GRAPE SEED OIL: FROM A WINERY WASTE TO A VALUE ADDED COSMETIC PRODUCT-A REVIEW
Evangelia I. Sotiropoulou1*. V. Varelas1, M. Liouni1, E. T. Nerantzis2
1Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece
2Laboratory of Biotechnology & Industrial Fermentation, Dept. of Enology, TEI of Athens, Greece
Keywords: grape seed oil, winery wastes, natural cosmetics
Presenting author email:firstname.lastname@example.org
A large volume of winery wastes remains unexploited every year on an international level. Grape production is
considered to be one of the most important agro economic activities in the world, with more than 67 million tons of
grapes (Vitis vinifera) produced globally in 2012, about 22 million tons of them produced in the European Union
In this respect, the major aim of this research work is to explore possible ways for the use of winery wastes. The
objective is to encourage companies to apply value adding technologies in order to reduce their waste generation and
disposal, provide further alternatives to diminish the environmental impact of winery activity and introduce additional
sources of income. This research focuses on grape seeds and reveals its promising future as a distinct product with
potential usage in cosmetology.
Mechanical extraction (cold-pressed or hot pressed oil) and chemical or solvent extraction (Soxlet methods and hexane as
solvent) are the most common and widespread methods of extracting grape seed oil. Cold-pressed oil is greatly used to
produce grape seed oil for cosmetic usages mainly as this method preserves the natural structure of oil by keeping away
all residual chemicals.
Grape seed oil is an excellent cosmetic ingredient for controlling moisture of the skin. It is very light thus it is easily
absorbed by the skin and it will not leave any oil residue. According to a report of an independent study published in Free
Radical Biology and Medicine, grape seed oil can also accelerate the healing process of wounds on human skin and can
also be valuable for the cure of any acne problems.
To conclude with, it is rich in vitamin E, linoleic acid, omega fatty acid and antioxidants. Its antioxidant properties are
essential for minimizing skin aging. The oil can be beneficial for the reduction of wrinkles appearance, since it provides
moisture and protection against free radicals. As stated by the University of Maryland Medical Center, grape seed oil is
able to increase the amount of antioxidant in the blood and to maintain the existence of collagen and elastin.
During the last decade a trend towards natural cosmetics has been developed and therefore scientists and industry are
moving towards the research of alternative ingredients that won’t cause any allergies or other kinds of skin irritations to
Natural remedies have been used for centuries for treating skin and also for a wide variety of dermatological disorders
(inflammation, phototoxicity, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and alopecia areata).
Protection of the skin hydration and producing softening effects to skin and hair preparations is achieved using seed oils
rich in fatty acids and triglycerides that reduce transepidermal water loss .
Nowadays, many cosmetic companies are using natural ingredients like different types of herbs, honey, sugar, beer and
wine. Apart from wine, grape seed oil, grape seed extract and grape juice is used as a main ingredient for the production
of creams, shampoos, body lotions and hair treatment products.
According to a study of CCR group, wine and its’ by products are assets for many subsidiary businesses in both cosmetic
and gastronomy field with a growth of 2% in volume and an increase in turnover of 107% in the past 6 years .
Grape seed oil
The first mention of the grape seed oil appeared in the 14th century during the reign of Ferdinand IV, King of Castile and
León, independent state in the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula. An Arab doctor suggested the usage of grape
seed oil as a treatment to skin problems. The curative effect of grape seed oil was so effective that Ferdinand IV decided
to keep secret both the process and the formula; the elixir was named as royal oil or oil of the throne - from Spanish
According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center , the consumption of grapes in ancient Egypt goes back
6,000 years. Moreover, several ancient Greek philosophers praised the healing power of grapes, in the form of wine.
European folk healers made an ointment from the sap of grapevines to treat skin and eye diseases. Grape leaves were also
used to stop bleeding, inflammation and pain. Unripe grapes were used to treat sore throats and dried grapes (raisins)
were used for constipation and thirst. Grapes were also used to treat a range of health problems including cholera,
smallpox, nausea, eye and skin infections, kidney and liver diseases.
Grape production is considered to be one of the most important agro-economic activities in the world, with more than 67
million tons of grapes (Vitis vinifera) produced globally in 2012, about 22 million tons of them produced in the European
Grape seeds are waste products of wineries and are often referred as important agricultural and industrial waste  with
potentials to be used in pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic applications .
According to Codex Standard for named vegetable oils- Codex Stan 210-1999, grape seed oil is the oil which is produced
from the grape seeds of Vitis vinifera L. .
Grape seed oil is produced in many countries throughout the world like Italy, Spain, Chile, United States, Australia and
France .There are few recent data on global production of grape seed oil but according to Casao  the production in
Italy, France and Spain reached 42,000 tons.
Grape seed oil ingredients
Grapes seeds contain about 14-20% of oil .The grape seed oil is rich in linoleic acid (65-72%), oleic acid (12-23%),
palmitic acid (4-11%) , stearic acid (8,5-15%). Linoleic acid found in grape seed oil plays an important role as it is not
synthesized in the body itself and this is why products containing it have significant nutritional value . Corresponding
recommendations in linoleic acid has sunflower oil, soybean oil, safflower oil-safflower oil (plant family member of
sunflower) seed oil, corn oil and oil from poppy. The oleic acid also contributes to nutritional value of oil as it affects the
oxidative stability of oils .
Grape seed oil has also high concentration of tannins, oligomeric proanthocyanosides at 1000 times higher than the other
oils  and that is the reason why it has high stability and resistant to oxidation reaction.
