There's something else to love about your favorite pinot or malbec: the healthy, awesome oil created from its leftovers. Grape-seed oil is the byproduct of the winemaking process—after winemakers press grapes into wine, the remaining grape seeds are turned into a multi-use elixir that packs a powerful punch and offers health and beauty benefits.
In fact, a 2016 study from the National Institutes of Health confirmed some of the reasons grape-seed oil fans love it for eating, cooking, and for healthy, beautiful skin and hair. The study found that grape-seed oil has antioxidant capacity, meaning it can help protect against free radicals, which can "reduce the inflammatory process related to some diseases." And since it has anti-inflammatory benefits, grape-seed oil (along with other similar nutrients) could aid in controlling and treating some chronic diseases.
How can you get grape-seed oil benefits into your life? Here are 10 ideas.
In the Kitchen
One pro tip to remember: To use grape-seed oil in the kitchen, make sure it's cold-pressed. When processed at high heat, the oil can be combined with chemicals that are potentially dangerous.
Grape-seed oil is high in vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids. Whisk it up with some balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, throw in your favorite herbs and spices, and you've got a healthy and delicious alternative to bottled dressing.
Zucchini, onions, tofu, mushrooms, peppers, meet your new bestie. Grape-seed oil has a high smoke point, which means it stands up to high heat, making it great for stir-frying and sauteing. Throw in your favorite spices and protein and say hello to a fast, healthy, delicious dinner.
On Your Skin
Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist who serves as clinical faculty at Tulane University, points to the components of grape-seed oil that make it a skincare go-to: "Grape-seed oil contains linoleic acid, which is important for skin moisturization; it's also an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your skin from aging and provide an extra layer of protection, and they're anti-inflammatory. Inflammation plays a role in aging skin," she says.
Farris recommends buying either pure grape-seed oil and using a few drops on the skin like a serum, or looking for products that incorporate it.
A 2016 study looked at the wound-healing properties of grape-seed, sesame, and fenugreek oils, and researchers found that the properties in grape-seed oil (vitamin E, antioxidants, fatty acids, and more) can help with the healing wounds and scars. They won't go away completely, but rubbing grape-seed oil on scars can help make them less noticeable.
The linoleic acid in grape-seed oil helps strengthen skin's barrier function, which Farris says, is important to protect the skin against aging.
For Healthy Hair
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Grape-seed oil is a light, odor-free moisturizer. Mix it with your favorite essential oil and use it as a weekly hot oil treatment before you shampoo.
Keep some in a spray bottle diluted with water. A spritz or two will instantly tame frizz and flyaways.
We all recognize the importance of self-care. No time and/or funds to get to a spa? No worries. Grape-seed oil makes an at-home massage feel like the real deal.
Use grape-seed oil mixed with your favorite fragrance to give yourself a hand massage or foot rub. Better yet, try it for a night in with friends or your partner. Call it pampering and prosecco, or massages and mojitos. No matter the name, grape-seed oil will make it super relaxing.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.