To explore the potential of the grape in the health and beauty industry, politicians at the French upper house, the Senate, have commissioned a study on future applications. Senator Roland Courteau has been chosen to evaluate research on the grape as a source of innovation in cosmetics, therapy and health and will report his findings to the l'office parlementaire d'évaluation des choix scientific et technologiques (OPESCT), a Senate committee. Exploiting emerging markets for the grape is a high priority in France as new world wines have eaten away at the country's share of the international wine market. Some viticulturists have fought back in recent times by targeting the cosmetics industry. Grapes are now already widely used in the cosmetics industry because of their anti-ageing properties, according to the market research firm Mintel. Mintel analyst Nica Lewis said grapes are likely to become increasingly popular in the coming years as the beauty food trend takes off. Manufacturers of beauty enhancing food products are looking for effective edible anti-ageing ingredients and grapes fit the bill. Lewis said grape seed oil is currently the most common derivative to be used in beauty products because it contains particularly high quantities of anti-oxidants and Omega 6. France-based Caudalie is a leading specialist in the market for grape cosmetics but a number of leading brands such as Revlon and Clinique also produce products containing grape seed oil, according to Mintel. The ingredient is used in a variety of beauty products from lipsticks to skin care proving highly popular in the booming market for natural anti-aging ingredients.
French grapes are generally destined for life in the wine bottle but more and more are finding their way into cosmetics as demand for edible anti-ageing ingredients soars.