Can You Use Grapeseed Oil for Acne Spots and Scars?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

What is grapeseed oil?

Grapeseed oil comes from the seeds that are expelled from grapes during the winemaking process. The seeds are cold-pressed to produce an oil that’s known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some people believe that grapeseed oil can be used to treat acne and keep skin glowing. Although the oil does have some unique properties that make it good for your skin, it may not be the most effective treatment option for all acne- related blemishes.

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Read on to learn how grapeseed oil works, which types of acne may benefit from it, and how to add it to your skin care routine.

How does it work?

When used as a topical treatment, grapeseed oil can help promote healthy skin on a cellular level.

That’s because grapeseed oil contains vitamin E, beta-carotene, and linoleic acid. These nutrients give the oil antioxidant and antiproliferative properties, helping healthy cells to regenerate and replace aging or damaged cells.

The ability of vitamin E, in particular, to help even skin tone and heal blemishes has been acknowledged by researchers.

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Natural oils that contain high levels of certain fatty acids — like grapeseed — have also been linked to wound healing.

Grapeseed oil may even help fight off acne-causing bacteria.

What types of acne does it work for?

Grapeseed oil might not work the same way for every skin type. How it affects the skin can vary from person to person and even from breakout to breakout.

Active breakouts

If you’re dealing with papules and pustules — the red “zits” that can form on the surface of your skin — grapeseed oil may help clear your breakout.

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In addition to reducing redness and inflammation, the oil may promote cell regeneration to help replace damaged skin.

It isn’t considered to be as effective for blemishes that are primarily below the skin, such as:

  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • cysts
Acne scars

You can also use grapeseed oil to help reduce the appearance of acne scarring.

Grapeseed oil is rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to help with scars. Some research suggests that you may see results in as little as two weeks if you apply the oil twice a day.

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It’s also worth noting that the linoleic acid that’s in grapeseed oil may help speed wounds through the inflammatory phase. This could reduce your risk of scarring.

Overall acne prevention

If you’re prone to breakouts or just want to improve your skin tone, consider grapeseed oil as a first line of defense to keep skin clear.

If your skin has unbalanced oil production — meaning it gets saturated with oil in some areas and stays overly dry in others — grapeseed oil’s linoleic acid can mimic the sebum that your glands naturally produce. This can give your skin a more even, glowing appearance

Older research suggests that decreased levels of linoleic acid can be a direct cause of acne inflammation. In theory, boosting your linoleic acid levels might help reduce your risk for inflammation.

Is it safe for all skin types?

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The linoleic acid in the oil can help balance the skin’s natural oil production, making it safe to use for all skin types.

There’s no research to suggest that the oil can have a negative impact on any particular skin tone.

If you’re unsure of whether grapeseed oil is compatible with your skin, talk to your dermatologist. They can answer any questions that you may have.

How to use grapeseed oil

You don’t need to dilute grapeseed oil with a carrier oil. But you do need to do a patch test before use to see how your skin reacts to the oil.

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To do this:

  1. Rub a dime-sized amount of oil into the inside of your forearm.
  2. Cover the area with a bandage.
  3. If you don’t experience any inflammation or irritation within 24 hours, it should be safe to apply elsewhere.
  4. If you do experience irritation, rinse the affected area with cold water and discontinue use.

Once you know that you don’t have a grapeseed oil sensitivity, you can use pure grapeseed oil as a topical skin treatment.

Many grapeseed oil fans recommend using it as a night serum — something you can apply to your face and neck area to improve skin tone while you sleep. But there’s no reason you can’t use grapeseed oil in the morning too.

Three to four drops of oil should be enough to cover your entire face. Rub the oil together using the palms of your hands, then apply it to your cheeks, neck, jawbone, forehead, and the area under your eyes, using the upward motion of your palms. If you need more coverage, add one to two more drops.

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Some research suggests that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapeseed oil, can help protect skin from UVB rays. But that doesn’t mean that you can skip on a daily SPF — you still need to protect your skin from UVA and other broad- spectrum rays.

Make sure you apply sunscreen in the morning and reapply it as needed throughout the day.

Possible side effects and risks

If you’re using grapeseed oil topically, your risk of side effects is minimal.

But if you have allergies to certain food products, you may want to check with your doctor or dermatologist before use.

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Grapeseed oil and extracts could cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • hives
  • itching
  • scratchy throat
  • watery eyes

You should seek immediate medical attention if you have difficulty breathing, facial swelling, or heart palpitations.

Ingesting grapeseed oil hasn’t been shown to affect acne in any way. Ingested grapeseed oil can interact with certain drugs, including blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin).

The bottom line

Grapeseed oil is generally considered a safe and potentially effective alternative treatment for acne. Your individual success will depend on the type of acne that you’re dealing with. It can also vary from breakout to breakout.

If you aren’t seeing results after three months of use, visit your dermatologist. They may be able to recommend other alternative remedies or traditional treatment options better suited for your skin care goals.

Read more on: oil, beauty, skin, skin care, acne, rapeseed


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