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5 Ways Wine Can Improve Aging Skin, Dermatologists Say

These are the top anti-aging effects of your nightcap.

As you get older, it's normal to notice certain changes to your skin, including more wrinkles, a thinner texture, and changes in pigmentation. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) says you can fight back against signs of aging with a healthy diet, ample hydration, good sleep habits, and a consistent skincare routine, which should include daily sunscreen and moisturizer. However, some experts say there's another way you can improve aging skin: drinking certain types of wine in moderation.

For the record, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a statement saying that no amount of alcohol is safe to drink, and medical experts do not recommend that you start drinking alcohol for the potential health benefits—especially if you have a family history of substance abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking too much alcohol is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, mental health problems, increased risk of certain types of cancer, and a weakened immune system.

However, there's one type of wine that can provide major skin benefits without the risks, a new study says. Wondering how exactly the occasional glass of wine may help reverse the effects of aging on your skin? Read on to learn which five key skin benefits are worth toasting.

RELATED: 8 Essential Skincare Ingredients if You're Over 50, According to Experts.

Wine has anti-inflammatory benefits.

Woman looking at her skin in a mirror.
gorodenkoff /

Moderate amounts of wine may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which can translate into fewer inflammation-based skin disorders such as rosacea or chronic dermatitis, says T.N. Rekha Singh, MD, MBBS, a dermatologist for Oliva Skin & Hair Clinic. She notes that the beverage is packed with antioxidants like flavonoids, resveratrol, and tannins.

"These antioxidants help fight off free radicals in the body that can damage skin cells and contribute to signs of aging," she tells Best Life. "Remember, the keyword here is moderate," she cautions. "Excessive drinking can lead to more inflammation instead."

Now for the great news: According to a Jul. 2023 study released by the American Society of Nutrition, drinking two glasses of de-alcoholized muscadine wine each day can deliver many of the same beautifying skin benefits, without the alcohol.

The researchers measured skin conditions including markers of inflammation and oxidative stress before and after the study and concluded that the subjects' skin showed signs of less inflammation at the end of the six-week study period.

RELATED: 5 Reasons You Should Add Petroleum Jelly to Your Skincare Routine After 50.

It can keep your skin hydrated.

woman looking at skin
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

The study also found that after six weeks of drinking two glasses of de-alcoholized red wine per night, the subjects experienced a decrease in water loss at the skin's surface. This resulted in less visibly aged skin since hydration creates an important barrier that protects dermal layers from damage, the study authors wrote.

This is one way in which alcoholic wines and de-alcoholized wines differ. While de-alcoholized wines promoted skin hydration, alcoholic beverages are known to dehydrate the body, including the skin—potentially resulting in dryness, duller pigmentation, wrinkles, and sagging.

RELATED: 6 Tips for Reducing Puffy Eyes If You're Over 60, According to Experts.

It can improve your circulation.

Side-view photo of a serious aged man looking in the mirror while standing in the bathroom with a towel

Another way that drinking small amounts of wine or de-alcoholized wine may benefit your skin is by improving your circulation. According to Trophy Skin, poor circulation can worsen certain skin problems, including skin discoloration, wrinkles, and acne.

"Wine, especially red wine, can help dilate blood vessels, which boosts blood circulation to the skin. Improved circulation delivers a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, promoting a healthy glow and fighting off dullness," says Singh.

​​Nate Masterson, a skincare expert for Maple Holistics, agrees that you should stick to red wine over white if you're hoping to see skin benefits since red wine has a higher polyphenol content.

In fact, a 2009 study published in the International Journal of Angiology notes that while your average glass of white wine contains just 30 mg of polyphenols per glass, red wine contains approximately 200 mg per glass.

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It can help rejuvenate your cells.


Your old skin cells continually die off to make way for newer, healthier cells that emerge underneath. Red wine may help you keep your skin's youthful appearance by promoting this cycle of cellular regeneration.

"Resveratrol not only acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent but also stimulates cellular proteins known as sirtuins. Sirtuins are involved in the process of cellular rejuvenation and can help to repair damaged skin cells, making your skin look fresher and younger," says Singh.

According to Masterson, this can "prevent cellular damage, and help to restore dull skin and give it an abundant glow." He notes that this benefit "can be obtained by sipping on a glass of red wine every few days or daily."

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It helps stimulate collagen production.

Mid adult woman looking in the mirror at home

Lastly, Singh says that the antioxidants in wine may also support the production of collagen and elastin—two proteins that are crucial to keeping your skin firm and youthful. "These proteins are necessary for maintaining the skin's elasticity and preventing wrinkles," the dermatologist explains.

"Always drink responsibly and remember that maintaining a balanced diet, practicing regular exercise, and following a consistent skincare routine is also essential for skin health," says Singh.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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