What is Grapeseed Oil?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes, typically wine grapes. Since grape seeds are usually discarded as part of the wine making process, the extraction and sale of the oil can be a profitable sideline, as well as an efficient use of a byproduct. In the 20th century, it began to be processed and sold in much higher volume, primarily in the United States and Europe. Many stores sell pure grapeseed oil for various applications.

A bottle of food-grade grapeseed oil.
A bottle of food-grade grapeseed oil.

Because each seed yields a small amount of oil, grapeseed oil is usually extracted chemically. The chemical extraction does have an impact on the flavor of the oil, but it makes it more affordable. Grapeseed oil is light in color and flavor, with a hint of nuttiness. It is a polyunsaturated oil, and contains beneficial compounds such as linoleic acid.

Grapeseed oil is extracted from grape seeds.
Grapeseed oil is extracted from grape seeds.

There are two primary uses for grapeseed oil: cosmetics and culinary applications. When purchasing oil to use in food, shoppers should make sure that it is clearly marked as food grade. Some cosmetic oils are stabilized with chemicals which could be harmful to consume. Like other oils, grapeseed oil should be stored in a cool dark place until it is used, unless it has been heavily stabilized. For people who use it rarely, refrigeration is best. Although the oil may congeal slightly, it will go rancid much more slowly when kept cold.

Some people prefer to flavor grapeseed oil with truffle shavings.
Some people prefer to flavor grapeseed oil with truffle shavings.

In foods, grapeseed oil has numerous uses. It has a very high smoking point, so many people use it for frying. It can also be included in dressings and sauces, and since it emulsifies very well, it does not generally separate when used to make things like mayonnaise. The flavor is also unobtrusive, allowing diners to focus on the main component of the dish. The oil can also be flavored with the addition of things like peppers, truffle shavings, and herbs.

Grapeseed oil is often combined with other oils to make massage oil.
Grapeseed oil is often combined with other oils to make massage oil.

Grapeseed oil is widely used in cosmetics. It is often combined with other oils to make massage oil, since it glides well on the skin and it also has moisturizing properties. This oil appears to assist with skin repair, as it has mildly astringent and antiseptic qualities. Some companies use it as a short term natural preservative in body products, while others integrate it into moisturizing creams, sunscreen, and an assortment of other products.

Some sunscreens feature grapeseed oil as an ingredient.
Some sunscreens feature grapeseed oil as an ingredient.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


I purchased the Ottavio brand of grapeseed oil for cooking, from Costco. The color and smell of it is totally different from the NOW brand I use cosmetically. I'm wondering if the cooking oil is pure grapeseed oil, or a mixture. Any thoughts on this?


I bought mine in a Middle Eastern store in my neighborhood. It was $6.99 for a 1 liter bottle of pure grapeseed oil.


Why have I never seen "grapeseed oil" for sale in any of the grocery stores I shop in?


I bought the brand name Ottavio, and I don't like he flavor. Has anyone had any experience with this one. I have used this oil for years and this is the first time I feel a little nervous and wonder if it is rancid. I bought it from costco, and just opened it. It is good for the skin and apparently has a lot of vitamin E in it.


Actually bad for you! I love grapeseed oil but have recently been convinced that it's dangerous because it's refined polyunsaturated oil (2 double bonds), it is highly reactive and goes rancid quickly. Heat and light make it even more rancid.

Polyunsaturated fats are healthy (such as found in whole foods - walnuts, etc), but refined polyunsaturated fats (such as oils) are bad for us, I'm convinced.

Too shocking to believe? As it goes rancid, the oil produces free radicals (cancer causing molecules, in case you didn't know). It's frustrating when we pay more to be healthy, but consequences are still there due to the way we process everything.


I use food grade GSO on my face and body. My skin is soft as ever, and no longer red and inflamed. I also use it to cook since it's so light and doesn't interfere with the flavor of my food.


if its good enough to put on your skin, its good enough to eat. we are manufacturers of grapeseed products ranging from massage, cooking oils to grape seed charcoal.


Wildtree grapeseed oils are excellent. I am struggling to find something else of similar quality that is cheaper. I will go back to Wildtree when I can afford it.


I feel strange putting GSO on my skin that reads, "best for frying and cooking." Does it matter which kind i use?


I've been using grape seed oil for several years and love it! Can't imagine why this hasn't "taken off" with consumers, as it does take less when cooking and has the best taste! I cook all foods in a large cast iron skillet (rarely use a saucepan except for cooking pasta) with a little GS oil. Everything that comes out of my big

iron skillet is yummy! Compare the benefits by comparing the label information with olive oil. the cost is about the same as the lowest priced olive oil. Try it!


you can use oil for cooking on your skin, but grapeseed oil for cosmetics is not for consumption.


