Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Body Series - Oils - Part 3: Grapeseed, Kukui Nut, and Olive Oil

My first post on this topic (Part 1) covered three oils (Almond, Avocado, and Coconut) and my follow-up post (Part 2) covered Meadow Foam Seed Oil, Jojoba, and Hemp Seed Oil, including two favorites (Meadow Foam and Hemp).

Starting top, clockwise: Grapeseed, Kukui Nut, Olive

In this post (Part 3), I discuss below my experiences with Grapeseed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, and Olive Oil. Keep in mind, this is a casual experiment and based on my experiences with these oils over the course of several weeks. But, I think you'll find the results meaningful and useful.

The Great "Oil" Experiment - Part 3 - Grapeseed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, and Olive Oil

GRAPESEED OIL                                                                    KUKUI NUT OIL


Method of Use:
I applied each oil as a morning moisturizer after shower to my face and body and then tracked the "open-air" absorption as well several other standard characteristics and overall results, which I've included here. I did read here that skin regenerates every 21 to 30 days, so it would seem that you personally would really want to test an oil for a full month before deciding whether or not you are happy with the results. However, keep in mind that many factors contribute to the health and corresponding appearance of your skin, not just what you put on your body, but what you put in your body as well as environmental factors, well-being, etc.

Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed Oil is pressed from the seeds of a grape and is therefore an abundant by-product of wine making. It contains OPCs, flavonoids, vitamin E (nearly all the recommended daily amount), resveratrol, and fatty acids. It is non-allergenic, thus considered good for skin with sensitivities, and has very high levels of linoleic acid. It has traces of proanthrocyanidins, which are very potent antioxidants.

It is commonly used as a base oil for essential oils or in other creams/ lotions/ balms due to its light color, mild odor, and good absorption characteristics.  It is reportedly helpful to reduce stretch marks. It is used as an alternative treatment for conditions such as diabetes, hemorrhoids, cancers, high cholesterol, edema, and high blood pressure. 

The non-organic version is very pale yellow but the organic version has a stronger odor and a dark green color. I used a non-organic version. Several sources indicated that this was a hypoallergenic oil but I read one source that indicated that allergic reactions are possible. Also, this oil may interact with blood thinners, pain relievers, and other prescription drugs (if taken internally).

Kukui Nut Oil
Kukui Nut oil, also called Candlenut Oil, has been in use for many years in Hawaii and was used to massage members of royalty and anoint babies to protect their skin from the sun, salt, and other elements. In Hawaiian, "kukui" means "enlightenment" and the tree is now Hawaii's official state tree. If you have a nut allergy, DO NOT use kukui nut oil as it is a tree nut.
Kukui nut oil is used to provide moisture and nourishment to dry, mature, and damaged skin without leaving a greasy or oily film. It quickly penetrates the skin and creates a protective shield that locks in moisture. It contains very high levels of the essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha-linolenic.

It is specifically beneficial for burns, eczema/ psoriasis, mature and prematurely aged skin, acne, and scars amongst other things. The oil was traditionally used in lamps and mixed in soot to produce a type of paint. When added to soap formulations, kukui nut oil increases the creaminess of lather and enhances its conditioning abilities.

Olive Oil
Homer referred to olive oil as liquid gold. Ancient athletes rubbed it all over their bodies and it was dropped onto the bones of dead saints and martyrs to ask for blessings. It was held as sacred that olive oil anointed the body with strength and youth.

Olive oil is one of the most universally used oils, with uses including cosmetics, as a carrier oil, hair care, and in cooking. It is very stable and rich in squalane, which is a natural emollient. It is a natural, hypoallergenic way to moisturize skin, repair and renew skin due to overexposure to the sun, air pollution, and other environmental hazards to its levels of antioxidants.

It has numerous uses including reducing signs of aging, calming red and irritated skin, as a moisturizer, for acne.  It may reduce sun damage, diminish acne scars and stretch marks, and help reduce wrinkles.

Keep in mind that you don't want to put something on your body that you wouldn't put in your body. Ensure that is a consideration when deciding which oil to use (and for how long you use it) on your skin.

Grapeseed Oil:
Grapeseed had a tough act to follow (hemp) and I did like the fact that it was relatively odorless, nearly colorless, and had a very good rate of absorption. However, I didn't really have strong feelings about this oil either way. It seemed to do the trick as far as moisturizing and it does have some good qualities--high in linoleic acid and vitamin E, anti-aging properties, and helpful in reducing stretch marks.

Also, one characteristic that I thought made this oil stand out was its hypo-allergenic quality, but then I read an article that indicated allergies to this oil may occur (when ingested), so please be sure to do your research before using this oil. Finally, the oil that I used was non-organic. The organic version will be significantly darker and have a stronger odor, but it seemed like their levels of fatty acids were approximately the same.

