THE SHARED ANTI-OXIDANTS: WINE & SKINCARE
ELAINE VEGA on MARCH 24, 2020
Wine, another coveted beverage of mine. It’s common knowledge to avoid alcohol for maintaining good health, and yet articles are now coming out disproving this excessive avoidance. Does this mean I can have another glass from my favorite winery Casca Wines? Well, yes and no. New facts and connections are revealed one discovery at a time, like wine’s physical use in skincare treatments or grapes as ingredients in skincare as seen in the French brand Caudalie. This doesn’t necessarily correspond to buying another bottle of wine Darn.
Yet, diving deeper into this connection between wine and skincare touches on the scientific coding itself. Turns out, there is a connection so molecularly small that it is based on three little chemicals. These three are all antioxidants, similar yet different from each other. Sounds confusing, so trust me as I break it down:
Tannins, Flavonoids, and Resveratrols are a specific type of phytonutrients or polyphenolic (plant chemical) compounds that serve different functions. However, when combined with its natural anti-oxidant qualities all three become potent miracle molecules for your skin’s health.
Source Image: McGill University
Firstly, what is an anti-oxidant? We see this word thrown around constantly. Simply put, an antioxidant is a substance that can prevent or slow cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Okay cool, what is a free radical? An unstable molecule as a waste substance created from cells after the body processes food and/or reacts to the environment.
Next question, why is this so bad? If the body cannot naturally both process and remove the free radicals, then oxidative stress can form which then harms cells and body functions. When the balance between free radicals and antioxidants is tipped for a prolonged time where the free radicals outweigh antioxidants, then greater damage to the DNA results which can be seen in larger illnesses and hypothetical ties to certain cancers.
Image Source: Elixir Botanical Wellness
Image Source: Elixir Botanical Wellness
Because anti-oxidants specifically target free radicals, they are sometimes called free-radical scavengers. They are either produced within the body, known as endogenous antioxidants or externally aka exogenous. Antioxidants are also either naturally or artificially produced like plant-based foods or from dietary supplements respectively.
These three antioxidants found in wine are a specific type of chemical compound of phytonutrient or polyphenols that are micronutrients only coming from select plants or plant-based foods. The main functions in plants include photo-protection and influencing the plant’s color. Yet on a different cellular level, these three potent antioxidants have two strong combating activities that work phenomenally well for the skin:ss
1. Free Radical-Scavenging
So there you have it. Is the connection still not clear enough? No worries.
Under the plant’s photo-protection function, these three work similarly to combat the sun’s harsh rays and to take care of the skin:
1. Protection Against Free Radical Damage. Specifically, by UV light exposure, they reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.
2. Soothes Inflammations. By reducing redness and inflammation, this three help soothe itchy or irritated skin.
FUN FACT: BOTH RESVERATROL & TANNINS FIGHT SKIN AGING BY RESTORING COLLAGEN AND ELASTIC FIBRE.
Sounds like ‘Tennis’ but is 100% different. So..what is it? Known also as Tannic Acid, Tannis is a polyphenolic compound widely distributed amongst plants that provides a chemical defense against two main external factors: predators and UV radiation. Tannis comes in two main forms:
1. Hydrolysable Tannins (HTs)
2. Condensed Tannins (CTs) ? we’re going to focus on this one below.
Excitingly, Condensed Tannins have multiple high-support functions for the skin that aren’t seen as often as in your typical anti-oxidant:
Influences anti-fungal activity against certain fungus species like Candida
Protects collagen & elastin against dehydration, giving greater flexibly and strength to skin
The benefits from Tannis are surprisingly a lot due to combining its natural anti-oxidant and astringent properties. Talk about a 2-in-1 deal ??
· Fights against bacterial infections like acne
· Fights against free radicals that cause cell damage
· Naturally Astringent in two ways. In case you didn’t know, astringent means naturally removing excess oil from pores and tightening them without drying your skin.
1. How the protein functions: the protein’s precipitation creates a constricted and protective effect on the skin, which naturally reduces the size, therefore appearance, of pores.
2. Increased absorption due to its properties of botanical oil as it helps skin absorb oils that build up during the day, therefore making the skin less oily.
