Drinking wine can protect the skin against sunburns and skin damages due to a compound found in grapes, according to a new Spanish study, which can eventually lead to improvements in sun protection products.

While wine is already known for its ability to fight Alzheimer's, cavities and prostate cancer, the study from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council found that flavonoids in grapes protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation, the first study to emerge regarding wine's effect on the skin.

Flavonoids in grapes hinder chemical reactions that kill skin cells and cause sun damage.

When the skin is exposed to UVA and UVB rays, "reactive oxygen species" (ROS) activate and oxidize lipids and DNA, producing enzymes that ultimately kill skin cells by disturbing key cellular functions. These flavonoids in grapes help to decrease formation of ROS in skin cells after exposure to ultraviolet rays.

The research team led by Marta Cascante of the University of Barcelona concluded through in vitro research that by drinking wine, flavonoids are absorbed into the skin which protects against sunburns and sun damages from harmful rays.

"This study supports the idea of using these products to protect the skin from cell damage and death caused by solar radiation, as well as increasing our understanding of the mechanism by which they act," Cascante told the Telegraph.

Cascante hopes the research can lead to improvements in skin creams and other products used for sun protection.