Thursday, August 4, 2011

Red Wine May Help Protect Skin from Sun Damage

These days, year round, you just can't leave the house without wearing sunscreen. Cosmetics, facial moisturizers, lip balms and even hair products come armed with SPF just in case you forget. It seems that if we want to keep our skin healthy and youthful, protected from the damaging rays of the sun, sunscreen has to be our best friend. But in case you've lost all hope for an alternative, Spanish researchers have revealed that compounds found in grapes (and red wine) can help boost our skin cells' ability to fend off sun damage!

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that flavinoids, antioxidants found in grapes, can help skin cells prevent forming compounds called 'reactive oxygen species (or ROSs for short), which aids in the skin's defense of sun damage. Normally, when ROSs are formed, they react with UV rays to destroy skin cells, which we more colloquially refer to as sunburn.

The study's authors say that consuming grapes or products made from them, like red wine, can help protect skin cells from damage and help reduce the number of deaths caused by solar radiation. In addition, the researchers suggest that new skin creams and other products can be fortified with grape flavinoids in addition to sunscreen to further protect skin from sun damage. Preventing sun damage isn't just about sun burns and cancer, it also helps prevent wrinkles, for those who want to keep their skin firm and fabulous well into their golden years.

We already know that drinking a glass (for women) or two (for men) of wine per day is beneficial in maintaining the health of currently healthy individuals, but now we have even more reason to do so!