It recently came to my attention that the "red wine facial" was a thing. As both a wine lover and a face mask-obsessed human, I couldn't wait to give it a try. With visions of pouring a bottle of vino all over my face and flooding my senses with the delicious aroma of Merlot, I was curious to see what a red wine mask would really look like. It turns out that I was a bit off. The mask looks more like a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt or honey than liquid. But still sounds luxurious, doesn't it?
There are multiple benefits of soaking some Merlot (or any red wine of your choice) into your pores. According to WebMD, the resveratrol in wine is great for anti-aging, while the polyphenols in it keep the skin elastic and protect it from harmful UV rays. You can get these benefits from grape seed oil and dark chocolate, but why not get 'em straight from the source? Plus, the process will put that teensy bit of wine left at the bottom of the bottle from last night to good use.
When I saw that a red wine facial is specifically useful for anti aging, I wondered if this mask was right for me (a human at the ripe age of 21). However, people from all walks of life can experience losing the collagen in their skin responsible for tightness. Acne scars, dullness, high stress levels, and sun exposure can cause early signs of aging, making this mask a perfect preventative measure for anyone.
Honestly, I didn't take the mask all that seriously. I don't plan on being a person who denies their aging or tries to prevent the natural course my body takes as I grow older. Instead, I plan on taking my body positivity well into my old age. That being said, it's fun to do nice things for your skin, try out new (and weird) beauty ingredients, and pamper yourself every once in a while. And as it turns out, the mask ended up being something of a game-changer for my skin.
For my mask, I decided to follow a simple recipe that seems to be practically universal across beauty-related corners of the Internet, and used only the ingredients I had in my apartment. Combined with my boxed Merlot of choice, I used Greek yogurt (a great moisturizer that's packed with probiotics that can actually benefit your skin) and honey (its many uses include helping reduce blemishes and redness, according to Women's Health). If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, there are plenty more variations of this recipe online (I'd personally love to try the one involving seaweed and aloe vera. Fancy!).
With these three ingredients, I created a mask tailored to my own skin needs (my combination skin experiences dryness, redness, acne, and tiredness around the eyes). I hoped that the mask I created would live up to the hype. However, I was not too optimistic about it since most masks I've tried have irritated my face in some way. Still, this is a red wine face mask. So I pushed on.
I mixed one teaspoon of each ingredient in a bowl until all parts were evenly distributed. The resulting mix seemed a little watery, so I was concerned about neat application. But it smelled heavenly.
After washing and toning my face, I used a cotton ball to apply the mix. It adhered to my skin pretty well, save for the few rogue drips that took refuge on my crop top. As soon as the creamy stuff touched my face, the delicious smell of sweetened yogurt and Merlot flooded my senses, making for quite a luxurious and multi-sensory experience.
I could immediately feel the mask's soothing properties against the itchy patch of skin (courtesy of eczema) that had materialized around the corner of my mouth. Its ability to soothe on impact reminded me of some of my other favorite ingredients out there, like aloe vera and witch hazel. Thanks to my love of wine, my tendency of adding honey to tea ('tis the season of scratchy throats), and my yogurt-eating housemate's generosity, this mask is a super accessible treat for me.
This photo perfectly captures the total state of bliss I was in during the process. I left it on for about 15 minutes and reveled in the feeling of total comfort. Speaking from years of experience with skin conditions, I can confidently say that this mask is perfect for people with sensitive skin (even if that skin falls all over the spectrum in terms of "problem areas," conditions, and texture like mine does).
After removing the stuff from my face, my skin felt so soft (I had everyone I knew touch it to feel this miracle). Plus, it was noticeably less inflamed, especially concerning my eczema. The next day my face was still baby soft, my eczema flareup had disappeared, and my acne was considerably reduced (with whatever spots left being less red than before).
I'm certainly not saying that this red wine mask will be your cure-all, but I can vouch for the fact that it isn't only for the purposes of anti-aging. Thanks to the antioxidants and polyphenols in the red wine, the soothing and collagen-rebuilding properties in the Greek yogurt's lactic acid, and the anti-inflammatory powers in honey, it addresses multiple issues. Most importantly, the mask is gentle enough to be enjoyable, even to the most sensitive and irritated skin.
If you've sworn that you just simply don't have the time or money for some at-home pampering, try out this super easy recipe. Trust me, its simplicity, glorious smell, and effectiveness will knock your socks off.
Images: Meg Zulch