Drinking A Glass Of Wine Has Unexpected Benefits For Your Skin

A moderate consumption of wine offers plenty of health benefits. From a chemical standpoint, alcohol stimulates the release of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and opioid peptides, which work to produce pleasurable feelings like euphoria and a sense of well-being, per Wine Folly. Due to its ability to help people relax as well as elevate food flavors, wine is a mood-boosting fixture in all sorts of social gatherings. Moderate wine consumption has also been linked with increased longevity, stronger kidneys, a lower risk of Alzheimer's Disease, and better heart health.

Another benefit of wine drinking that many might not know about is that it can do wonders for the skin. If you think it sounds too good to be true, check out Brad Pitt's wine-inspired skincare line — Le Domaine. Launched in 2022, Le Domaine is a genderless skincare brand created in partnership with renowned winemakers from the French Perrin family (via Esquire). If the award-winning actor chooses the ingredients from grapes to power his grooming kit, they must be legit. In fact, there have been lots of studies into the impact of wine on the skin, and the verdicts are promising. Here is how you can drink your way to better skin health. 

Resveratrol in wine can reduce acne breakouts

An unexpected benefit of a glass of wine is that it can reduce acne. Resveratrol — a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound commonly found in wine, grapes, and berries can inhibit the growth of bacteria and significantly reduce breakouts when being used in combination with benzoyl peroxide — a popular antibacterial treatment for acne, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy. The study concludes that the effects of resveratrol make it a potential therapeutic option or adjuvant therapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Elaborating on the findings, Dr. Emma Taylor, one of the study's authors, shares with UCLA Newsroom: "This study demonstrates that combining an oxidant and an antioxidant may enhance each other and help sustain bacteria-fighting activity over a longer period of time." Dr. Taylor explains that combining benzoyl peroxide and resveratrol is like getting the best of both worlds because benzoyl peroxide can destroy acne-causing bacteria at high concentration levels but is short-lived, resveratrol, while gentler, can stymie bacterial growth for a longer period of time. These two chemicals, when used combined, can drastically lower bacteria numbers and prevent acne outbursts.

Wine can stimulate collagen production

Red wine is packed with properties that help neutralize the excess of free radicals to protect the cells against their toxic effects while boosting the production of collagen, Williamson Wines points out. Echoing the sentiment, nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat tells NDTV Food that the antioxidants found in wine — such as flavonoid, resveratrol, and tannin — can restore collagen loss and make skin fibers elastic again.

A naturally produced protein, collagen is responsible for the strength and elasticity of your hair, joints, bones, and especially your skin. "Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful look," says dermatologist Dr. Ohara Aivaz to Cedars Sinai. However, the production of collagen in the body and the quality of collagen diminish with age, resulting in skin wrinkling and sagging. Restoration of collagen in your skin will help strengthen your skin and restore its elasticity, giving your complexion a youthful look. Aside from drinking red wine, you can boost collagen production by taking collagen supplements, following a diet rich in Vitamin C and amino acids, and using moisturizers or serums with a high collagen concentration. At the same time, wear sunscreen religiously before heading out, as UV rays are known to break down collagen and cause premature aging. 

Wine boasts anti-aging benefits

One glass of red wine per day might keep fine lines away. Resveratrol, an antioxidant polyphenol commonly found in red wine, is well-known for its ability to combat free radicals and mitigate oxidative stress in the body, equipping the skin with sufficient means to defend and repair itself. "Resveratrol has been shown to provide skincare benefits – primarily slowing down the effects of aging skin caused by environmental damage, like sun exposure and pollution," says dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Melanie Palm (via InStyle). Resveratrol causes your body's antioxidant levels to spike, which helps to improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

While drinking wine or applying wine topically to the skin alone cannot delay the aging process, it can do wonders for the skin when combined with proper skincare and a healthy lifestyle — including quality sleep, quitting smoking, wearing sunscreen liberally, and exercising daily. On the flip side, physician Dr. Jarret Morrow points out that the anti-aging benefits of wine are no excuse to binge-drink it. Wine is still alcohol, and overusing it can affect your skin and other organs. To reap benefits from drinking wine, moderation is the key. For women of all ages, one drink per day — equivalent to five ounces or 148 mL — is considered safe for healthy people. If you're pregnant, use medications, or have heart or liver disease, consult your healthcare professional for expert advice before incorporating red wine into your beauty regimen.

Wine can treat sunburn

Another good reason for drinking a glass of red wine daily is because plant-derived substance flavonoids — the major polyphenols present in red wine by weight — can shield skin cells from sun damage and minimize risks of sunburn, finds a 2011 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Plant Research also suggests that flavonoids — thanks to their chemical structure with conjugated double bonds — are the potential to fight against UVA and UVB radiation and, therefore, should be used as adjuvants in skincare photoprotective formulations. You can drink red wine daily to buff your skin against free radicals and pollutants or apply red wine topically to your face to relieve sunburns.

Having said that, flavonoids alone cannot protect your skin from damaging UV rays. For sun damage prevention, you'll still need the help of a potent sun protector such as zinc oxide, oxybenzone, or Tinosorb S. Before leaving the house, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your skin and reapply every two hours to prevent sunburn and minimize risks of skin cancer.

Wine can boost skin radiance

Drinking red wine can even out your skin tone and give it a healthy glow, according to SLO Wine. White wine can also boost blood circulation and skin cell turnover, rejuvenating the skin and giving it a luminous appearance. According to Dr. Prem Jagyasi, red wine is made from juice fermented with grape skins to color it red, and the skins of grapes contain many antioxidants that can make your skin look clear and radiant. Although white wine doesn't contain grape skins, it still boasts plenty of antioxidant properties that help stimulate the production of new skin cells to keep the skin firm and bright.

Alternatively, you can use wine as an exfoliator to buff away dead skin cells and boost skin radiance. For instance, you can mix red wine with sugar and a drop of honey, smear the mixture over your face like you usually do with a facial scrub, and rinse your face with lukewarm or cold water after several minutes. At the same time, red wine can double up as a facial toner. After a face wash, dab your face with a cotton ball soaked with red wine to further clean and tighten your pores. Drinking a glass of red wine before bed also helps you to fall asleep faster and improves your sleep quality, allowing your skin to mend itself from the daytime stressors so that you can wake up to healthier skin.