I Bathed in Red Wine — and It Changed My Skin and Energy

I Decided to Bathe in Red Wine — and It Changed My Skin and Energy

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Although red wine is commonly typically consumed by drinking it from a thin-stemmed glass, the concept of bathing in it has become a new and trendy spa treatment.  We already know that red wine has heart healthy benefits by drinking it in moderation, so that got us thinking — what can red wine do for our skin?

The concept of bathing in wine isn't a new one — Cleopatra was allegedly a big fan. And while we don't know what that practice was named back then, the popular name for this spa treatment now is vinotherapy.

But, why is this popular? After all, medical experts agree that drinking alcohol dries out the skin. So, what’s all the hype about bathing in wine being good for the skin? I decided to find out.

When wine-making, many parts of the grape get discarded, such as the branches, vines, and grape skin. And while they may not be used for your bottle of Pinot Noir, these ingredients all promote healthy skin and protect it from damage. 

For example, inside grape seeds are compounds called procyanidins. These compounds bond with and strengthen collagen that works with elastin to keep their skin firm. The active ingredients in the seeds result in greater skin elasticity and less wrinkles. In fact, it has been thought that the red wine grape seeds alone are more effective than Vitamin E in preventing wrinkles.

In addition, the branches, vines, and skins are rich in polyphenols. These compounds, when applied to their skin, give a youthful glow.  One polyphenol is resveratrol, which has been proven to be highly effective when it comes to skin care. These by-products of wine provide antioxidants (fights illness), reduces wrinkles (stimulates collagen production), reduces acne (clears pores), adds glow to the complexion (it’s a natural blusher), and improves hair health (thickens hair and encourages hair growth).

As such, many claim that bathing in wine for thirty minutes, once a week, can work wonders for your skin.

Is there scientific evidence that all of this is possible?  In 1993, Dr. Edwin Frankel claimed that polyphenols in red wine have strong antioxidant properties, and in 2006, Richard Sinclair proved the importance of resveratrol in their body.  In 2013, Sinclair showed that the SIRT1 genes control the aging process. Furthermore, According to a 2008 issue of the Journal of Food Protection, the seed extract from grapes show significant antimicrobial activity against three different strains of Escherichia coli and block the signaling proteins that promote inflammation. 

People are partaking in vinotherapy.  Treatments include massages, scrubs, body wraps in grape skin, and of course, barrel baths, which combine red wine leaves and water. Bathing with wine not only creates a sense of well-being, but these delicious, sweet fruits provide many remarkable skin benefits — it's no wonder that people are partaking in vinotherapy in spas today. 

Knowing all of this information inspired me to try it out. So, I went to a spa to see what all the hype is about. First of all, there are several different kinds of treatments you can receive, from facials to body wraps to massages to scalp treatments to even bathing in a vat of wine. I opted to bathe in the tub with two other friends and indulge in the massage. 

The bath gave me a glow that lasted a month, and it made my cheeks extra rosy. My skin was a bit softer after the treatment and I felt as though my overall energy had been detoxed. I felt lighter and as though I was walking on air — and no, that wasn’t the wine talking. It energized me and added pep in my step. Of the two treatments, I admit I preferred the massage as the oil (which was made from wine) opened up my tight muscles and relaxed my body so much so that I wanted to sleep for days.

All in all, I am now a convert and fan of vinotherapy. Although I don’t drink wine, the benefits of it for the skin and body as a wellness ingredient are amazing. I loved it so much that I stocked up on products by Caudalie, who use grapes and wine in their organic products.

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