Need some extra protection from the sun? Pour a glass of cabernet (after slathering on Coppertone). The flavanoids in grapes can halt the chemical reactions that cause skin cells to expire, according to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Here’s how it works: When your skin is exposed to UV rays, a reactive oxygen species (or ROS) is activated. The ROSs are ultimately responsible for creating specific enzymes that kill skin cells. But researchers found that flavanoids in grapes work to halt the formation of ROSs, saving you (partly) from the nagging pain of a fresh sunburn.
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And it turns out wine isn’t the only sun-savvy drink that has anti-radiation benefits. Other antioxidants aid in protection, including green tea polyphenols, rosmarinic acid (found in rosemary and oregano), and genistein (found in soybeans and coffee).
While the new research is welcome news for wine connoisseurs, don’t ditch your sunblock to make more room for merlot. Although the flavanoids in grapes help prevent your skin from forming ROSs, the antioxidants don’t provide full protection for the outer layers of the skin, the researchers write. Your best bet? Stick to sunscreen, and reapply every two hours for the best protection