Wine as a Natural Skin Care Treatment

Wine has been used for centuries as a natural skin  care treatment; homemade masks and toners made from wine may help exfoliate and  improve skin problems.

The health benefits of drinking wine, especially red wine, have been heavily  publicized for almost two decades. Wine also makes an interesting topical skin  care treatment, since it contains such a wide range of substances that can be  beneficial for troubled skin. Strong antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and  natural alpha hydroxy acids are all present in various types of wine to varying  degrees.

Wine facials have become very popular in India, and exclusive spas like the  Red Door offer Champagne and Roses manicures and other wine-based skin care  treatments. The French have used cosmetic treatments containing wine for many  years: Guerlain first produced a lip balm/skin salve containing Bordeaux in  1882. Other companies like Caudalie and UVAMIA Winetherapy also claim to offer  the benefits of “vinotherapy,” but their products are fairly expensive. DIY skin  care with wine is a cheaper alternative.

Wine Skin Care for Various Skin Types

Every wine has a slightly different composition, and different varieties are  useful for particular skin types. Dry skin types may wish to choose a sweet wine  with plenty of sugar and a small amount of AHAs for water-binding purposes.  Acne-prone skin will do better with red wine, since its high concentration of  the polyphenol resveratrol may act to reduce inflammation while reversing or  preventing free radical damage. Those with extremely flaky skin should choose  dry wine, which has a greater concentration of the natural AHAs called citric,  tartaric, and malic acid.

People who are highly sensitive to sulfur compounds should avoid using wine  as a face or body treatment. Rosacea sufferers should always skip red wine, both  as a beverage and a skin treatment. Note that natural AHAs (such as those found  in wine) may cause excessive irritation on some skin, just as their  lab-synthesized cousins can; if this occurs, use of these products should  immediately be discontinued.

Homemade Toners and Face Masks Containing Wine

For dry skin, mix 3 tablespoons sweet red wine with ½ tablespoon aloe vera  gel and one tablespoon runny honey (place the honey container in hot water for a  few minutes to obtain the right consistency, let it cool a bit, and blend with  the other ingredients). Apply to face and neck, and rinse off after 10 minutes  or so.

For oily skin and acne, blend 3 tablespoons red wine with some yogurt and use  as a facial mask; yogurts containing active probiotic cultures will probably  work best in this recipe. Thick Greek-style yogurt is the easiest to work with.  For very oily skin without many blemishes, try substituting bentonite clay for  the yogurt.

For sensitive skin, use white wine; the natural preservative tannin in red  wines may prove too irritating to reddened facial skin. Boil a soothing herb  like chamomile in the white wine for 10 minutes. Let the liquid cool down and  then strain through a coffee filter into a dark bottle. Use as a toner after  cleansing and prior to moisturizing.

Acne-prone skin may benefit from use of dry red wine straight from the bottle  as a toner.

For dry, flaky body skin, mix 1 cup dry red wine with 1 cup of water. Pour  into a spray bottle, and apply all over after a shower or bath. Leave on for 5  minutes, then rinse. Particularly flaky skin may benefit from mixing ¼ cup of  dry white wine with 1 cup white vinegar and adding ¼ to ½ cup of this liquid to  bathwater. Remember that adding vinegar to wine will lower its pH and make its  hydroxy acids stronger; this makes them better exfoliants, but also increases  the risk of irritation.

1 cup of bran soaked in 1 cup white wine or white wine vinegar for about 4  hours is said to make a good exfoliant when used as a body scrub or mask once a  week. Natural beauty expert Sally Freedman recommends adding 1 raw egg yolk and  5 drops of your favorite essential oil to this treatment before using. ½ cup of  dry red or white wine mixed with other exfoliants such as pulverized seeds or  nuts can also help smooth body skin; if the grains are very finely ground, this  may be used with gentle circular motions on the face.

Lastly, don’t discard leftover sparkling wine or champagne, even if it has  gone flat. Instead of wasting it, mix it with 1 cup powdered milk, one-half cup  Epsom salts, and 1 tablespoon microwave-warmed honey. Pour the beautifying blend  into a full bath, and the skin should look brighter and seem firmer after a good  soak.

Commercial Skin Care Products Containing Wine

These are mostly formulated for dry skin types, and contain specific  ingredients found in wine or grapes instead of pure wine. Caudalie offers a  richly emollient cream and mask with plentiful amounts of moisturizing, free  radical scavenging grape seed oil, while a company called Arcona sells a nicely  hydrating facial mask for parched, superficially wrinkled skin.


 Red/Purple Grapes are High in Antioxidants - Thomas Totz
Earlier-picked Grapes High in Acid & Low in Sugar - pizzodisevo
Red Wine Contains Anti-inflammatory Resveratrol - Jiri Decky

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