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Resveratrol: What is it, and How Does it Benefit Your Skin?

August 30, 2023

Resveratrol: What is it, and How Does it Benefit Your Skin?

You may know grapes are skin powerhouses, but what makes them powerful? Their antioxidant superpowers are thanks in part to resveratrol—a plant compound found in fermented grape skins.

This unique compound offers a variety of health benefits, such as lowered blood sugar and better brain function. Resveratrol has also proved to be an incredible ingredient for the skin. This antioxidant is often included in skincare products claiming to slow the aging process, hydrate, and protect skin from environmental factors. 

But is resveratrol really all that it’s hyped up to be? Keep reading to learn all about this ingredient—what it is, the benefits it offers, how to use it, and more. 

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a plant compound that offers antioxidant properties. It’s found in fermented grape juice, grapes, certain berries, and peanuts. Typically, resveratrol is highly concentrated in the skins and seeds of grapes and berries. 

This compound naturally occurs in certain foods, but it’s also available in powder, pill, or liquid form for those who take it as a supplement. Additionally, it’s found in a variety of skincare products, such as serums and moisturizers. 

While research on resveratrol is limited, the findings show that this compound can benefit the body in several different ways. When taken as a supplement in higher concentrations, resveratrol may offer the following health benefits:

  • Helps to lower blood pressure
  • Promotes good cholesterol
  • Protects brain cells from damage
  • Lessens inflammation
  • Eases joint pain
  • Helps to combat cancer cells

Benefits of Resveratrol for Skin

Resveratrol can be incredibly beneficial for your health overall, but what about the skin? When applied topically, this antioxidant can be your anti-aging best friend. Some benefits include:

  • Protects the skin: Due to its antioxidant properties, resveratrol has been shown to protect the skin from harmful free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress. It can also help to protect the skin from damage caused by the sun’s harsh UV rays, slowing the process of photoaging in the skin.
  • Fights premature aging: Resveratrol penetrates the skin’s barrier and stimulates the proliferation of fibroblasts. This contributes to an increase in collagen concentration in the skin. As a result, this can help to maintain the skin’s elasticity and improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and even hyperpigmentation and texture.
  • Soothes the skin: The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of resveratrol help to calm and soothe irritated skin. It also works to fight the growth of bacteria that can cause acne. Resveratrol helps to even the complexion and has been shown to lighten dark spots and acne scarring—giving the skin an overall radiant appearance. 

How to Use It

Resveratrol is believed to be beneficial for all skin types. Whether you struggle with redness, texture, dullness, or are looking to target those pesky fine lines around your mouth or eyes, a skincare product with this ingredient may be the answer. 

So how should you be using resveratrol? Many dermatologists recommend applying resveratrol as part of your nighttime skincare routine

As you sleep, your cells work hard to regenerate, and they require a lot of nutrients to do their job properly. By applying an antioxidant such as resveratrol, you can maximize the cells’ regeneration process and boost antioxidant production in the skin cells. This can also help to support the production of collagen in the skin.

When it comes to skincare, the order you apply your products in is just as important as the ingredients they include. With resveratrol, the step in which you apply it depends on the type of product you’re using. For example, if you’re using a serum formulated with resveratrol, you’ll want to apply it after you cleanse and tone. If you’re using a cream, apply it after your serum to lock in moisture. 

Below is a general step-by-step guide to layering skincare products. This can vary depending on the products you use, but essentially, you always want to layer your products from lightest to heaviest. 

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner, essence, or water-based facial mist
  3. Serum (water-based)
  4. Eye cream
  5. Spot treatment
  6. Moisturizer or night cream
  7. Sunscreen (for daytime)
  8. Facial oil

Side Effects & Precautions

As with any skincare ingredient, it’s important to consider potential side effects or product interactions that should be avoided.

So far, resveratrol has been shown to be safe when applied to the skin. However, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any type of hormone-sensitive condition, it’s best to proceed with caution. When in doubt, consult with your dermatologist or doctor—especially if you’re considering introducing a resveratrol supplement into your routine.

Resveratrol works well with most other antioxidants, like ferulic acid and vitamin E. However, it’s important to make sure you’re not using too much of a good thing. With skincare, sometimes less is more. Combining too many ingredients can lead to irritation and sensitivity, which is most likely the opposite of what you’re going for. 

In general, resveratrol can be combined with most other skincare ingredients, but always do your research—especially with more potent ingredients like retinol. Try to keep your routine on the simple side and introduce new ingredients slowly.

Resveratrol vs. Other Antioxidants

Resveratrol is one of many antioxidants that claims to offer anti-aging benefits. So what makes it different? 

In general, resveratrol tends to be more stable than other antioxidants, which increases its effectiveness. That’s not to say that other antioxidants aren’t beneficial, however—your skin needs a combination of antioxidants to combat free radicals! 

Here’s a quick look at other popular antioxidants found in skincare products, and the benefits they offer: 

  • CoQ10: Reduces oxidative damage from UV rays and decreases the depth of wrinkles
  • Vitamin A (Retinol): Treats and controls acne, stimulates collagen production to combat fine lines and wrinkles, and fades age spots to even skin tone
  • Vitamin C: Hydrates skin, fades hyperpigmentation, and promotes collagen production
  • Vitamin E: Reduces inflammation and fights signs of aging
  • Niacinamide: Minimizes pores, protects against sun damage, treats acne and hyperpigmentation, regulates oil production, and retains moisture in the skin

Choosing a Product with Resveratrol

With so many different skincare products on the market today, choosing the right one can be overwhelming—but don’t panic! There are ways to make this process more simple. When choosing a product with resveratrol, keep the following tips in mind. 

  • Know your skin type: Understanding your specific skin type is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing skincare products. For example, if you have oily skin, you may benefit from a product formulated with resveratrol and niacinamide, which helps to regulate oil production. 
  • Pay attention to ingredients: Looking at long ingredient lists can be confusing, but try to focus on the first ten. Ingredients are usually listed from highest concentration to lowest, so the first few will make up a good majority of the product. If resveratrol is the active ingredient you’re looking for, you’ll want to make sure it’s one of the first ten on the list.    
  • Choose a brand with a good reputation: Unfortunately, some cult-favorite brands have faced serious backlash in the last few years due to consumers having bad reactions. It’s important to always do your research on brands and try to choose companies that are committed to using only the best ingredients. If you’re unsure, ask your dermatologist or research what other dermatologists have to say online. 
  • Read product reviews: When considering a product, always take a look at the customer reviews. Sometimes, a brand’s marketing can be gimmicky, but customer reviews will tell you how real people are experiencing the product. It can also be helpful to get an idea of how people with your same skin type feel about the product and its effectiveness.
  • Avoid harmful ingredients: As a general rule of thumb, stay away from products that contain sulfates, parabens, and added fragrance, as all of these have the potential to cause irritation. 

Resveratrol is a compound packed with health and skin-loving benefits. Next time you’re looking to wind down after a long day, make yourself a cup of hot tea and apply a resveratrol night cream to soak up the amazing benefits of this anti-aging ingredient!