Vinotherapy: does it really work?
Dear Wine Geometrists,
I received a question recently from one of our viewers who was asking about wine baths. She wanted to know: "Is it really useful, or is it just marketing?"
First, let's define what vinotherapy is: just as thalasso therapy is a therapy with maritime products (based on salt water), vinotherapy is a therapy based on the essence of wine, which is the grapes, its skins and juice primarily.
Grape skins are said to have particular anti-ageing features if you rub them onto you, as it makes your face glowing again.
That is actually TRUE : wine makes your skin soft, and its polyphenols tend to slow the ageing process. The serum can definitely cleanse your pores and reduce their appearance.
Same goes with Champagne therapies, by the way. Champagne is meant to have all the benefits of wine plus tartaric acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin.
But that said, does it make any real sense to fill your bathtub tonight with wine or champagne, even the cheapest one on the market?
Definitely not. A standard bathtub requires around 80 liters of liquid for you to comfortably lie into. That means over 100 bottles of wine to make your therapy come true! That is plain ridiculous, as the cost is not worth the benefits... OK, the reality is a bit different, as the vinotherapist venues actually mix the wine into bathwater to make it more cost-friendly. But scientists find it hard for humans to absorb these polyphenol compounds which are the essential benefits you should be getting from this therapy.
Yet, a few companies have taken the plunge, to make this experience come true.
Les Sources de Caudalie, in Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, a Bordeaux Grand Cru Classe, is one of the pioneers in vinotherapy.
Adjacent to her parents' vineyards, the Cathiard's daughter Mathilde and her husband Bertrand Thomas have come up with the term vinotherapy some 20 years ago, by adding red vine leaf extract and post-winemaking grape crud (aka marc) to clean warm water. The marc and red vine leaf extract are actually quite high in polyphenols which are bitter tasting organic compounds found in plants that are highly effective antioxidants. The idea is that if you suspend yourself in this stuff, it will be absorbed into your skin as well as into your body. If it’s actually absorbed, it would be the secret to feeling and looking young.
The best part is, certain polyphenols have proved to stop cancer cells from growing inside of you.
They bellieve that the skins have not only natural anti-ageing properties, but also energizing yet relaxing benefits! They offer a full range of massages, including masks, scrubs and body wraps... sounds tasty!!
The famous Yunessun Spa Resort in Japan also uses this technique, but they literally make it in a pool, by soaking 9 liters of red wine into their existing bathwater for clients to come in by groups!
Whatever the benefits, the experience must be worth a try :)