With summer fast approaching, you can’t wait to slip into your favorite pair of sandals or flip-flops. But before donning those open-toe shoes, you want to ensure your feet look and feel soft and hydrated so you can show them off with confidence. While there are many ways to moisturize your soles, like traditional pedicures as well as the medical versions, one wackier remedy stands out among the rest: The red wine pedicure. This pedicure involves infusing vino into a foot soak in order to hydrate dry skin. You may not think of soaking your feet or any part of your body in wine, but surprisingly it’s become pretty common. Here’s the scoop on the viral treatment, and if it’s skincare expert-approved or not.
What is a red wine pedicure?
This type of pedicure involves mixing red wine with water and soap in a bowl or basin and then soaking your feet in it. The reason why? Red wine contains antioxidants that are associated with helping to relieve dry skin. A red wine pedicure sounds odd as it could leave you with blush-stained feet, even if it’s just temporary, plus it can be pricey! But, these pedicures are part of a skincare phenomenon known as “vinotherapy” where wine is infused into full body baths, beauty products, and other spa treatments. Despite the hype around red wine pedicures, it’s important to know if they truly work so you don’t waste time or a good glass of vino.
Do red wine pedicures actually work?
Currently, there’s no scientific evidence suggesting that red wine pedicures can help relieve dry feet. Grapes themselves contain skin health-enhancing antioxidants like resveratrol and catechin. Because of this, red wine has small amounts of these antioxidants — but the drink’s added ingredients drown out any possible benefits. “Red wine has many ingredients in much larger amounts than resveratrol [including tannins and alcohol], which can actually dry out the skin,” Gabriella Baki, PhD, PharmD, explains to Wine Spectator.
Dr. Baki warns of another antioxidant in wine called tartaric acid. She notes that this antioxidant is often used as a peeling agent and exfoliant, which may trigger irritation and heightened skin sensitivity. Ultimately, a red wine pedicure is likely to make your feet even more dry and irritated. For these reasons, Dr. Baki doesn’t recommend submerging any area of your body in wine. “Soaking the skin in red wine may not be the best idea,” she concludes. It’s clear that red wine can be harsh on skin, and therefore you should be cautious of using it as a skincare ingredient. Luckily, there’s a safer way to harness the beauty potential of grapes to get soft, summer-ready feet.
What can I do to moisturize my feet in place of a red wine pedicure?
Instead of using a red wine pedicure to rejuvenate dry, cracked feet, Dr. Baki suggests using skin creams that contain grape-derived ingredients. One product worth trying is Vinotherapist’s Foot Beauty Cream by Caudalie (Buy from US.Caudalie.com, $16) as it contains key ingredients such as shea butter, grapeseed oil, and red vine extract. This formulation offers vitamins A and E as well as compounds called flavonoids that nourish and hydrate skin. To do: Gently massage your desired amount of cream onto your feet during the day to lock in moisture. Then, you’re ready to wear any pair of sandals or any open toe shoes without worry.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, your feet deserve the best care as they’re more susceptible to constant dryness since they don’t have sebaceous glands (oil glands). And while a red wine pedicure is definitely more of a miss than a hit, utilizing an alternative option like a grape-infused foot cream provides skin-nourishing benefits in a safer way. Curious to learn about the effectiveness of other strange beauty treatments? Check out our stories on the viral “natural botox” banana peel trend and putting egg yolks in your hair to help reverse thinning!
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
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