In recent years, the grape has become an increasingly popular superstar in the spa world. One has only to look at the large number of grape-themed spas and product lines to recognize the potent power of this delectable bite-size fruit. If you have yet to jump on the grape bandwagon, you may want to consider the many benefits grapes have to offer.
While it’s common knowledge that drinking a glass of red wine a day can do the heart good, applying grapeseed oil or various other grape-infused products to the skin can also prove advantageous to the complexion. Grapeseeds contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight free radicals known for damaging the skin and increasing the signs of aging. Grapeseed extract has also shown promise in helping wounds heal faster with less scarring. In a study at the St. Helena Institute for Plastic Surgery, Steven C.
Herber, M.D., F.A.C.S., found that a majority of subjects who applied grapeseed extract topically to their face reported improved skin texture.
These are just some of the reasons grapes figure so prominently in many of today’s skincare lines. According to Meaghan Cochrane, public relations and marketing representative for Éminence Organic Skin Care, grapes are nutrient-rich wonders that supply the skin with vitamin C, fruit sugars, pectin, bioflavonoids, and fruit acids. Another added advantage is that nothing goes to waste in that the juice, seeds, and skin are all utilized in Éminence’s DiVine Collection.
Veronique Paré, owner of Espace Urbain Orthospa (Gatineau, Canada) is also impressed by the benefits, noting the fact that resveratrol, a potent antioxidant, can be found in high concentrations in grapeseeds, stems, and skins. According to her, it’s ideal for reducing inflammation and slowing the oxidation process that often causes skin to age prematurely. Paré was also taken with the originality of grape-themed services and the quality of the products available.
Not surprisingly, grape-inspired treatments are especially popular in spas located in wine regions, such as Napa Valley, CA, and the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. “Many of our guests come to Meadowood and the Napa Valley looking for anything and everything to do with grapes,” says Kerry Brackett, manager at The Health Spa at Meadowood. According to her, grapeseed-based treatments such as the Cabernet Crush ($135, 60 minutes) and Vineyard Polish ($135, 60 minutes), both body exfoliations, have long been a part of the menu. The spa recently introduced the Grape Seed Rejuvenation ($250, 2 hours) package in response to guests’ interest in regional grape treatments. It includes a choice of body exfoliation and a massage with grapeseed oil from NV Organics.
In the Finger Lakes region, grape-infused treatments are practically a given. In fact, Spa Mirbeau (Skaneateles, NY) offers an entire menu of treatments that use D’Vine Vinotherapy products. From the Wine Salt Glow ($135, 50 minutes) to the Pinot Noir Body Mask & Wrap ($135, 50 minutes), there is no shortage of antioxidant-rich services. The August Moon Spa at La Tourelle Resort (Ithaca, NY) even boasts its own signature line, which includes a number of grape-infused products. At the Finger Lakes Wellness Center and Health Spa (Bath, NY), the evidence supporting the benefits grapes have to offer was too convincing to ignore. “Studies indicate that topical treatment reduces eye puffiness and inflammation, evens out the complexion, and adds to ultraviolet ray protection,” says owner Janet Opild-Lehman. There, guests can enjoy a variety of grapeseed signature sessions, such as Grape Seed Hand and Foot Reflexology ($70, 60 minutes) or Grape Seed Oil Aromatherapy Detox Massage ($75, 60 minutes). “Being in wine country, we also wanted to enhance our clients’ experience by incorporating grapeseeds in some of our treatments,” says Opild-Lehman. “Grapes are not just for drinking and eating.”
That was also the thinking at Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa (Victoria, BC). “Here on the Saanich Peninsula, we have an incredible variety of local wineries, which are often a draw for our visiting guests,” says spa director Alicia Bradshaw. At Spa – Essence of Life, a host of Vino Therapy treatments are available, such as the Couple’s Vino Lover’s Retreat ($242 per person, 2 hours) and the Vino Stomp Pedicure ($82, 75 minutes). According to Bradshaw, the grape-themed services serve as an example of the property’s efforts to rely on local elements and offer multiple skin-saving advantages. “When you rub and scrub the body with grape skins and vines containing resveratrol, a natural antibiotic, you help to increase cellular immunity and detoxification,” says Bradshaw.
As spa-goers continue to clamor for increasingly natural products, grapes can be easily integrated into many treatments. Caudalíe, a popular France-based vinotherapy line, uses fresh grapes, grapeseeds, grape skins, grapeseed oil, and grape water in many of its treatments, which are available at Caudalíe Spas in New York City; Elciego, Spain; and Martillac and Ville d’Avray, France. For instance, its Vinotherapie Spa Manicure ($85, 60 minutes) and Pedicure ($95, 80 minutes) both involve the use of freshly cut grapes to gently exfoliate and hydrate the nail beds. The Fresh Grape Massage ($185, 50 minutes) relies on fresh grapes to soothe the skin, and the Crushed Cabernet Scrub ($145, 35 minutes) combines grapeseeds, grapeseed oil, brown sugar, and honey to exfoliate the skin. Launching this month, the Vinosource Quenching Facial ($185, 50 minutes) relies on fresh grapes to massage the face and neck.
