Can your favorite drink actually improve your skin?
It’s been one of those weeks. You know, when every day feels like Friday, but it’s actually Tuesday? Usually when I need something to distract me from the next few days of work, I settle into the couch with a glass of wine. But this time, I’m putting it on my face. I came across the idea for a red wine face mask one day at work while perusing the Internet on my lunch break. It promised to soothe, hydrate, and have anti-aging properties. I decided to give it a try so I could take care of my skin and sip my favorite drink at the same time.
The recipe only uses three ingredients: red wine, honey, and yogurt. While you can use whatever brands you want, I went for all-natural honey since it’s less processed and Greek yogurt because it’s plain yogurt with no additives — plus I’m Greek and it’s considered an insult to our culture if you buy or eat any other yogurt than Fage, but I digress.
While there have been many studies on the benefits of red wine for heart health, less is known about its topical benefits (if any). A 2011 study published in the National Institutes of Health database suggested that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, could help aid against the effects of UV radiation which can cause skin aging but acknowledged that more research needed to be done. Many different types of honey have been shown to have antibacterial properties, which are helpful in keeping skin healthy. Raw, natural honey, like the kind I bought, is also great for exfoliating because it has natural sugar crystals in it that can slough off dead skin. Another study published in the National Institutes of Health database suggests that probiotics, which are plentiful in yogurt, can help soothe and replenish your skin.
The recipe called for one cup of yogurt, but I thought that was a little extreme for a single person’s face mask. So, I modified it a little bit and put about two and a half tablespoons of yogurt, one tablespoon of honey, and a splash (or three) of red wine. Even after decreasing the volume of ingredients, I still found there was enough in my bowl for at least four masks, so this would be great to do in bulk with friends. I personally saved it and used it a few more times throughout the week.
Since the yogurt was in the refrigerator, it felt super refreshing on my skin. The mask also smelled delicious. Almost immediately, I felt my face start to tingle — were the anti-aging gods already performing their magic on my face? The best part of this facial recipe was that I could pour myself a glass of red once I mixed the mask, which definitely helped the pampering process.
I left the mask on for the full duration of a Friends episode ("The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath," in case you were wondering) which is approximately 21 minutes. I rinsed off the mask with warm water and my skin felt soft and moisturized and my face felt rejuvenated — similar to the feeling you get after a professional spa treatment. I even noticed that the next day my face was still super soft, which usually doesn’t happen when I’ve used other face masks. I think it’s too soon to tell if it helped fight aging on my skin, but as a quick at-home treatment I found it to be relaxing and something I would definitely try again. Since I only used a small amount of wine I had to be prepared to drink the rest of the bottle before it went bad — challenge accepted.
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