A type of not-so-popular red wine may be the secret to slow skin aging, a recent study has found.

The findings, presented at the flagship annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition in Boston, suggest that drinking dealcoholized muscadine wine can help improve elasticity and make the skin look younger.

Earlier studies have shown that drinking red wine can improve heart health, reduce inflammation and cognitive decline. The latest is the first of its kind research that analyzed the impact of nonalcoholic wine consumption on skin health.

"This cross-over study demonstrated that six weeks of dealcoholized muscadine wine consumption resulted in improvement of certain skin parameters associated with aging, such as elasticity on the forearm and barrier function of the skin on the face when compared to baseline and placebo. This is likely due to decreases in inflammation and oxidative stress," said Lindsey Christman, an author of the study.

The research team believes chemical compounds called polyphenols found in muscadine grapes provide skin health benefits.

"Muscadine grapes have been found to have a unique polyphenolic profile in comparison to other red wine varieties. Our study suggests that muscadine wine polyphenols have the potential to improve skin conditions, specifically elasticity and transepidermal water loss, in middle-aged and older women," Christman said in a news release.

The team made 17 women participants, between the ages of 40 and 67, drink either dealcoholized wine or an exact-looking placebo. The participants were asked to drink 300 milliliters (equivalent to two glasses of wine) of the assigned beverage daily for six weeks. After a break for three weeks, the participants switched to the opposite beverage for another six weeks.

At the start and the end of each six-week period, the participants were evaluated for their skin conditions, markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. The team found that drinking muscadine wine significantly improved skin elasticity and reduced the water loss from the skin surface.

The scope of the study is limited as it just looked at the impact of dealcoholized muscadine wine. The researchers' main aim was to explore the skin health effects of the bioactive compounds in wine, specifically polyphenols.

"Alcohol would add another variable to the study that may cause the effects to be different. In addition, the dealcholization process may alter the chemical composition," Christman said.