Every time you turn around there’s a new miracle product on the market promising youthful skin with a healthy glow. Some products are touted to do everything from making your skin dewy to repairing sun damage and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
We all know that most of the claims will turn out to be questionable or outright BS.
If you’ve heard the word ‘resveratrol’ tossed around as the next wonder compound and you’re sceptical about resveratrol skincare products, think again. Resveratrol for skin isn’t just more hype from skincare companies hoping to sell you the next big thing. It has proven antioxidant properties and potential health benefits.
In This Article:
- What is Resveratrol
- Resveratrol Benefits for Skin
- How Does Resveratrol Protect Your Skin?
- How Does Resveratrol Skin Care Work?
- Are There Any Resveratrol Skin Care Side Effects?
- How to Use Resveratrol in Your Skin Care Routine
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a compound in the polyphenol family that’s found in certain plants like red grapes and peanuts when they’re under stress. The plants produce resveratrol as a defence mechanism against things like microbial infections, UV rays, and other external threats. Red grapes, especially their skins, are our richest food source of this chemical.
Resveratrol skincare and resveratrol supplements are two of the most common sources of it in the marketplace. Red wine contains resveratrol, but the jury appears to be out on whether there’s really enough present in your vino to improve your health. You can find as many studies stating no benefits as you can those claiming red wine might have protective properties.
Resveratrol and The French Paradox
If you’ve read an article in the last several years about the potential health benefits of drinking red wine, and you probably have, it almost certainly mentioned resveratrol and its antioxidant properties. It’s often been cited as the reason for the “French paradox.”
Most public health organizations discourage people from drinking and often point out that there’s no healthy amount of alcohol to consume. Studies have often shown that any healthy compounds in wine are counteracted by the unhealthy effects of alcohol.
People in France, however, have lower rates of cardiovascular disease than many other countries despite a diet rich in animal fat, cheese, and bread that health experts claim should be giving them higher cholesterol and blood pressure than they appear to have. Hence, the “French paradox.”
Since the discovery of resveratrol’s beneficial properties, many scientists posit that since the French drink more red wine than other countries, the resveratrol might be protecting them from the consequences of their diet.
The Health Benefits of Resveratrol
So, what does resveratrol do for your skin when you ingest it? It’s not difficult to find studies making claims about resveratrol for skin improvement and other health benefits when you ingest the compound.
Studies suggest it might help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics, protect brain health, and lower inflammation in the body, among other things. None of the studies is conclusive enough to offer recommendations about how much resveratrol to take to reap these benefits, but the results look promising.
Resveratrol Supplements vs. Real Food?
Most health experts will tell you that the best and safest way to enjoy resveratrol’s health benefits is to forget the pills and powders but to eat the foods naturally rich in the compound. Red grapes, berries, peanuts, and dark chocolate in moderation happen to have plenty of other healthy compounds, so nosh on these to do your body good.
Resveratrol Skin Care Benefits from Your Diet
What does resveratrol do for your skin if you take supplements or ingest foods rich in the compound? A healthy diet is definitely good for your skin, so if eating those foods improves your diet, you’ll be doing your skin a solid. Adding berries alone can ramp up your diet since they’re one of the healthiest foods we have.
As far as supplements, anything that lowers inflammation and protects against oxidative stress, as some studies suggest resveratrol does, should improve the appearance of things like your skin, eyes, nails, and hair over time.
Experts, however, stress that while there may be no harm in taking resveratrol, and in fact there may be real health benefits, applying it topically is the best way to reap the benefits of resveratrol for skin appearance and health.
Resveratrol Benefits for Skin
You can buy resveratrol in pills, liquids, and powders if you want to ingest it to reap its potential antioxidant benefits.
If you want to apply it directly to your skin for its healing and anti-ageing properties, you have your choice of products, too. Resveratrol skincare products of all types fill the shelves. Creams, serums, moisturizers, and even make-up products boast about their resveratrol content.
Studies have been done showing that not only could resveratrol for skin help slow signs of visible aging, but it might also even help fight some skin diseases.
How Does Resveratrol Protect Your Skin?
To understand how resveratrol is believed to provide health benefits and protective benefits for our skin, it helps to know exactly what it does when you ingest it or apply it topically.
A sirtuin is a regulatory enzyme that can affect everything from our brain function to how fast our bodies age. Of the seven sirtuins in our bodies, the most studied is Sirtuin-1, the sirtuin that has the greatest effect on neurological function.
