In the 1980 scientists discovered that antioxidants found in grapes used for wine production could help to reduce the signs of aging and condition the skin. It wasn’t until 1993 that the French company Caudalie used the antioxidant benefits of grapes for spa treatments, creating a range of high-end products using wine and creating the term ‘vinotherapy’.
“During the grape harvest on the family estate, Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, we met Doctor Vercauteren, a professor at the University of Pharmacy of Bordeaux, who upon seeing the grape-seeds, exclaimed: “Do you know you’re throwing away treasures?” revealed Mathilde Thomas, creator of Caudalie.
“He revealed to us the extraordinary anti-oxidant power of grape-seed polyphenols. They provide exceptional protection for the skin against free radicals, the main cause of skin ageing.”
Vinotherapy involves rubbing the pulp left over from wine making onto the skin so that the anti-aging benefits of the polyphenols and resveratol can be absorbed. You find the highest concentration of antioxides in the skin and the seeds of the grape so the pulp left over from wine making is perfect for this treatment.
In Argentina at the Patios de Cafayate wine spa visitors can bath in bubbling water laced with cabernet. While at the Santé Winelands Wellness Centre in South Africa guests can indulge in shiraz or chardonnay cocoon wraps and relax with a facemask made with vineyard flowers.
Rather than booking into an expensive spa you can have the experience right in your own home for silky smooth skin. To recreate the effect of vinotherapy at home try making your own grape face mask. Put half a bunch of grapes into a food processor, blitz and then squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Generously smoother over your face and leave for a minute or two to absorb into the skin, rinse off with warm water. When running a bath, pour a glass of red wine under the running water, light some candles, find a good book to read and relax. You don’t need to use an expensive wine, save that for drinking. You don’t need to worry about the wine staining you or the bath as it will dilute in the water.
There is also now a whole range of luxury products that use the antioxidant benefits of red wine to combat the signs of aging.
Caudelie of course have a wonderful range of products. The Radiance Complexion Correction Serum (£43.50) helps to brighten and even out your complexion eliminating dark spots while the Radiance Day Fluid with SPF10 (£35.50) firms the skin and fight wrinkles.
ACQUIZHEN whole range uses resveratrol which is absorbed through the skin delivering its anti-aging properties directly where you need them. For dramatic results use facial range daily which can be brought in a ‘good to go collection’. It includes a refreshing cleanser, replenishing day cream, nurturing night cream, gentle exfoliating mask and a sunrise soap all for £41.
Lush have brought some shower products for winner time. Glögg shower gel (£7.75 for 250g) uses organic red wine along with brandy, cinnamon, clove and fresh orange and lemon juices to warm you up at shower time. Perfect for cold winter mornings when getting out of bed becomes that much harder. Their Iced Wine shower jelly (£6.50 for 245g) comes from a Canadian winter beverage which uses frost bitten grapes for a strong fruity flavour, chilli or freeze before use if you are brave enough!