I can guarantee that you’ve already seen ‘Botanical Oils’ somewhere out in the marketplace, yet the question is, can you recognize them? These common botanical oils include tannic acid naturally, so the next time you’re out shopping in the oils section be sure to remember the above skin benefits that naturally exist in the below:
· Rosehip Seed
· Pomegranate Seed
· Evening primrose Seed
· Grape Seed
· Camellia Seed
· Cranberry Seed
· Borage Seed
· Raspberry Seed
· Mango Butter
This antioxidant is incredibly common in most skincare products and deliciously also in grape skin, peanuts, berries, and even dark chocolate. Yet, Resveratrol is sadly underrated in its benefits. Why and how? Let’s go cellular!
Turns out that Resveratrol can form into soluble, complex molecules that when combined with:
1. Specific metal ions it catalysts an inactivation to produce free radical formations, aka metal-chelating.
2. The specific molecule Sirtuin 1 it creates support for skin repair.
Having trouble understanding? Don’t worry, so do I. Took me a while to grasp, so here’s a simple comparison: similar to the pedals of a car, Resveratrol breaks/halts/stops the process when free radicals are overproducing. Good to know our skin keeps itself in check, right?
Yet the most outstanding quality, especially for anti-aging formulas, is the stimulation of healthy cell proliferation. This means protection against harmful enzymes and improving fibroblasts’ function to create healthy collagen. Fibroblasts should be taken care more often, as their reactions create collagen. Without fibroblasts, collagen production would not exist. So by having Resveratrol improve the supporting the root of collagen production, it becomes incredibly beneficial for repair and damage as well as for the skins’ long-term health.
Image Source: Health Central
2-in-1 deal? Talk about 3-in-1 deal. Below are the quick bullets of the short-term benefits:
· Fights Inflammation & Anti-Aging
· Evens Skin Tone & Regains Glow
· Is Antiseptic & Anti-Bacterial (Fights Acne Breakouts)
· Molecule That Activates Sirtuin 1 (Supports Skin Repair)
· Chemically Linked with Salicylic Acid (Removes Dead Skin Cells)
· Protects Against UV Damage and Stress
· Strong in Fighting Free Radicals
· Boosts the Mitochondria’s Activity (also known as the cells’ powerhouses that promotes longer cell life in the body)
Image Source: Self Story
FUN FACT: IN SKINCARE PRODUCTS CONTAINING RESVERATROL, BE SURE TO APPLY EITHER AT NIGHT OR UNDER SUNSCREEN AS IT BREAKS DOWN QUICKLY IN SUNLIGHT.
Flavonoids are widely distributed plant pigments that have multiple important functions based on how it absorbs the penetration from UV-A and UV-B rays, because that process influences cellular functions to further prevent damage and skin aging. It is a water-soluble antioxidant so it performs in the fluid both inside and outside of the cells.
In the plant world, the variety of Flavonoids exceeds four thousand and while some have anti-allergic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, only two are officially classified as healthy for the skin. Yes, only 2 from 4,000. Insane odds, and yet thankful for their existence in ingredients we commonly encounter:
1. Proanthocyanins (Grapes & Pine Bark)
2. Flavanols (Green tea)
These two flavonoids specifically enhance the skin in the below ways:
Reduces UV-Induced Inflammations & Oxidative Stresses
Reduces Collagen Degradation & DNA Damage
Delays Skin Aging
Inhibits Skin Cancer
While both white and red wine have health benefits based on varied consumption amounts, the antioxidants primarily come from red. It is the fermentation process of red wines that produces and enhances the potency of antioxidants compared to white wine, where the grapes are fermented without the skin. Because the skin remains in red wine’s steeping during fermentation, the antioxidants become richer and more potent.
Source Image: Wine Folly
Yet their function alters when consumed as a beverage and not topically in skincare, as the antioxidants in wine focus on the blood vessels and pressure. This strengthening effect on the blood is best articulated by Arct and Pytkowska in their article about Flavonoids.
The number of skincare products contains antioxidants are incredibly vast, so knowing what you’re looking for specifically helps the hunt. Below are sample products available that focus solely on antioxidants. So then next time you’re drinking a glass of wine, be sure to think about the below and try for yourself the wonderful benefits of antioxidants.
The Face Shop Energy Seed Advanced Antioxidant Hydro Serum 170ml
The Face Shop Green Natural Seed Advanced Antioxidant Lotion 145ml