When you ingest or apply resveratrol to your skin, it activates and stimulates Sirtuin-1 to provide protective properties that are believed to improve everything from memory to skin hydration and elasticity, depending on how it was introduced.
What Ages Our Skin?
When your skin takes on damage from things like smoking cigarettes, poor diet, or getting too much sun without sunscreen, an inflammatory response is triggered that produces what’s known as free radicals. Antioxidants in your body will neutralize many or most of these, but the ones left behind create oxidative stress in your skin.
These leftover molecules and those stresses are the culprits behind wrinkles and sun spots. They break down elastin fibres and collagen in the skin, leading to loose skin, sagging, and wrinkles. Leftover free radicals accelerate the aging process.
How Does Resveratrol Skin Care Work?
Resveratrol for the skin helps by activating Sirtuin-1, which mops up those leftover free radicals and lowers the oxidative stress in the skin. In essentially the same way resveratrol protects grapes from UV rays, it helps protect our skin from the sun’s harmful effects, too.
Resveratrol also inhibits tyrosine in the skin. The amino acid L-tyrosine helps stimulate melanin production, which causes darker skin and spots. By inhibiting melanin production, resveratrol can help prevent age spots and keep skin looking brighter and more even-toned.
Because of the antioxidant production and activation of Sirtuin-1, resveratrol skincare products can help remove redness from skin, may help reduce acne through its anti-inflammatory properties, and can reduce and prevent the appearance of wrinkles and dark patches or spots.
Are There Any Resveratrol Skin Care Side Effects?
There’s good news if you’re worried about resveratrol skincare side effects. When applied topically, there are currently no known side effects to worry about. Resveratrol benefits for skin appear to come with no strings attached!
Of course, if the skincare product contains any element that you’re sensitive to, resveratrol being present in the product won’t help with that. Always avoid products that contain known allergens that have affected you no matter what other ingredients they contain.
Though the resveratrol skincare side effects appear to be few, there can be some potential side effects if you take supplements orally. Resveratrol inhibits blood clotting in a test tube, so it may lower your blood-clotting abilities, which could cause problems for people on blood thinners or those with bleeding disorders.
Resveratrol may also behave like estrogen in the body, so people with conditions like some cancers that might negatively react to estrogen should avoid taking it.
As far as side effects in topical products, you can ask your doctor or dermatologist if you’re concerned, but there seem to be no contraindications for its use. If you plan to supplement with resveratrol, however, you should talk to your doctor to be sure that it’s safe to use with any conditions you have or medications you take.
How to Use Resveratrol in Your Skin Care Routine
Resveratrol skincare products designed to reduce the effects of ageing and protect against UV rays are easy to find in any store that sells skincare products. How do you choose between them to be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck?
Make Resveratrol Part of Your Nighttime Beauty Routine
One of the best ways to maximize the resveratrol benefits for skincare is to use a product that stays on your skin overnight. This gives the compound hours to work on repairing and rejuvenating your skin to undo the damage done during the day.
Nighttime serums that contain resveratrol can help boost the antioxidants in skin cells to trigger collagen production. This can help skin appear and feel softer, smoother, and hydrated. If you use a serum before bed, do your cleansing routine first and make the serum the last thing you apply before you hit the sheets.
Moisturise with Resveratrol Products
One of the most popular resveratrol skincare products is moisturiser infused with the compound. Apply a moisturiser mornings and evenings after you’ve cleansed and toned your face, as you would with any other moisturiser.
Use a Toner
After you wash your face each morning and evening, toner can help tighten pores and remove any remaining soap or makeup residue. If you already use a toner, you can replace it with one that contains resveratrol. Use it as you would your ordinary toner.
You can also find resveratrol skincare products like masks, lifting creams, eye creams, peels, and many other types of beauty products. Use these the same as you would any other skincare product.
If you’re still asking, “What does resveratrol do for your skin?” you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Replace a product you currently use or add a new one to your routine to enjoy the benefits of resveratrol. Don’t expect miracles overnight, though.
A study in 2014 showed a reduction in fine lines and improved skin texture after 12 weeks of applying it topically. Even those who take it orally don’t often see improvement in their skin texture for at least 60 days.
Of course, your results will depend on the product you choose, your skin, and how consistently you apply the product. You could see benefits in a much shorter time, particularly with the use of a night serum or cream.
The Bottom Line
The proven antioxidant properties and potential benefits of using resveratrol in your skincare routine make it worth finding a product to incorporate into your routine. Don’t expect magic, but look for slow, steady improvement in the appearance and texture of your skin.
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