Guests of AWAY Spa at W San Diego (CA) won’t be crying sour grapes thanks to a new manicure the spa is launching this month. Bearing the tongue-in-cheek name, WINE A Little, You’ll Feel Better! ($60, 30 minutes), the mani involves spa-goers crushing fresh grapes with their bare hands before they’re treated to a champagne sugar scrub and grapeseed lotion massage. This treatment is also paired with wine and a mini cheese plate. It’s just one of the wine-themed treatments being introduced as part of AWAY’s new Spirited Spa Menu, available for a limited time through November.
While the skin-saving benefits alone are enough to tempt most spa-goers, scent can be another selling point. “At The Broadmoor, we have been told many a time that a client has booked a different treatment, but when they smell the scent of our product, they switch to it,” says Ken Heng, director of Herbwalk, Inc, distributor of Olavie and Le Vin products. “Others report that our products are an easy sell because they include a small glass of Chardonnay during the treatment, and clients just feel so pampered.” The same can be said of those who visit Caudalíe Vinothérapie Spa at The Plaza Hotel (New York City). There, guests can indulge in a glass of wine either pre- or post-treatment at the spa’s French Paradox Wine Lounge.
Wine tastings are a great way to extol the virtues of grape-themed treatments and products. “We hold wine tasting events called Divine Wine Spa Events at the spa showcasing the Mondavi family wines and offer mini spa treatments and tours to educate clients on the health benefits of red wine and the potent power of antioxidants found in the polyphenols of red grapes,” says Heidi Carney, spa director of 29 Spa at The Mansion on Peachtree, A Rosewood Hotel & Residence (Atlanta). The spa cross-promotes with Neiman Marcus, which also sells the grapeseed extract-based 29 Cosmetics brand, and co-hosts events, such as makeup classes and wine and spa parties. Packing a mighty powerful antioxidant punch, grape-themed products and treatments certainly give spa-goers plenty of reasons to raise a glass.
Consider toasting the bountiful benefits grapes have to offer by introducing these grape-infused products in your spa.
29 Spa Grape Seed Anti-Oxidant Soap Set: These Grape Seed Age-Protecting Shea Butter Soaps cleanse and treat the skin. The green bar features crushed grapeseeds, rosemary, and thyme, while the white bar is made with grapeseed extract, oats, and soy milk. (888) 415-2929; www.29cosmetics.com
A.N.D. Skincare Grape Seed Oil: This light massage carrier oil can be blended with aromatherapy essential oils. Containing minerals and vitamins, it is ideal for all skin types. (888) 568-3150; www.anaturaldifference.com
Belle Luccè Mediterranean Wine & Honey Masque: An at-home mask that can be mixed with either water or warm milk, this luxe treatment fortifies the skin’s natural defenses with detoxifying clays and olive oil to help lock in moisture. (800) 485-3079; www.bellelucce.com
Bioelements Active Astringent: Drenching the skin with complexion-clearing ingredients, this power-packed astringent works to control excess oil, hydrate the skin, and unclog pores. It contains grape, honey, and kiwi to exfoliate and help prevent blemishes. (800) 433-6650; www.bioelements.com
Caudalíe Quenching Sorbet Crème: This hydrating cream contains grapeseed polyphenols, nutrient-rich grape water, and Vinolevure, a molecule extracted from the walls of wine yeast. Working together, they help skin regulate its water reserves and reduce sensitivity. (866) 826-1615; www.caudalie.com
Chateau Lorraine Grape Seed Body Oil: Ideal for use before, during, or after bathing, this light blend of black currant, grapeseed, and other natural oils is designed to enrich the skin and hair. (888) 532-1607; www.chateaulorraine.com
D’Vine Vinotherapy Petite Sirah Cleanser: A deep-pore cleanser that helps discourage potential breakouts, this cleansing formula includes white willow bark extract to help reduce oil on the skin and tighten pores and raspberry extract to give it a pleasant fragrance. (866) 503-8463; www.dvine.com
Dr. Vranjes Rosso Nobile: This fragrance collection of candles, home diffusers, perfume, and room and linen sprays features the scent of fine wine. Available in 15 blends, these home and body fragrances rely on pure essential oils. www.drvranjes.it
Emerge Skin Care Grape Solar Stem Cell Day Cream SPF30: PhytoCellTec Grape Solar, the key ingredient in this sun protection cream, helps protect skin stem cells from UV stress and fights photo-aging. (866) 327-5069; www.emergeskincare.com
Éminence Organic Skin Care DiVine Collection: Steeped with Hungary’s Tokay Ice Wine Grapes, this free radical-fighting collection includes Mimosa Champagne Massage Oil, Tokay Ice Wine Masque, and more. (888) 747-6342; www.eminenceorganics.com
Gourmet Spa Essentials Callus & Heel Butter: Smoothing cracked heels, this hydrating butter features grapeseed oil, which is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. (877) 944-9454; www.gourmetspaessentials.com
Iliare Grapeseed Cleansing Milkke Organic Skin C: This gentle cleanser relies on nutrient-rich grapeseed oils to help reduce inflammation. (888) 290-6238; www.szepelet.com
Intrinsics Moisturizing Towels: This 72-count pack of pre-moistened towels contains grapeseed botanicals that soothe the skin and provide anti-aging and toning benefits. Made of natural ingredients, they’re free of alcohol and parabens. (800) 277-0377, ext. 1410; www.intrinsics.net