Elixir of Life
Savor grapes’ life-giving properties in the glass—or slathered on your skin
Sometimes, a grape is not just a grape. This has been true since the first batch of wine was fermented in the Balkans eight millenia ago, of course. But not until 1995 was it also discovered that extracts from grape seeds and from the plant itself can actually reverse the effects of sun, age, and even smoking. In vino veritas, indeed.
The scientists at France’s Caudalie skincare company spent years proving that grapeseed extract is the most powerful anti-oxidant in the plant world. In studies, their patented polyphenol actually creates a protective layer against free-radicals—molecules or atoms that have a single unpaired electron. Out in the world, these highly reactive particles cause your car to rust and an apple to turn brown. On the skin, this translates to wrinkles, dullness, and dark spots. But by starving free-radicals of oxygen, studies have shown, agents in acidic grapes can literally stop the clock on the aging process.
The essence from plant stalks, which provides the vines with natural immunity against fungus, has also been shown to increase collagen and elastin production, boosting the production of sirtuins, or “longevity proteins,” by 160%. Patented as Resveratrol, the enzyme is injected into many Caudalie products. And then there is Viniferine. Young women in European wine regions have been smothering their radiant faces in the sap of stalks for centuries; scientists assumed there must be some measurable benefits to the stuff that keeps grapes plump and sweet. Today, one ton of wine stalks are used to make just one kilogram of Viniferine, a serum that aids in brightness and the reduction of sun spots.
All this is good news for visitors to the Hotel & Spa do Vinho, one of only a handful of wine-spas in the world. Once you’re done sighing at the beauty of Brazil’s only official wine appellation, you can do your body good through a Crushed Cabernet Gommage or a Wine Bath. Which means not only will you return home with a couple of bottles of Malbec that none of your friends have ever drunk, you’ll also look 10 years younger than when you arrived. Who says a little wine isn’t good for you?
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