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Polyphenols: Ingredient Decoder

I know of a beauty editor who pours a full glass of red wine into her bath every night. She swears that it softens her skin. While I like to save my bottles of Pinot Noir for drinking, that editor may be onto something: the anti-aging properties of polyphenols.

Derived from grape skins and seeds, polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that protect skin from UV rays and free radicals, the cell-destroying molecules responsible for wrinkles. When ingested, polyphenols help prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (ever wonder how French women stay so healthy despite the cheese and cigarettes?). A glass of wine a day may keep the doctor away, but there’s no research yet on whether bathing in wine really has similar benefits. So before you forsake your bubble baths for purple-tinged soaks, consider a more conventional approach: potent products inspired by the vine.

My love affair with all things vino-related took a turn towards the topical when I discovered Caudalie, the French skincare brand known for harnessing the power of grapes. I’ve been applying their Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Crème to my face every morning and night with the discipline of a devotee, and the results speak for themselves. My skin feels softer and smoother, and I love how the lightweight cream is packed with stabilized polyphenols (the brand has a patented extraction method). If you’re looking for something a little more heavy duty, check out their other grape-infused products:

For Under Eye Circles 

Apply Premier Cru The Eye Cream to your eye area to beat back the signs of fatigue and plump up fine lines. Grapeseed oil will nourish your skin, while light diffusing particles will brighten your peepers.

For Dark Spots

To combat acne scars and age spots, try Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. The grape-tastic active ingredients will fade spots by up to 73% and even out your complexion.

For Gentle Exfoliation

Don’t slough off your face with harsh scrubs. Instead, rely on Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream. It uses a gentle grape acid and vine sap compound to exfoliate skin overnight.


Another brand we’re loving? BITE Beauty. Their anti-aging lipsticks contain as many grape antioxidants as five glasses of red wine!

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