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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grape Seed Oil Moisturizer

A Cheap, Natural Alternative to Commercial Moisturizers = Natural Skin Care on a Budget

Don’t let the oil in the title turn you off!  Grape seed oil is actually GOOD for your skin, whether it be oily or dry.  Grape seed oil is a cheap, natural moisturizer made from ingredients found in the home, and is the base ingredient for many commercial moisturizers.  I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and am so happy I switched over.  Let me tell you a story and then explain:

A couple of years ago I was running out of facial moisturizer.  I wanted to try something new, but I was really busy with school and didn’t want to take the time to research another new product and waste my money again on a moisturizer that left my face feeling clogged, that stung my eyes, or that smelled like chemicals.  I knew enough to be freaked out by the fact that a lot of facial creams put chemicals like formaldehyde in their product.  Formaldehyde, folks.  As in what mad scientists use to preserve skin tissue in jars in their basements!  Well I’m far from ready for being embalmed. Not only that, but many of THESE CHEMICALS ARE TOXINS that can leech into your skin and cause cancer, as well as damage the environment.

Well I happened to have a bottle of grape seed oil in my cupboard – yep, the cooking oil – and remembered having once had a wonderful massage with grape seed oil, so I slapped some on my face.  I figured it couldn’t be any worse than the multitude of moisturizers I’ve tried over the years that resulted in breakouts and aggravation of the red patches around my nose and chin, etc.  I found that is absorbed quickly, didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy, and actually felt really smooth.  I’ve been using it for over two years now.  My skin is smoother than before, and I’m pretty sure my crow’s feet even got better!  

It turns out that grape seed oil is widely used as a base in commercial moisturizers for its anti-aging properties and its ability to help heal skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It has anti-bacterial qualities that help heal skin and of course, it moisturizes.  I’ve found that it really balances out my combination skin and I have far less breakouts.   Now you could certainly look in to getting a commercial moisturizer with grape seed oil in it, but I just use mine straight up and it works fine.  

You only need a teeny tiny amount to moisturize your face, about a dime size in the palm of my hand works for me.  I’m actually just finishing off a bottle of grape seed oil I bought about a year and a half ago for $8!  It’s such a cheap, natural moisturizer!  Unlike commercial moisturizers that tend to go funky after awhile (i.e. chemicals separate, smell funny, etc) grape seed oil lasts for ages. 

Incidentally, I was recently visiting my mom and stayed with her for a couple of weeks.  I was running low on the grape seed oil I had brought with me, and started using some of her rather expensive, anti-aging creams.  First off, since I haven't put such strong chemicals on my face for years, the smell was a bit nauseating.  It also stung, and it made the red patches around my nose inflamed, and spread.  After a couple of days I just stopped moisturizing altogether rather than deal with the chemicals.  Once I went back to grape seed, my skin improved again.  

Other things to do with grape seed oil include

1. Cook with it!  It's rich in antioxidants so it's a healthy cooking oil. Scratch that.  I don't cook with it anymore.  Olive oil, coconut oil and butter amongst others all have more evidence to prove their health benefits. 

2. Make a cheap, natural full body moisturizer.  I mix a couple of drops of essential oil into a tablespoon or two of grape seed oil and rub it into my skin.  Make sure you’re not allergic to the essential oil of course, and only use a small amount to start as some people have sensitive skin that reacts to strong oils!  The result is delicately scented, soft skin.  

3. Make a cheap, natural bath soak.  Pour a few drops into a bath (along with an essential oil if you like for some aromatherapy) and soak your way to smooth skin

4. Make a cheap, natural make-up remover.  A few drops on a cotton pad should be sufficient, and will save you the cost of an expensive remover that stings your eyes.  Grape seed oil will moisturize as it removes your make up. 

Obviously I can’t guarantee that everyone will have the same results as I have, but I have yet to find evidence of any adverse side effects for using grape seed oil topically. 

See David Suzuki’s site for more information on toxic chemicals in cosmetics.

*OAS Info: This is free of all the common OAS allergens I have found. 

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