Vinotherapy is a cosmetic trend using grapes and its by-products, including seeds and grape skins. Now this wonderful trend may seem like one of the latest and greatest crazes in skin care. However, someone in the past beat us to the punch. Who is this trend-setting historic spa-goer you may ask? Cleopatra! Not only did Cleopatra bathe in milk and mud, but she bathed in wine as well. This queen really knew her spa treatments!
Heart Healthy Benefits of Vinotherapy
Nearly everyone has heard about the heart-healthy benefits of drinking moderate amounts red wine — including lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL), preventing diabetes and obesity, and decreasing the risk of developing blood clots. According to the Mayo Clinic, antioxidants called polyphenols found in red wine may also help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. If red wine affects the heart in such a positive way, what can these sweet, little purple globes do for the skin?
Vinotherapy Benefits for the Skin
Grapes, including the seeds, skin, and pulp, are antioxidant-rich and contain numerous skin and health-enhancing components, such as vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). These wonderful elements not only help fight off heart disease but also act as antimicrobial agents that help alleviate fungal conditions. Polyphenols, specifically OPCs found in grape seeds, as stated by Karyn Maier, a freelance writer for Livestrong.com, are “known to prevent the oxidation of free radicals that might otherwise lead to cancer.” Also stated in the article entitled, Muscadine Grape Seed Extract With Resveratrol, not only do grapes fight off fungal infections and free radicals, but, according to the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Food Protection, scientists from Mississippi State University report that seed extract from grapes demonstrate significant antimicrobial activity against three different strains of Escherichia coli and block the expression of signaling proteins that promote inflammation. Is there anything grapes can’t do?
Grapes and Anti-Aging Skin Care
According to Livestrong.com “the most powerful antioxidants in grape seeds, procyanidins, bond with and strengthen collagen, the fibrous protein that works with elastin to keep skin firm. The active compounds present in grape seeds, the proanthocyanidins, protect skin from damage and show some positive biological effects, including preventing some types of cancer.” The result: greater skin elasticity and fewer wrinkles.
So, the next time you are sipping on a glass of red wine or indulging in a luxurious wine spa body treatment, think not only of the many heart healthy benefits grapes provide, but also the numerous antioxidant and skin-firming benefits the sweet little fruits deliver.