Kukui Nut Oil:
Kukui nut oil was actually my daily moisturizing oil before starting this "experiment" and I selected it partially due to the fact that is has fast absorption, is colorless, and odorless. I also selected it for a completely silly reason--I had read somewhere that historically royalty in Hawaii used the oil on their skin and I just thought that was cool. :) But, I was completely happy with the oil and would not have tried anything else but for curiosity in general.

That being said, how does Kukui Nut compare to my other favorites? It is definitely one of my top three--the other two being Meadowfoam and Hemp Seed oil. It does an excellent job moisturizing and it is one of the best absorbers I have tried. I really love this oil and will definitely keep using it along with my other two favorites.

Olive Oil:
I included olive oil in this experiment because it's probably one of the most familiar and commonly used oils in our lives. Personally, I have been cooking with olive oil since I learned to cook and I think that is also true for many people. Also, I wanted to try using olive oil for skin care because I have seen it included in many expensive beauty product lines touted as a "sensitive skin" line and I wanted to investigate that claim a bit.

Finally, I included olive oil because I recently found out that many of the olive oils on the market today are fake! And I definitely wanted to try to get that message out. I highly encourage you to read this article written by the Food Renegade for more information. I use three brands of olive oil currently - California Olive Ranch, Temecula Olive Oil, and Olea Estates - and to the best of my ability to confirm it, they provide real olive oil (that tastes good too)!

The chart below summarizes various characteristics of the oils used.


So there you go, Part 3 of the Great Oil Experiment and a clear winner for me-- Kukui Nut oil. With such a reasonable price, I think it's definitely one to try. Grapeseed Oil and Olive Oil both had a lot of benefits and appeared to be very moisturizing overall; however, Olive Oil's slower absorption and, particularly, its strong odor, put it at the bottom of my list. I will continue to use it for certain specific uses since it does have great qualities, but not as a daily moisturizer.

Stay tuned for the next set of oils in Part 4..... Baobab and Tamanu? Wheat Germ, and Argan?... so many great choices!
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1. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy


  1. I love your oil series! I can't for you to work through them all and share your results :) I use grape seed oil, and have for a couple of years now. I find it super beneficial for my skin, but that's just me, and I'm open to switching for a better one (I tried coconut but that was too oily).

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday!

    1. I'm so glad to hear this! I think I would have felt more strongly about the Grapeseed if it had not followed the hemp! But, it did really seem to provide plenty of moisture. The trick is enough moisture without being too greasy. It is hard to figure out!

  2. That's an interesting comparison on the three oils. I hadn't heard of Kukui Nut Oil. I'm looking forward to reading about all the oil comparisons. Thanks for sharing at Wild Crafting Wednesday.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment. :) Kukui Nut is a great oil.

  3. Hi Linda,

    When will you be publishing part-4? I cannot wait to learn what oils you chose and what your results are!

    Thank you,


    1. Hello Jodi and thanks so much for the comment! I am so glad to hear you are enjoying the series. It is really an ongoing process as I try out various oils of such a large number of available oils. I am not going to have a single favorite (at least I don't think I will!) but I do currently have several favorites. I use the Meadowfoam Seed Oil daily for my face and body (and hands) and I supplement that with coconut oil. Then I use shea nut butter (not the oil, but the actual butter) for feet and hands and any other extra dry areas. I will also alternate and use jojoba oil infused with rose essential oil for my face many days. This combination is by far my favorite and which works best for me (so far anyway). I suspeneded any new trials for the winter months because I didn't think I could make a fair comparison since my skin was so much drier. When spring arrives, I plan to go back to testing, as I have several oils waiting for warmer weather (Argan, Tamanu, Baobab, Wheat Germ, Castor, and Rose Hip, just to name a few). I don't think I will come up with one favorite though! Anyway, I hope this was response helpful to you and I am so happy you are enjoying the series. It has really been fun to do. :)

  4. These are great oils. A few other good ones for skin are chia and coriander (black seed) oil.

    1. Thank you for the information. I will have to look into them!

  5. You can consider Emu oil & Sea buckthorn oil as well both are excellent ! Pls do a review on the oils !

    1. I am glad you enjoy the series! I really had fun doing the research and testing the oils. I do use sea buckthorn on a regular basis in my oil blends. It has a lot of great qualities and I love the color in my blends. I have not used emu oil yet and will have to look into that one. I am thinking of adding a part 4 soon, just trying to make the time to do it. :)

  6. I enjoy reading your blog. thank you

  7. These are some great oil and happy to find your page. Can you suggest natural oil to get rid of from hemorrhoid, thank you very much Dawn Wells.


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