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Skincare brand Pelegrims uses wine waste in sustainable product range

Pelegrims, a new British skincare brand, has incorporated by-products from local winemaking in Kent to create a beauty range rich in antioxidants.

Skincare brand Pelegrims uses wine waste to create sustainable beauty products

The range, a limited edition 2020 Vintage collection, utilises waste grape seeds, skins and stems to create extracts containing polyphenols – an ingredient high in antioxidant properties.

Pelegrims is backed by former tech executive and sommelier trained Frenchman Jerome Moisan. Speaking to db about his inspiration, Moisan said: “The French Paradox is the intriguing fact that French people suffer less from cardio-vascular diseases despite having rich diets: many believe that the answer lies in polyphenols – helpful antioxidant molecules contained in grapes and which the French benefit from through wine consumption. There is another application with resveratrol (a specific polyphenol) in particular being beneficial in skincare products, although the concentration levels partly depend on the grape and ripening levels.”

Included in the range are a Facial Oil (£49/30ml) and Facial Balm (£45/50ml) formulated with English Pinot Noir grape extract. The Hand Cleanser (£19.300ml) and Hand Pomade (£20/60ml) contain English Ortega grape extract, which helps to repair, protect and hydrate dry, over-worked hands.

Pelegrims face oil and box

Moisan told db: “The inspiration for Pelegrims comes from the recent revolution in English wine; 30 years ago, you wouldn’t have found many people (let alone a Frenchman) saying it can be world class! Now there’s quality, variety and innovation,” Moisan commented. “Crucially for us, the vines themselves are also a real source of skincare treasures. Caudalie pioneered the concept in France next to Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux but nobody was doing it in England, so we did.”

Grape by-products used to make the skincare products are sourced just 20 minutes from the brand’s lab, at launch partner vineyard Westwell Wines in Kent.

Moisan is joined by co-founder Alex Verier, former director of Haeckels. He said of the project: “Our intention is to formulate low intervention, active skincare formulations that work in harmony with the skin supporting it to heal and rejuvenate itself. Sustainability is hugely important to us, so using waste products from the wine-making process and harnessing the powerful grape extracts are at the core of our brand and our future research. We’re looking forward to documenting our product journey in the years ahead”.

The pair will also be supported by Gaelle Scoul, previously of Le Labo, in marketing and communications.

Pelegrims is the old English word for pilgrims; a tribute to the Pilgrims’ Way which runs above the brand’s partner vineyard along the North Downs.
A family of entrepreneurs. Reported by db in July, Moisan’s 12-year-old son Alfred, an aspiring chef, released a series of interviews with 70 of his culinary heroes, donating 100% of the profits to FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and tackling food waste. Read more on what Alfred told db about his inspiration for the project here.

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