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No joke: researchers in Spain have suggested that drinking red wine or eating grapes may help defend your skin against the damaging effects of sunburn. The investigators report that antioxidant compounds found in grapes can protect skin by undermining formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). If left unchecked, these byproducts of normal metabolism set off a chemical reaction that kills off cells and as a result, damages skin exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Researchers at the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council studied the chemical reaction that leads to sunburn and then looked at the effects of flavonoids on this process. They suggested that grapes could protect against both burns and skin cancer.
Don’t be too quick to trade your sunscreen for a bottle of Spanish red: the grapes may turn out to work best when incorporated into skin creams to guard us from sunburn. And yes, you can get sunburned at any time of the year, not just in the summer.