Who can resist a glass of that warm red elegance? Red wine’s delicious taste is enough of a temptation, but now big names like Forbes and Bustle are talking about its skin healing properties. Are these rumors a tempting truth, or just a torturous fiction?
How Red Wine Could Help Your Skin
- First, let’s break down the basics:
- Grapes contain lots of antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals.
- What are free radicals? Rice University explains that free radicals are teeny tiny atoms with a volatile punch. These evil atoms have an uneven number of electrons, and just like people, they don’t like to be alone so they search for a pair. When they get to your skin cells and DNA, they will either rob some of your electrons or pawn off their own, damaging your skin and causing cell mutations.
- Now backtrack. Antioxidants are handy because they act as a shield, neutralizing free radicals so they don’t do as much damage.
- Since red wine is made from grapes, it maintains those antioxidants in high concentrations.
- Here’s a fun fact – since red wine has these awesome properties, many companies use those very same antioxidants in their products. Some of the best eye creams usually have resveratrol listed as an ingredient, which just happens to be one of the antioxidants found in grapes. Pretty cool, right? (But if you’re a wine nut, wouldn’t you rather get it straight from the wine?)
- Although red wine itself hasn’t really been studied, there’s a lot of promise for resveratrol. A long review of several studies published in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics has a wealth of information about the benefits of grapes:
- They protect against damage to the skin caused by UV rays
- They reduces inflammation
- They have cancer-fighting properties
- They have potential as a treatment for skin cancers like melanoma
- They may help prevent tumors
- If the antioxidants found in grapes and red wine can fight cancer and UV damage, just imagine what else they can do for your skin. If you have acne, red wine just might be the perfect weapon. UCLA found that resveratrol combined with benzoyl peroxide acted like a superhero duo worthy of batman and robin by attacking more bacteria for longer than normal and protected the skin’s delicate cells from damage.
Red wine has a cure for dry skin, too, even the worst, chronic kind caused by eczema. Remember those anti-inflammatory properties? This is where they come in. Meg Zulch did her own little experiment with red wine by making an at-home face mask then wrote about the results for Bustle. As you might have guessed, she loved it! She said she felt the soothing effects immediately, and even noticed a reduction in her eczema right after and the next day.
How Red Wine Could Hurt Your Skin
The benefits of red wine are pretty clear, but watch out for these pitfalls.
- If you have rosacea, red wine might make your condition worse by causing nearly instant flare ups says Dr. Debra Jaliman in an interview with the Huffington Post.
- Consuming more than one small glass of wine a day might actually hurt your skin. Don’t forget, it’s still alcohol. The BBC cautions that alcohol causes dehydration, which saps the skin of energy, and widens your blood vessels, which might create spider veins if you consume too much.
- If you drink too much, it can also interrupt your sleep and leave you looking like a zombie the next day.
How to Use Red Wine for Skin Care
- Unfortunately, the same researchers that showed resveratrol could reduce acne also said drinking red wine probably won’t have the same benefits as topical use according to the Independent. When you drink wine, it goes through your entire digestive system, which might interfere with the antioxidants.
- Instead of drinking wine, you should use it or its antioxidants topically. You can try dabbing red wine on your face with a cotton ball and let it sit for about fifteen minutes, or make your own face mask with wine and yogurt like Meg Zulch did.
- If you aren’t into home remedies, there are also tons of products that come with resveratrol.
- Not digging the wine idea or have rosacea? Talk to your dermatologist about other natural solutions. Essence of argan is becoming pretty popular because of its fatty acids while other fruits and vegetables have different antioxidants and vitamins that improve skin’s appearance, too.
- Don’t use white wine – grape skin isn’t used to make it, so you won’t get the full benefits.
As long as you’re not sipping it, it seems like red wine really can help your skin care routine.
Shawn Clark is a Health, Beauty and Fitness Adviser for Consumer Health Digest. For the past 5 years, he is providing nutrition counseling, fitness training and health advice all over Phoenix, Arizona. Shawn is committed to providing modern, relevant and reliable health information in all its complexity, perpetuating positive messages about sexual health, joint pain, diet and exercise.