We have heard that we can use grape seed oil to coat wood we are using to make bowls, cutting boards and other wood products we make. Has anyone ever heard of doing this? --Tom


I just purchased grapeseed oil at Costco and used it to fry hash browns, adding a bit of cheese as I finished the frying. Thirty minutes later, the uneaten hashbrowns had a decidedly blue color on the surface. Could the oil have been the reason for this "reaction"?


how do I get oil from grape seed? can i use it as a carrier oil for liniment?


I've also found fairly cheap grape seed oil at Trader Joe's. It's fantastic for baking, and you can even use about 1/2 the oil called for in a recipe when using grape seed oil. Great for oven-frying!


I'm a little confused. Is "grape seed extract" the same as "grape seed oil extract?"

My understanding is that they are one and the same but with one difference. "Grape seed extract" is in powder form and "grape seed oil extract" is in oil form packaged in softgels or the like. Am I making sense?


anon87636: You can use another oil (use a little less than what it calls for). Grapeseed oil is a much healthier oil though, and does cook better as well, so I would get the grapeseed oil. You can use it the same way you do any other oil (marinating, baking, frying, etc).


anon84066 - Wildtree's an excellent company for large quantities of cold pressed grapeseed oil. You can look for it online.


I found a recipe that calls for grape seed oil. Is there any other oil I can substitute? I don't have any and want to know if it's worth buying or if I can substitute.


where can I buy large quantities of cold pressed grapeseed oil?


you can also buy grapeseed oil in any Whole Food Markets if it is hard to find in your local grocery store.


anon 72532 - grapes fall into the tree nut category, but there is not nut protein in grapeseed oil, so it is safe. The protein is what causes the allergic reaction.

anon 77437 - grapeseed does contain omega 6's, which are a healthy fatty acid. However, they need to be balanced with omega 3 fatty acids. The typical American diet contains 14-25 times as much omega-6s as omega-3s.

In order to ensure you're getting enough omega-3s, trying adding crushed flax seed to your diet or take a supplement.


i have read that most vegetable oils contain omega-6 fatty acids which are damaging to the cells and particularly to the dna.


Are people allergic to grape seed oil?

My grandson is allergic to sesame seeds and nuts.

However, he can eat grapes.


can i use grape seed oil as a carbon source for fermentation instead of linoleic acid?


Can you use grape seed oil to get rid of pigeons?


I was told grapeseed internally will help dogs with dry winter skin. Is this true?


paulab - yes you can use it for baking. I can't remember the exact conversion, but you use a little less GSO than you would other oils (I'm not a measurer, so I just put a little less...)

ralenawill - GSO is perfect for frying! Strain it and leave it in there like any other oil. Not sure technically how long it should be in there, but definitely just as long as any other oil.

Faremanager - you could substitute another oil (probably canola would be your best bet) but it's not going to taste or cook the same as it would with the GSO. Most stores don't carry - check online.

To the two anons - Yes, you can use it for your skin. It's great for your complexion, healing dry skin, eczema. I put a little in my daughter's bath water. I don't know about acne though. Since it's an oil it may do more to block the pores than clear up the acne? No experience with that one.

Hope all of that helps.


Does grapeseed oil work for acne?


What is the answer to question "Can I use grape seed oil for cooking on my skin? What does it do for my skin?"


I have a recipe that calls for grapeseed oil but our small town grocery store doesn't carry it. What oil is closest to it to substitute?


Is Grape seed oil suitable for use in an electric Deep Fryer, and if so, can it be left in the Fryer, and re-used and how many times?


Grape seed verses grape oil for cancer prevention? Grape seed verses acia berry comparison?


can I use this oil for baking--cakes,cookies, etc?


You can use the same oil on your skin. When purchasing grapeseed oil for cooking be sure to check the label. Most grapeseed oils found in the store are chemically extracted changing the flavor and leaking chemicals (that are used for glues, tires, etc) into the oil you are consuming. You want to buy "Cold" or "Expeller" Pressed oil. These are very difficult to find in grocery and even health food stores. Wildtree has been producing cold pressed Grapeseed oil for over 10 years. They offer infused flavors and the prices are comparable to extra-virgin olive oil (keep in mind, you should only be using 1/2 as much as olive oil when cooking because it cooks so hot and doesn't burn off!). So a 12.5 oz bottle would be a 25 ounce bottle of olive oil.


I bought grapeseed oil for the first time this week. It's great for cooking -- and it's a lot less expensive than olive oil.


Can I use grape seed oil bought for cooking on my skin?

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