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Grapeseed Oil for Psoriasis

Medically reviewed by Lisa Booth, RDN
Written by Sarah Winfrey
Posted on May 24, 2023

Living with a skin condition like psoriasis can mean figuring out which treatments work best for you without having unwanted effects. Many people focus on natural remedies, such as grapeseed oil, which they find either cause fewer side effects or are more readily available.

If grapeseed oil has grabbed your interest, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of this home remedy so you can decide if it’s right for you. As with any treatment to help with itching or removing psoriasis scales and plaques, make sure you talk to your doctor before you try it.

What Is Grapeseed Oil?

Like canola or olive oil, grapeseed oil is a type of oil that can be used for cooking. Grapeseed oil is a byproduct of when wine is made — pressing on a grape releases its seeds, and grapeseed oil is processed from those seeds.

Grapeseed oil contains potentially beneficial substances common in grapes and in wine, such as phenols and certain tannins (bitter compounds) called proanthocyanidins. These compounds are believed to help prevent cell damage and ward off diseases like cancer and diabetes. Grapeseed oil is also often used as a moisturizer for the skin and scalp because it’s rich in omega-6 fatty acids and has a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Grapeseed Oil vs. Grapeseed Extract

People sometimes confuse grapeseed oil and extract with one another, but they’re different substances. The oil seeps from the pressed seeds, and the extract consists of finely ground seeds and is usually dry. Grapeseed extract may contain higher concentrations of the flavonoids (beneficial plant properties) found in grapeseed oil, though more research is needed to determine the exact contents and processing methods.

Is Grapeseed Oil Good for Your Health?

Grapeseed oil seems to have some wellness benefits for the body. Researchers believe grapeseed oil may reduce the risk of prostate and colorectal cancers, though more studies must be done to verify if — and how — it achieves these results.

For skin health, grapeseed oil may be helpful in several ways. In addition to containing moisturizing fatty acids, the oil has some antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. These help keep our skin healthy, strong, and youthful.

Fatty Acids May Fend Off Flare-Ups

When consumed, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids may help your skin maintain its structural integrity, which means your skin acts as a barrier to keep harmful substances out of your body. Fatty acids also appear to control inflammation and reduce sensitivity in the skin.

Some of these effects may be specifically helpful for people living with psoriasis. The condition often seems to be related to abnormalities within the layers of the skin, so fatty acids may help reduce these issues and keep psoriasis at bay.

Proanthocyanidins May Stave Off Symptoms

Proanthocyanidins are also categorized as flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to occur at high levels in grapes and the fruit’s byproducts, like grapeseed oil and extract. These compounds work in a wide variety of ways through their anticancer, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties — and they may even protect your nervous system.

Proanthocyanidins regulate immune pathways in a way that may be particularly beneficial for people with psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that involves immune system dysfunction. In a 2022 study on mice, researchers noted that proanthocyanidins like those in grapeseed may help the immune system work better by reducing the secretion of certain substances, such as interleukins and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, that can cause psoriasis symptoms.

This immune system adjustment may also be helpful for people with psoriatic arthritis, though more research is necessary to see how effective they are at dealing with joint inflammation.

Hydration May Address Flaky, Dry Skin

Dryness and flakiness are common with psoriasis, and applying grapeseed oil may provide moisture to remedy these symptoms. Grapeseed oil is just one of many possible moisturizers for psoriasis. You may want to test several types to determine which one works best for you.

The Pros of Using Grapeseed Oil for Psoriasis

Some people report that grapeseed oil helps their psoriasis quite a bit. One MyPsoriasisTeam member said, “I have been using grapeseed oil, and this has taken my scales to a point of none.”

Others prefer to mix grapeseed oil with other ingredients. “I have found a mix of beeswax, olive oil, grapeseed oil, and a bit of coconut oil makes a nice balm for my spots,” said another member. In combinations like these, grapeseed oil serves as both a treatment and a carrier oil for other ingredients. Be sure to check with your dermatologist before adding other products to grapeseed oil.

Good results can’t be guaranteed but, when they happen, may make a powerful argument in favor of using grapeseed oil. On its plus side, grapeseed oil is also:

  • Readily available, perhaps even in your local supermarket
  • Relatively inexpensive, especially compared with some other psoriasis treatments
  • Simple to use and apply
  • Easy to mix with other oils, creams, or moisturizers
  • Mostly colorless and odorless

The Cons of Using Grapeseed Oil for Psoriasis

There are no significant downsides to using grapeseed oil topically or consuming it in moderate quantities, as long as you don’t have any adverse reactions to it. Even grapeseed extract, which is usually considered stronger than grapeseed oil, has been shown to be generally safe in the higher doses used in studies.

Allergic reactions are possible with any product, including grapeseed oil. If you have any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as hives, trouble breathing, or facial swelling, stop using the oil immediately and get medical attention.

Avoid ingesting grapeseed oil if you’re taking vitamin C or lactobacillus. The combination may change the way your body interacts with these supplements, raising blood pressure (when used with vitamin C) or slowing the growth of helpful intestinal bacteria (negating the desired effects of lactobacillus).

How To Use Grapeseed Oil for Psoriasis Safely

You can use grapeseed oil for psoriasis in several ways, but talk with your dermatology expert before introducing it to your regimen. Together, you and your health care provider can decide if this should be the next step in your psoriasis treatment.

Apply Grapeseed Oil Topically

You can reap many of the benefits of grapeseed oil by applying it directly to your psoriasis plaques as a topical treatment. Take a small amount of oil and rub it into the area affected by psoriasis and the surrounding skin. You shouldn’t need to wash it off — it should absorb into your skin, helping you feel better and reducing your symptoms.

If the oil doesn’t seem too greasy, you may want to make it part of your skin care routine.

Consume Grapeseed Oil

Ingesting grapeseed oil — say, through cooking or supplements — helps your entire body reap the benefits of fatty acids and proanthocyanidins. Some MyPsoriasisTeam members take grapeseed oil this way. One wrote, “I also … take Oregon grapeseed oil supplements and vitamin B in the morning.”

Ingesting the oil can help you get its benefits both when you’re not having a flare and when you’re experiencing symptoms in multiple locations, though you can use grapeseed oil topically, too, if you want.

You can also take grapeseed extract, which may be easier to find at your local health food store. Regardless of which form you choose, follow the directions on the bottle. You should also check with your doctor to determine the right dosage for your needs and your body.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 117,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Are you thinking about trying grapeseed oil for psoriasis or do you use it now? Has it made a difference in your symptoms? Share your questions or experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

    Posted on May 24, 2023

    A MyPsoriasisTeam Member

    I keep hoping my scalp psoriasis will ease up but it seems to get progressively worse. I want to try the grape seed oil and extract. I will be looking for that today. I am new to this group. I have… read more

    posted May 31, 2023
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    Lisa Booth, RDN studied foods and nutrition at San Diego State University, in California and obtained a registered dietitian nutritionist license in 2008. Learn more about her here.
    Sarah Winfrey is a writer at MyHealthTeam. Learn more about her here.

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