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Whisky by-products benefit skin rejuvenation, research finds

The nutrients and polyphenols from Scotland’s national drink can combat environmental damage and reduce inflammation, puffiness and redness.
The nutrients and polyphenols from Scotland’s national drink can combat environmental damage and reduce inflammation, puffiness and redness. The nutrients and polyphenols from Scotland’s national drink can combat environmental damage and reduce inflammation, puffiness and redness.

Whisky by-products have proved to be good for keeping the skin healthy, new research has found.

A study by a university found placing the nutrients and polyphenols from Scotland’s national drink in skincare products can help boost the skin, fight free radical damage from the environment, reduce inflammation and puffiness, and calm redness.

The research was initially inspired by the beneficial effects on the skin that the sake yeast fermentation process was proven to have by a Japanese company in the 1970s.

Researchers at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences in Aberdeen helped discover that pot ale, residue from the whisky-making process commonly used for animal feed, provides antioxidant benefits in skincare.

Whisky in glass
Whisky in glass Researchers believe it is the first time that whisky by-product has been used in such a way (PA)

The scientists believe it is the first time that whisky by-product has been used to investigate the antioxidant capacity on cells.

Inverness natural skincare firm Zaza & Cruz was involved in research and now uses the ingredient in its products.

Founder Rebecca Hastings secured the samples used in the tests from a local distillery, GlenWyvis in the Highland town of Dingwall, after several rejections elsewhere.

Principal investigator on the project, Carlos Fernandez, who is a senior lecturer at RGU, said: “The RGU team has developed a great partnership with Zaza & Cruz and this is reflected by two successful research projects investigating the antioxidant effect of pot ale from whisky for health care products.”

Ms Hastings said the experiment helped her business “look forward to the future”, adding: “Having the experience of the team at RGU helped me as a business owner in my field to feel confident in the results that they could produce with their research facilities.”