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Benefits of Resveratrol for Skin

Resveratrol is a polyphenolic (plant-based) compound found in many skincare products, like serums and moisturizing creams. It is found in many fruits (berries and grapes), chocolate, and nuts (pistachios and peanuts).

Key takeaways:

With resveratrol's powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-aging properties, it is a must in your skincare routine. The best part is it works for all skin types and has few if any, side effects when used topically.

What is resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound, which means it is a plant-based compound with many health benefits. It is found in many foods, such as grapes, red wine, berries, peanuts, pistachios, and dark chocolate. It provides systemic health benefits when ingested and skin-related benefits when applied directly to the skin. Resveratrol delivers the best results for the skin when applied topically.

Benefits of resveratrol for skin

Topical resveratrol has various functions to help the skin and promote skin health, such as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial.


Its anti-aging effects are derived from its ability to stimulate fibroblast production. Fibroblasts are cells that make collagen. Resveratrol can also directly stimulate collagen production through its stimulation of estrogen receptors. An increase in collagen will help improve the appearance of wrinkles. Resveratrol can also brighten and improve the texture of the skin.

UV protection

Resveratrol is a powerhouse antioxidant, which protects your skin against free radical breakdown. Free radicals are produced by the sun's UV rays, pollution, and smoking, and they attack our collagen and destroy it, causing premature skin aging. Antioxidants sacrifice themselves to ward off a free radical attack.

Reduces inflammation

Resveratrol is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent that calms and soothes the skin. It has been shown to reduce skin redness and improve your appearance. Resveratrol may also provide benefits for acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis, but more studies are needed.


Resveratrol exerts antimicrobial effects to prevent skin infections by bacteria and fungi. Small studies have shown its ability to eradicate P. acnes, the bacteria causing acne, allowing resveratrol to help acne in several ways. It can also protect humans against fungal infections, just as it does for plants.

Side effects of resveratrol

Side effects of topical resveratrol are rare and limited to a skin rash. All skin types can tolerate resveratrol. If you have sensitive skin and are concerned, you can always try a test spot first to ensure your skin will tolerate it.

If taken orally, resveratrol can cause stomach upset in large doses. It is also not recommended for people on blood thinners or who have bleeding disorders, as it can worsen them. Resveratrol can also cause an increase in estrogen. If you are considering taking it orally for its systemic benefits, talk to your doctor first.

Which form of resveratrol should I take?

Topical resveratrol can be found in various formulations, such as serums, moisturizers, repair creams, and masks. The best formulation is the one that is right for you. If you want to apply it daily, choose a light serum or light moisturizer that can be used under sunscreen. Resveratrol is often combined with hyaluronic acid for lighter daytime moisturizing. You can use thicker products like moisturizers and repair creams in your nighttime skin routine. It is probably best to use it at night when your skin is repairing itself from the insults of the day. If you have trouble deciding which product is right for you, ask your dermatologist.

Resveratrol supplements are available in pill, chew, or powder forms. Many products combine resveratrol with vegan collagen. While you will not get the same skin benefits with oral as with topical resveratrol, it may benefit other organ systems. Unfortunately, your glass of red wine is not a substitute for topical resveratrol when it comes to skin health.

Oral resveratrol has shown promise in protecting the brain from cognitive decline. It also may slow the aging process, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and help prevent cancer. Resveratrol even increased the treatment window for ischemic stroke patients to extend treatment times for these patients and improve survival. However, much research still needs to be done.

Can you take resveratrol during pregnancy?

It is controversial whether resveratrol is safe during pregnancy. Some studies have shown benefits, while others report adverse events or no benefits. There is a scarcity of evidence supporting or refuting resveratrol. More research needs to be conducted before resveratrol can be recommended during pregnancy. In the meantime, you should discuss it with your doctor before starting it.

Resveratrol alternatives

There are alternatives to topical resveratrol in skin care products that provide similar benefits. Retinoids and bakuchiol are great anti-aging ingredients that stimulate collagen production to help erase fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids also help reduce acne breakouts with their antibacterial properties. They can even help counteract some of the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays, similar to an antioxidant.

Vitamin C and E and ferulic acid are potent antioxidants that work even better when used together. They protect the skin's collagen and elastin from damage by UV radiation which causes wrinkles. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, while vitamin E contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Niacinamide helps promote collagen production and has powerful antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage by the sun. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to calm red, irritated skin. Niacinamide will also help reduce acne breakouts due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

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