Grapes are the bountiful fruit that give us wine, juices, jams and jellies. But these little jewels offer more than just flavor: they are potent antioxidants with a host of skin-soothing and health-enhancing properties. In fact, grape seed extract is a popular skin supplement and health tonic, used to treat swelling, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and fight against disease and the effects of aging. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that grape seed extract may prevent the growth of some types of cancer cells, including breast, stomach, colon, prostate and lung cancer. Since the evidence only exists in test tubes, researchers are uncertain whether grape seed extract provides these same benefits in humans, however.
For those who enjoy sunbathing, proper sun protection is imperative to reducing the risks of sun damage, which include premature wrinkling and skin cancer. However, even those who do not bask at the beach are at risk, especially during the summer months and in warm-weather states. The active compounds in grape seeds (proanthocyanidins) protect skin from sun damage and help prevent some types of skin cancer by inhibiting oxidative stress.
Since grape seed extract is an abundant source of vitamin E, linoleic acid and flavonoids, it is also a powerful anti-aging tool, and one that every woman should have in her beauty bag. Better than expensive department store creams, grape seed extract helps firm and tighten skin by bonding with collagen, the skin’s main protein and the key to a youthful appearance.
Choosing a Grape Seed Product
As an antioxidant-rich product, grape seed extract not only works on skin, it also promotes overall health by enhancing the immune system. For this reason, you’ll find grape seed extract as an ingredient in cosmetics and as a general health supplement, sold in capsule, tablet and liquid forms. The quality of grape seed products vary, depending upon the type of grape (red and purple grapes typically contain the most nutrients) and the way it was processed. A quality product contains standardized extracts of 40 – 80 percent proanthocyanidins or 95 percent OPC value.
References: University of Maryland Medical Center http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/grape-seed-000254.htm