Monday, May 19, 2008

Wine Minded Skin

By Michele

What would Nikki Sands use for her skin care? Wine of course!

Wine for your skin? Absolutely! I'm not talking about drinking wine to benefit your skin, although we have all heard that a glass a day is good for the heart. I'm also not saying that you should pour the wine onto your skin, although that could be fun with the one you love. Hmmm--note to self (Nikki and unnamed lover should try this--pick up book 4 out in July: A Vintage Murder). I'm talking about the grape seed and extracts made from wine. There are a handful of cosmetic companies out there who have figured out that the liquid grape is a benefit to the skin.

My first experience with wino skin care (did I write wino? Oops!) was when I took a research trip up to Sonoma County while getting ready to write the third book in my wine lover's mystery series (Silenced by Syrah). It was around my husband's and my wedding anniversary so we made it a combo research trip and vacation. Did I mention that I LOVE what I do? A little sidenote here--if you want to be a writer choose some glorious locale to set your books in. This way when you have research to do, you get to visit this place for the full flavor. I am happy I chose Sonoma and Napa Valley. Anyhoo--back to the skincare. My husband and I stayed at the Kenwood Inn & Spa. This place is divine! While there I had a facial and they used products there made by a French comany, Caudalie. I fell in love with the products. Caudalie was developed by Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas along with Professor Vercauteren of The Pharmacy Faculty of Bordeaux. The ingredients found in Caudalie products include Resveratrol which is an ingredient found in wine and is an excellent wrinkle fighter and anti-oxidant. The Caudalie story began in 1993 and was the first cosmetic company to discover the benefits of grape seed for the skin. Caudalie was successful in stabilizing grape-seed polyphenols which is the most efficient anti-oxidant in the botanical world. Grape seed polyphenols fight againts free radicals, which cause 80% of skin aging.

The anti-oxidants found in wine are what cosmetic companies are interested in. Using products that utilize grape seed polyphenols and Resveratrol (the grape seed extract) have shown that skin cells become resistant to free-radicals and they stimulate the multiplication of cells and that in turn fights againts cell damage.

Another product I've tried is Olavie (gift from a pal). I've only had the fortune to use their bubble bath but can attest to it being a luxury product. The smell is heavenly and my skin felt soft as silk after getting out of the bath. I didn't even need lotion. Olavie exclusively incorporates the Chardonnay grape seed extract in its spa products. The Chardonnay grape seed extract is 7 times more powerful than vitamin E. The Olavie line is all organic and paraben free.

Some of the big names in the cosmtic industry have jumped on the grape seed bandwagon including Dior who produces the Dior L'Or de Vie face cream and extract serum which is created from the shoots of the Sauvignon grapevine. I have not had the privelege of trying this serum or cream because at $350.00 for .5 ounces for the serum means that this writer would have to hit the bestseller list first.

L'Occitane makes wonderful products and although I have not tried their Grape Body Care Line which is infused with grape juice from organic black muscat grapes grown in Provence, I intend to. I like their price points starting at $22.00. I can justify that over $350.00.

And a famous winemaker name has gotten into the business. Carlo Mondavi of the Mondavi clan has developed Davi Skin--again all that good grape seed extract and viola! However, Davi Skin will likely not find its way onto my skin (unless I hit the bestseller list) due to price--$175.00 for the Le Grand Cru Cream. Mr. Mondavi is selling his product in Bergdorf Goodman stores across the country.

So there you have the skinny on the benefits of how wine can do a face and body good. Not wine per se but some of the same properties that go into wine.

I realize most of the skin care items made by these companies are on the digi side and these days with money being tight for many, I think I have an answer. Buy a bottle of grapeseed oil at the local market ($12.00). It is oily, so use at night after washing your face and let it soak in before bed. I've done this and have never had a breakout using it. Then pour yourself your favorite glass of wine and there you go--the budget minded gal's answer to wine minded skin. Oh and after pouring the glass of vino and smearing some of the grapeseed oil on the skin, you have to pick up a wine lover's mystery to receive full benefits. It's via osmosis. Just think, Nikki uses this stuff, it must work! I know, I know. Nikki is not real. My husband keeps telling me that, but I'm not buying it. I think there is a little Nikki in all of us.


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