It is also rich in tocopherols, which are the most important natural antioxidants that are not biosynthesized from humans
and other mammals, but must be taken exclusively by diet. Tocopherols occur in four forms; α-tocopherol, β-tocopherol,
γ-tocopherol and δ- tocopherol. Α-tocopherol has the highest activity as vitamin and low antioxidant activity compared to
the δ-tocopherol .
Tocopherols are sensitive to light and air that is why it requires special attention during extraction but also during the
analytical process . As reported by Gliszczynska-Swiglo and Sikoeska , a large amount of α-tocopherol was found
in grape seed oil compared with c, d-tocopherol, and the content of which varies depending on the variety of grape.
Their concentration in grape seed oil does not exceed that of the soybean oil (860mg / kg) and sunflower oil (880mg /
kg) and it is almost similar to that of cottonseed oil (560mg / kg) .
Grape seed oil extraction
The method chosen for oil extraction depends on the nature of raw material . The traditional way for extracting grape
seed oil is cold pressing the whole seeds in discontinuous hydraulic press or milled and heated seeds in screw press. It is
important that the seeds moisture content won’t exceed 10% . Cold pressing extraction is a mild process that allows
obtaining a good quality of oil .
Recently, alternative methods are being suggested, without organic solvents like hot water extraction, supercritical fluid
extraction (SFE) , supercritical CO2 extraction [17,18], pressurized liquid extraction (PLE)  and ultrasound
assisted extraction .
Grape seed oil’s attributes to cosmetology
1. Acne Fighting: Acne is a skin condition that affects sweat glands and hair follicles, causing inflammation, black
heads, white heads and pustules. If blemishes are deep they can leave scars and pitting, which can be distressing and
The skin needs a good supply of linoleic acid to help strengthen cell membranes and improve skin health in general. The
oil also has a significant amount of the antioxidant capacity so as to prevent pores from clogging. The anti-inflammatory
properties prevent the outbreak of acne but also help any existing acne problems.
2. Skin Tightening and healing: Grape seed oil has astringent properties, fighting free radicals and helping to firm the
skin. It is medically useful for various purposes, especially to reduce swellings. For this reason there are many cosmetic
companies that sell many products using this substance as a main ingredient.
Regular application of grape seed oil will deliver basically a good amount of astringent that is useful for stimulating the
skin and tightening. For these purposes, people with oily skin will get more advantages using grape seed oil.
By applying grape seed oil, human body can accelerate the wound healing process and also can diminish scars [4, 19,
20]. Grape seed extract has been applied to wounds on the skin of animals and humans and found that wounds treated
with grape seed extract healed more quickly than wounds that did not receive the extract. .
3. Reduction of dark circles eye: The black circles are common facial skin problems and the effects of sun exposure,
dehydration, excessive alcohol consumption, etc. Fortunately, removing under eye circles is one of the largest capacities
grape seed oil skin. The compound would not be able to bear visible results overnight indeed, but regular application for
a week can completely eliminate the occurrence of these cycles without harmful chemicals.
In order to analyze the safety and effectiveness of the grapeseed oil composition, clinical studies were conducted using
six individuals, by applying topically to one-half of their face. Application of the composition was studied for a period of
10-30 days. One of the conditions that was evaluated was the presence of dark circles underneath the eyes. Using visual
inspections in combination with patients acting as their own controls, they found that previously dark circles under
patient's eyes appeared much lighter under the right eye following application of the composition .
4. Hydration: Most types of oils can be used as a skin moisturizer . The most common problem is the residue and
the oily coating on the skin after application. Grape seed oil is very light so easily absorbed by the skin and does not
leave any residue. People with sensitive skin can apply the oil with no chance of an allergic reaction [20, 21, 22].
According to Spiers & Cleaves, following treatment with grape seed oil topically, patient showed no signs of allergic
reaction after using it for 22 days .
Another advantage of grape seed oil is to stimulate skin tissue, namely the regeneration of cells. Clinical studies have
shown that topical application of linoleic acid soothes the skin and reduces the trans-epidermal water loss .
According to Conti A. et al.  and Jimerez-Arnau A.  the properties of linoleic acid are confirmed. Moreover, dry
skin has low linoleic acid, which can be restored by the topical application solutions rich in linoleic acid such as grape
seed oil , which reduces the epidermal water loss within 48 hours .
5. Protection of the skin from aging: The antioxidant properties contained in grape seed oil is excellent to minimize
skin aging [21, 31]. Fine lines and wrinkles are common signs of aging, but the oil can help reduce the appearance of
these points, providing enough moisture and protect against free radicals .
According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center swallowing the oil is able to increase the amount of
antioxidants in the blood. Other benefits to the skin include the abilities to sustain the presence of collagen and elastin
6. Skin protection against UVB radiation: The primary environmental factor that causes human skin aging is UV
irradiation from the sun .
The grape seed extract has the potential to protect human keratinocytes against the damages produced by UVB radiation
due to their strong antioxidant activity that reduce in a significant level, the free radicals levels. The antioxidant activity
is mainly caused from the high concentration of polyphenols, presented by proantocyanidins, anthocyanidines , catechins
.Grape seed proanthocyanidins have been proved to exert skin cancer prevention effects by inhibiting oxidative stress
and protecting the immune system .
7. Hair Treatment: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is the most common cause of hair loss in men and affects up to 70%
of men in later life and especially those aged over 50 years [33, 34, 37]. Grape seed oil, have been shown to be possible
alternative treatments, apart from pumpkin seed oil, for AGA due to improved scalp blood flow [35, 36, 37].
For best results in the treatment of hair, it may be required to combine grape seed oil with specific essential oils like
rosemary and lavender. Essential oils when are incorporated in a hair care product will impact shine and conditioning
effects. This helps provide not only hair conditioning and improvement in the hairs’ texture, but also a longer lasting
pleasant aroma, which eliminates negative odours .
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