- Brad Pitt has launched a new genderless skin care line with ingredients, including grape seeds and botanicals, that promise to slow aging.
- Dermatologists feel more evidence behind the ingredients is needed before recommending it.
- Other graceful aging support ingredients, including retinol, have more robust data to support use.
Brad Pitt is getting a taste of the beauty industry with a new skin care line that promises to help people age like fine wine.
The new line, Le Domaine, is a joint effort between Pitt and organic wine growers the Perrin family. The products include creams and serums and cost between $80 to $385 and come in small bottles made of recycled glass made with re-purposed parts of wine barrels.
Le Domaine purports to have uncorked the secret to slowing aging with a pair of exclusive, patented active ingredients. The first, GSM10, is made, in part, from a marc from grenache seeds and syrah seeds. The line’s website says these ingredients work to stop collagen destruction, have antioxidant properties, and balance the skin.
The second, ProGR3, is said to reduce visible signs of aging by using natural molecules found in plant extracts, vine cuttings, chamomile, and green tea.
Though the line touts graceful aging benefits, Pitt interestingly debunked the idea that you can “stop the clock” in an interview.
“I don’t want to be running from aging,” Pitt said while discussing the line with Vogue. “It’s a concept we can’t escape, and I would like to see our culture embracing it a bit more, talking about it in those terms.”
Ultimately, Dr. Viktoryia Kazlouskaya, a dermatologist with Khrom Dermatology, Brooklyn, N.Y., says approaches to physical signs of aging are as varied as tastes in wine. Some feel young inside and want their appearance to match that. Others see lines and wrinkles as signs of a well-lived life, and others prefer a blend.
“Either approach reflects the expression of the authentic self, as authenticity means different things for different people,” Kazlouskaya says. “There is no shame in a desire to match the inner energy with the outer, and anti-aging practices will stay with us for the years ahead.”
But will Pitt’s new foray into beauty help people who want to slow the signs of aging? Here’s what dermatologists and researchers say.
What the science says about Pitt’s new line
Pitt’s active ingredients are new. But some of the components of them, like the syrah seeds, are inspired by wine.
Wine, particularly red, has a reputation for providing some health benefits, including to the skin. But the recent evidence is contradictory.
In fact, research from 2019 indicated that drinking wine could increase signs of facial aging, including undereye puffiness. However, the plant compound resveratrol, found in red wine, may help fight cell damage, an older 2010 review suggested.
But what about the topical use of some of these ingredients?
Let’s start with those found in GSM10. Though no peer-reviewed studies exist on it, one expert says the gape seed extract may have some promise.
“Grape seeds are known to be rich in polyphenols which are molecules that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Dr. Emily Wood, a board certified dermatologist, at Westlake Dermatology in Austin.
A 2020 review pointed to research that grapeseed extracts had anti-inflammatory properties and might have benefits that support aging gracefully. An older 2011 study of mice indicated that grape seed extract might reduce sun damage, a key trigger for premature aging.
Similarly, the components of ProGR3 do have some research behind them.
A pair of smaller studies — one from 2005 and another from 2013 — suggest green tea extract could slow skin aging.
A 2010 study indicated chamomile oil application could reduce atopic dermatitis in mice, while one from 2018 suggested application could aid wound healing. Though neither study on chamomile mentioned aging, one expert believes that, like green tea, the properties suggest it could help.
“Both green tea and chamomile address signs of aging topically and when ingested,” says Dr. Reid Maclellan, the founder and CEO of Cortina, adjunct Faculty at Harvard Medical School, and director of Proactive Dermatology Group. “Both teas are antioxidant-rich and within, have a biological compound called polyphenols which work to destroy free radicals and slow the progression of aging.”
Maclellan says the decision to use vine cuttings may be because of the research behind resveratrol. Research, like a 2019 review, suggests it has antioxidant properties to slow photoaging and protect against oxidative damage, such as from UV radiation.
Could all of these components, combined, team up to fight the signs of aging? The jury is out.
“The key question is whether or not these extracts are actually permeating the epidermis due to the fact that polyphenols are hydrophilic, and the top layer of the skin has a high lipid content,” says Wood. “Think of the simple kitchen experiment of mixing oil and water together. Similar principles are at play when we think of drug delivery to the skin. The vehicle of delivery is key when looking at achieving effective penetration.”
Yay, nay, or not yet: Dermatologists’ takes on Le Domaine
As a consumer, Kazlouskaya understands the interest in the new line.
“On an emotional level, I already see myself opening this beautifully designed box containing a classy-looking jar with a massive oak wood cap,” she says.
But as a dermatologist, Kazlouskaya is trained to step back and look at the whole package — mainly, the evidence behind the ingredients. That’s where she’s not sold on the touted benefits of the new line. She says she wants to know:
- Is it safe for sensitive skin?
- How is it better compared to proven and well-established ingredients that reduce the signs of aging, such as retinoids?
- Is it worth the price?
- Will any published clinical research follow?
- Are natural ingredients scientifically better than synthetic ones?
Wood has similar thoughts. She loves the elegant packaging and the fact that it’s made from recycled materials. But she can’t judge a product by its recycled wine barrel cover.
“There is some solid science backing the idea of utilizing plant-derived polyphenols to decrease signs of aging,” Wood says. “However, more studies need to be conducted on the effectiveness of topical polyphenols and in which vehicles of delivery these molecules will effectively penetrate the epidermis.”
Slowing the effects of aging on the skin
Though aging is a natural process that cannot be stopped, experts say some of its effects can be slowed.
Though it’s not as easy as 1-2-3, Dr. Jeremy Fenton of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC has simplified his advice for patients looking for products that help reduce the signs of aging into a three-step process:
2. Retinoid or retinol (if your skin can tolerate it)
3. Topical antioxidant products/serums
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or above and reapplying every two hours when exposed to the sun to protect against aging and skin cancer.
Research from 2019 suggests retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A, has skin care benefits, including anti-wrinkle properties.
Fenton says vitamins C and E are two of the antioxidant ingredients found in some serums and products he suggests patients look into.
A 2020 review suggests the use of vitamins C and E could also reduce the signs of aging.
Kazlouskaya agrees about sunscreen, retinol/retinoids, and antioxidants. Though there always seems to be a new ingredient or product on the block, she says less is often more.
“I learned to be a minimalist after treating numerous patients with rosacea and sensitive skin, as more does not mean better,” she says.
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