Beauty Benefits of Roses and Wine
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner — a day that starry-eyed romantics everywhere will be celebrating with the usual duo of roses and wine. Being of a cerebral, rather than romantic bent, I of course have been sedulously studying up on the health and beauty benefits of the aforementioned items, which are surprisingly numerous.
For centuries the rose has been cultivated for its aesthetic appeal and exquisite scent, and this lovely flower has come to symbolize innocence, beauty, love and passion. Roses have also been prized for their beauty enhancing value. Rose essential oil — it requires about 60,000 roses to yield one precious ounce — is one of the most expensive substances in perfumery and skin care. Rose oil suits all skin types, and has the following properties:
- Moisturizing and soothing: Both rose essential oil and rosehip oil hydrate and strengthen dry fragile skin. The natural sugars found in rose extract are especially soothing for sensitive skin. Rosehip oil is the only vegetable oil that naturally contains retinol, which can smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
- Antibacterial: Rose essential oil is naturally antibacterial and can gently treat acne-prone skin.
- Anti-inflammatory: The calming properties of rose oil can reduce swelling and calm the redness of skin inflamed with rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
- Antioxidant: Chock full of the antioxidant vitamin C, rose extract can protect skin cells from sun damage and oxidative stress. Rose water is wonderful for soothing, and some studies indicate it can even prevent sunburn. Rosehip seed oil can also diminish skin pigmentation, which makes it a great treatment for age spots on the face, hands and décolletage.
- Toning: Rose essence, with its natural astringent properties, gently refines skin texture by cleaning and tightening the pores while imparting smoothness and suppleness — all without the harshness of alcohol-based toners.
- Aromatherapy: The lovely fragrance of roses is known to calm the mind and elevate mental well-being. In fact, rose petals have traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat anxiety and depression.
One of my favorite rose skincare products is Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm, a multitasking product that can be used as a cleanser, exfoliator cream or a nourishing skin balm. This 100 percent natural blend of wild rose, geranium, rosemary and starflower oils will leave your skin glowing and smooth.
My other rose-based product picks:
- Osmia Organics Milky Rose Soap: Infused with roses and covered in rose petals, this soap is seriously luxurious and smells wonderful.
- Evan’s Garden The Perfect Rose Refining Facial Serum and Cream Rose: Enriched with rose hydrosol and rosehip seed oil, this is a potent anti-aging duo. Try the Cream Rose as an eye cream. Its light texture allows for quick absorption, and it’s effective in firming up “crêpey” upper lids.
- Silk Naturals Luxury Treatment Powder: This silky, rose-scented powder is designed as a night treatment powder, but can also be used over make up to that blur imperfections and softly illuminate the skin. It nourishes the skin with roses, silk and pearl extract.
- Pacifica Persian Rose Perfume: There’s no shortage of rose perfumes on the market, but this natural concoction of rose, violet and myrrh is perfectly balanced—not too heavy or sweet. Inhale deeply and be transported to a rose garden straight out of Sa’adi.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of moderate wine consumption. The anti-aging compound that it contains, resveratrol, is believed to be one of the most powerful antioxidants around and has received a lot of publicity in recent years. Wine is also an excellent topical skin care ingredient, as it contains numerous substances beneficial to skin health:
- Natural exfoliation: Wine contains naturally occurring alpha hydroxyl acids that can gently remove the top layer of dead skins. It’s excellent for treating blemished skin as well as reviving a dull, lifeless complexion.
- Antioxidant: Resveratrol is a polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant — it protects the skin from free-radical damage. It is the only polyphenol that activates the longevity gene SIRT1 that enhances cellular productivity and reduces cellular degradation.
While I enjoy quaffing Châteauneuf–du-Pape as much the next winebibber, I also like to partake of the benefits of wine in skin care products:
- 100 Percent Pure Red Wine Resveratrol Nourishing Cream: This cream smells great and plumps up the skin with red wine extract, resveratrol, green tea and rose hydrosol.
- Pur Minerals Wine Exfoliating Mask: This scrub actually smells like wine! It sweeps away dullness with wine extract, grape seed extract and papaya.
- Vine Vera Resveratrol Sauvignon Blanc Chin Tightening Contour: This luxury cream is what you need to restore firm, youthful facial contours.
- Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream: Diminish the appearance of wrinkles, puffiness and discoloration with this rich blend of resveratrol, Viniferine (Claudalie’s patented grapevine sap extract) and polyphenol-rich grapeseed extract
- Caudalie Fleur de Vigne Fresh Fragrance: This scent captures the delicate essence of grape blossoms, which bloom briefly in the month of June.