outermost layer of the skin. Since the skin cells are not shed normally like they used to, they can accumulate. These cells end up clogging the pores, thereby leading to pimples.
With that being said, a lack of linoleic acid in the diet can result in skin troubles. This could be helped by taking a GCE supplement according to some of the research on the subject. After all, each serving usually contains about 66% to 75% of linoleic acid.
Antioxidants help fight the damages brought about by free radicals. These molecules, which usually result from exposure to UV rays, smoke, and pollution, can wreak havoc on the body. If left unchecked, these free radicals can cause diseases such as asthma, diabetes, inflammatory joint disease, and cancer, to name a few.
Free radicals affect most parts of the body, including the skin. They can deplete collagen stores, which are needed to prevent wrinkles and dryness. Prolonged exposure can also lead to dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
To make matters worse, free radicals can damage the DNA – thereby leading to acne.
As such, it is important to have antioxidants in the diet – which GCE can safely provide. According to Dasgupta, grape seed oil is rich in proanthocyanidins, or chemical compounds that may help fight cancer. These are known to work better than other antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta Carotene. With that being said, GCE supplements may help protect the skin from free radicals that induce acne.
Inflammation along the sebaceous (oil) gland and hair follicle can trigger acne. How this happens remains unknown. However, when this occurs, it can trigger the gland to produce more oil. This sebum then blocks the pores, leading to swollen, infected pimples.
With that being said, it is important to keep the body’s inflammatory processes at bay. GCE may just be able to help you with that. After all, it is rich in plant-based phytosterols, which are known to help reduce cholesterol levels. More than that, research also suggests that phytosterols may help control inflammatory processes within the body.
The increased production of sebum (oil) makes bacteria thrive on the skin. As a result, these organisms colonize the pores, leading to infected pimples.
To fight these microbes, dermatologists often prescribe antibiotics. However, prolonged or wrong use can lead to antibiotic resistance, where germs are no longer killed off by the said medications. As such, more and more practitioners are opting for more natural anti-bacterials, such as that of grape seed oil.
GCE contains resveratrol, a compound present in grape, berries, and nuts. It is produced by plants to fend off fungi, bacteria, and other infective organisms. With its defensive mechanisms, studies also show that resveratrol may help fight human infections as well. As such, grape seed oil may come in useful against pimple-causing microbes.
GCE is one of the few plant oils that is considered non-comedogenic. This means that this product does not and will not block pores. This is actually good news for acne-prone individuals. Compared to products that are made of pore-blocking coconut oil, GCE cosmetics greatly reduce the risk of zits and other skin problems.
How to Take Grape Seed Extract
Vitis vinifera is available in various forms, including that of tablets, capsules, and syrups. As with most herbal supplements, there is no set dose regarding intake. Drawing from European studies, a dose of 100 to 300 milligrams every day is usually prescribed.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, grape seed oil can be taken for up to 14 weeks.
Side effects of GCE intake include:
While GCE is generally safe for use, it should be taken cautiously by people with grape allergies, high blood pressure, or blood disorders. Those who are about to go surgery, as well as those taking blood thinners, are discouraged from taking this supplement as well.
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Grape seed oil is a true wonder of nature. As a supplement, it may help improve circulation. It may reduce blood cholesterol, as well as control heavy menstrual bleeding in women. Best of all, it may help fight acne given its rich antioxidant, linoleic acid, proanthocyanidin, and resveratrol content.
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