To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Spa Treatment of the Month: Living Ingredients,” by Saul Alkaitis, Ph.D., in the March 2011 issue. Article summary: The use of fruits, vegetables and plants as an integral component of human cleansing and healing rituals predates our recorded history, as does their use for cosmetic purposes.

by Boldijarre Koronczay

We all know nutrition is key to a balanced and healthy lifestyle, but how many of us feed our skin, too? The epidermis absorbs 60 percent of the products we use on our skin, so choosing a skin-care regimen that provides nourishment with organic fruits and vegetables is just as vital as choosing the right food to eat.

For body care, grapes offer some of the most varied and comprehensive benefits compared to other fruits. Grape seed extract is often found in essential oils for its soothing and moisturizing properties that also supplies glycolic acid, but the entire fruit—skin, pulp, juice—offers a wide range of benefits.

Grapes are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that are easily absorbed when applied to the skin. Plus, the high concentration of natural sugars in grapes grown for sweet and ice wines, such as the Tokay grape, is a powerful hydrator. The result is smooth and supple skin that has been treated to more health benefits than a glass of red wine.

From the vineyards of the Tokai Region of Hungary, the wine-producing tradition for Tokay wines has been passed down from medieval times. At least three to four years are needed to foster the grapes, and a vintage wine can take several decades to mature. With this type of commitment and respect, it is clear these grapes are special.

Combining traditional Hungarian massage with the local Tokay grapes is just one of the ways to reap the benefits of the country’s knowledge of local herbs, fruits and vegetables and how they can be employed to treat the skin and body. Tokay grapes reduce inflammation and slow the oxidation process that often causes the skin to age prematurely. Ripe with polyphenols, which fortify, tone and restore dynamism to the skin, these grapes promote a revitalized and more youthful skin tone and texture from head to toe.

Boldijarre Koronczay is founder of Éminence Organic Skin Care (, voted favorite skin-care line and the best in product education by American Spa Magazine’s Professional’s Choice Awards. A master trainer from Budapest, Hungary, Koronczay is a dedicated trainer, lecturer, herbalist and master of European aesthetics and massage. Educating clients on how to use natural ingredients in skin care to bring wellness and balance in their busy lives is Koronczay’s passion.