Red Wine Antioxidant: Is Resveratrol the Latest Trend in Acne Treatment?

Jager Weatherby on 9 Dec 2014 at 5:00pm

Wine For Acne

We’ve long heard about the anti-aging properties of resveratrol, an antioxidant largely derived from the skin of red grapes. The compound’s been credited with the heart-healthy benefits of red wine, and is said to protect the body against the damage linked to various cancers and disease.

Resveratrol can be found in supplements promoting everything from weight loss to a longer life, but is it about to become the newest trend in the treatment of acne? Roughly 95% of the population is affected by the problem at some point in their lives, so it’s no surprise that scientists continue to search for the next big thing.

In a new study published in the online edition of Dermatology and Therapy, researchers claim that resveratrol, when combined with topical acne-fighting ingredient benzoyl peroxide, proved to be an effective treatment for acne. While resveratrol didn’t address sebum production (a common hormonal cause of breakouts), it did increase the antibacterial activity of benzoyl peroxide and help slow down further bacterial growth.

Dr. Jason Emer
, a dermatologic surgeon based in Beverly Hills further explains the difference between these ingredients. “Resveratrol works as an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. In acne, there’s significant skin inflammation that’s seen deep in the pores and is often influenced by external stimuli such as sun, sweat, heat, and picking, or internal stimuli like hormones. Resveratrol helps to reduce the signs and symptoms of inflammation that perpetuates acne and its recurrences.”

“Although benzoyl peroxide does help acne, it works by a different mechanism,” Dr. Emer continues. “It exfoliates debris, oil, and dead skin cells from the pores, as well as targets bacteria which many feel is a huge factor in the development of bad acne.”

For those whose skin is too sensitive to use benzoyl peroxide, Dr. Emer assures us we can still get the benefits of resveratrol without having to combine it with such a harsh exfoliant. “I feel most acne is due to inflammation and internal factors, which are best treated with topicals or oral pills that decrease inflammation, rid oil production, and control hormones.” He suggests using an anti-inflammatory topical cream formulated with baicalin and vitamin E, and recommends trying the resveratrol serum by Skinceuticals.

“I have almost all of my laser patients, melasma patients, and inflammatory acne patients on this at night,” he reveals. “[The combination has been shown] to reduce free radicals and promote your own body’s skin healing mechanisms. I have my patients use a pea-sized amount at night, and [follow it up with] a vitamin C product in the morning.”

When it comes to your skin, Dr. Emer explains that resveratrol is a compound that works best when combined with other active ingredients. So, in case you thought splashing red wine on your face at night would clear up your complexion, you should probably reconsider. (Believe us, we thought about it, too!) “I don’t feel resveratrol is that effective on its own,” he says. “Wine wouldn’t be absorbed well into the skin and isn’t formulated to be applied topically and have a significant impact. It would be better to just drink your glass rather than waste it by putting it on your skin.”

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