Pampering Your Skin…with Wine?

Spa bathAfter a hard day’s work, why relax with a glass of wine when you can soak in a wine bath instead? Or have a wine body wrap? Whether you think it sounds relaxing, indulgent, or like a waste of good wine, the fact is, wine is being incorporated into a variety of spa, skin care and beauty treatments.

A tub of your best red, please…
If you’d like to soak in wine, but want to avoid the hassle of lugging home several cases and pouring them into your tub, you can hop a plane to Japan and visit the Yunessun Spa Resort’s “wine hot tub.” Twelve days a year, the pool is filled with Beaujolais Nouveau piped in via a twelve-foot wine bottle. There are several “performances” of wine being dispensed into the pool daily. In case you get thirsty, a sommelier is standing by distributing fresh glasses of the same wine in the pool. Resort officials claim that Cleopatra loved bathing in wine and that the experience is rejuvenating.

If you prefer something bubbly, give London’s Cadogan Hotel a call and ask if they are still offering Champagne baths. On Valentine’s Day 2012, to mark its 125th anniversary, the hotel launched a “Champagne bath menu” which was available for the following year. Baths were offered at prices ranging from £4,000 to £25,000 (US$6,100 to US$38,000) depending upon the Champagne selected. Options included Louis de Custine Brut 1998, Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut 2002, Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé 2004, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label 2006, and Dom Pérignon 2002. After drawing the 24-gallon bath (about 120 bottles) and heating it to the guest’s desired temperature, a bath butler serves flutes of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries to be enjoyed while soaking. Hotel management describes the experience as the “ultimate indulgence.”

Make mine a Merlot (facial)…
If you enjoy going to the spa, vinotherapy may be the thing for you. Vinotherapy got its start in Bordeaux when Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas created the Caudalie skincare line in 1995, using grape products harvested from their Château Smith Haut Lafitte estate. Then, they opened the world’s first vinotherapy hotel, Les Sources de Caudalie, on their estate in 1999. Since that time, high-end spas have incorporated wine treatments into their offerings, and wine estates and vineyards around the world have opened their own vinotherapy resorts.

Although many dermatologists remain skeptical, vinotherapy advocates claim that when the antioxidants found in grapes, grape seeds and grape vines are applied to the skin, they can reduce wrinkles, improve cellulite and make one feel reinvigorated. Typical spa treatments offered include body wraps containing wine extracts, wine hydro-massages, wine baths, and various massages, facials, skin peels and exfoliation treatments incorporating wine extracts, crushed grapes, grape vine extracts, grape seeds or grape seed oil.

Want to try vinotherapy at home? Just get one of the creams, scrubs, oils, moisturizers or bathing products which incorporate wine extracts, grape extracts or grape seed oil. Another option is simply pouring a glass (or more) of wine into your bathwater. You’ll be in famous company; actress Teri Hatcher adds red wine to her bathwater to soften her skin, according to The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets. So next time you find yourself with some leftover wine, instead of pouring it down the drain, why not pour it in your bath? Your skin might thank you.

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