Is there any better feeling than soaking in a nice warm bath with a glass of Italian red wine by your side?
You take the occasional sip of your drink. Perhaps you even relax with a nice book or some chilled out music. There isn’t a feeling quite like it.
That’s… not what we’re talking about when we mention a wine bath.
A wine bath is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the action of taking a bath (or a shower) using wine.
And it’s one of the hottest trends in the industry right now. Many in Berlin have taken to wine baths for their purported benefits. And it’s looking like the idea is going to slowly spread throughout the rest of Europe.
We already know that a few of the wine purists out there are already turning their noses up at the idea. Why would you possibly want to bathe in wine when you could drink it instead?
And just think about how much wine it would take to fill up a bathtub. That alone makes it the sort of costly endeavour that smacks of exclusivity.
But we’re hoping to take a more balanced look at the whole thing. Wine baths are becoming increasingly common and there may be reason for it. This article examines some of the supposed benefits.
However, we first have a little surprise in store.
It’s Older Than You Think
Since the early-2000s, several spas have offered this as a treatment for their patrons. Even some hotels have been offering the treatment for several years.
But from that, it sounds like a trendy thing that will disappear in a few years’ time.
That’s not the case.
The idea of wine baths goes back a lot longer than you might think. In fact, it’s something that those in the Middle Ages and before used to do as well.
In that context, it makes a little sense. Clean water was especially hard to come by hundreds of years ago. As a result, wine and ale were the drinks of choice for many people. It stands to reason that some would decide to clean themselves in wine.
After all, if it’s better to drink wine than water then it’s probably better to wash yourself in wine as well.
And so, we have what seems like a fairly strange trend that actually has a deeper history than we could have imagined.
How Does it Work?
This is where things start to make a little bit more sense.
First of all, a wine bath doesn’t involve pouring bottle after bottle of your favourite Italian wines into a tub before you step in for a soak. That would require a ludicrous number of bottles and would mean each bath costs hundreds, if not thousands, of euros.
When you have a wine bath, you’re not bathing in the wine itself. Instead, you’re bathing in the pulp and all of the leftover bits and pieces from the winemaking process.
This is all stuff that generally gets discarded.
And suddenly, it seems like it may have a use after all.
This gets mixed up with hot water to make it something that you can physically wade through. And there you have it.
But is a wine bath all that it’s cracked up to be? Is it worth investing in the treatment if you find it’s available at the local spa?
Here are the supposed benefits that come from taking a dip.
Benefit #1 – It Creates Youthful Skin
This is the main reason why anybody even considers taking a wine bath in the first place.
The ancient Thracian women who first came up with the idea named their bath water the “elixir of youth”. Of course, that’s a title that’s been granted to any number of things over the years so it’s not instantly a way to lend credibility to the idea of a wine bath.
However, consider the contents of wine and what they’re supposed to do for your body.
Many recommend drinking a glass of red wine per day because of the antioxidants in the drink. Resveratrol and its ilk have the ability to combat free radical damage, which slows down the signs of ageing.
Perhaps it stands to reason that your skin could absorb the wine and enjoy these exact same benefits.
In fact, practitioners say that you’ll leave the wine bath with revitalised skin that feels stronger and more illuminated than ever before.
That completely runs counter to what you might expect. Alcohol is a dehydrator after all. But again, you have to remember that a wine bath is actually a heavily diluted mixture of wine pulp and grape seeds.
Benefit #2 – It Detoxifies Your Skin
“Toxins” is one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around in the health and beauty sector all too often. It seems that every treatment offers a way to get rid of “toxins” in one form or another.
So it’s natural that you’ll feel sceptical here.
But there’s no denying that your skin picks up an awful lot of gunk over time. It gets greasy and all sorts of things can find their way into your pores. This can result in nasty outbreaks and generally tired looking skin.
One of the key ideas behind wine baths is that they use the polyphenols in wine to detoxify your skin.
Polyphenols also improve circulation, which means oxygen finds it a lot easier to make its way around your body. Again, this contributes to the skin benefits that a wine bath supposedly offers. However, it also means you enjoy more general health benefits thanks to better circulation.
The Final Word
Is a wine bath all that it’s cracked up to be?
The jury is still out. There are certainly some interesting theories behind the whole thing. However, there aren’t any particularly compelling studies that prove the benefits of a wine bath.
We do have anecdotal evidence though. And it does seem that does who undertake the treatment come out feeling revitalised.
Perhaps you might want to try it yourself?
Just don’t make the mistake of pouring your own bottles of wine into the tub.