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A lot of attention has been given to grape seed extract over the past few years. Grapes are a known source of antioxidants and when consumed, have shown the ability to inhibit the damage that may be generated by free radicals. Because the oxidation process caused by free radicals can lead to wrinkles, the properties of grapes are thought to be an effective solution for reducing them. As a result, many cosmetics manufacturers have responded by adding grape seed extract to their skin care lines. Today, I'll describe what we know for certain about grape seed extract along with its potential as an anti-wrinkle ingredient.  

UV Rays, Free Radicals, And Wrinkles  

First, a quick review of how wrinkles occur. There are a number of factors that lead to wrinkles and fine lines, including hormone production levels, UV exposure, and free radical damage. When a person is exposed to excessive UV rays, pollution, and other elements, the oxidation of free radicals may accelerate, resulting in a breakdown of collagen fibers. Over time, this can lead to the development of wrinkles.

Consumption Versus Topical Formulation  

When consumed, grapes are a rich source of antioxidants, which are known to prevent free radical damage. The theory behind grape seed extract is that by including it within skin care products, consumers can benefit from the antioxidant properties of grapes. As a result, the damaging effect that free radicals have on the skin is inhibited, preventing wrinkles and fine lines.

The question is whether applying a topical formulation that includes the extract is as effective in delivering the antioxidants as consuming grapes. To date, there are few documented studies based upon rigorous clinical testing. The studies which have been conducted either lack a large sample size, or don't offer a clear comparison of results before and after the application of the topical solution. This is not to suggest that including grape seed extract in cosmetic products doesn't work. It only suggests that there is a need for more rigorous testing.

Proven Efficacy Versus Potential  

Even though the use of grape seed extract in topical formulations has not been proven as a preventative measure against wrinkles, it has potential. We know that grapes provide useful antioxidants such as proanthocyanidin that are potent antioxidants. Studies have shown some benefit in reducing tumors and healing wounds in mice. However, whether this translates to benefiting wrinkles in human skin is unclear.  Though we know that grape seed extract will afford antioxidant activity in skin care products, we've yet to see reliable data regarding its usefulness in helping to eliminate wrinkles.  

There are some very effective skin care ingredients that can benefit skin. These include Vitamin C, retinol and sun filters, amongst others. If you want to try products containing grape seed extract, then do. Just don’t buy into the hype that it’s the next miracle ingredient.  

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenni0811 wrote Nov 19, 2008
    • If we consume our grape seed extract in the form of a glass of wine...does that count??

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Nov 19, 2008
    • Not sure about the topical benefits, but it would taste great going down, wouldn’t it?  

      Seriously, wine does provide health benefits when consumed in moderation (for women, that means 1 glass a day). Whether oral consumption would deliver topical benefits is yet to be proven.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Nov 20, 2008
    • Hi Sharmani,

      That was one of the best articles I’ve read about this. I see a lot of creams out there containing grape seed extract and have been wondering about that. Also, even if they do further testing and find that there’s something to this, wouldn’t it also depend on how fresh the grape seed extract is that the company uses? Or how much grape seed extract they put in the cream?

      I’m glad to know, too, that Vitamin C in skincare products can help. I take a lot of Vitamin C in foods, and wasn’t sure if it would translate into topical products.

      Thanks for this.

      [Link Removed]

      Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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