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New Skin-Care Products Take Advantage of Grapes' Benefits

Rebecca Adams
Posted: September 4, 1999

The beauty industry has been largely successful in convincing women to apply unusual potions to their bodies in the quest for eternal dewiness. Seaweed, honey, citrus-fruit compounds and the placentas of certain farm animals have made their way into the small type on ingredient labels. Now, Uvavita, a new company in Napa Valley, has joined the party with a new line of upscale skin-care products designed to exploit the antioxidant qualities of the grape.

The company claims that Uvavita's grape-seed-extract polyphenols "have an intense free-radical scavenging effect," which is meant to protect the skin from oxidants that cause premature aging. The grape-seed oil used in Uvavita is extracted by the Napa Valley Grapeseed Oil Company, using seeds primarily from white grapes from about 35 wineries, including Robert Mondavi and Spottswoode.

Uvavita has a lengthy California wine country pedigree. Its founding partners include Roman Coppola (director and vintner Francis Ford Coppola's son, who works in the marketing division); Carmenet winemaker Karl Wright (chemist); Greg Pestoni (product development); Christina Abreu, wife of David Abreu of Abreu Vineyards in St. Helena (marketing); and Linda Serini (controller). Christina Abreu, Pestoni and Serini are all cousins, related to California's Pestoni winemaking family, which owns Rutherford Grove.

The five products currently available under the Uvavita label include two facial moisturizers (for daytime and nighttime), an exfoliating Dead Sea mud mask, hydrating body lotion and a body scrub.

The products are currently being sold at Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery, Rutherford Grove and Sofia Coppola's Los Angeles fashion boutique Heaven 27. They will also be available at Fred Segal Essentials in Santa Monica, Calif., in October. Prices range from $28 to $53. For more information, call (707) 967-VITA.

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