10 Possible Effects of Resveratrol on the Skin

Resveratrol has countless beneficial health properties. What's more, it's a great ally when it comes to skincare. Are you aware of the possible effects of resveratrol on the skin? Take a look!
10 Possible Effects of Resveratrol on the Skin
Maria del Carmen Hernandez

Written and verified by the dermatologist Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Resveratrol is naturally present in certain fruits and vegetables, including grape skins, nuts, and especially red wine. Have you heard of the effects of resveratrol on the skin? You might be surprised to know that it can be beneficial on an aesthetic level and in the treatment of certain conditions.

You can find this component in oral supplements as well as cosmetic creams. What’s more, its oral consumption is well-tolerated, safe, and non-toxic. Likewise, the topical application of resveratrol creams is also safe. However, those with concentrations greater than 0.5% usually generate irritation.

The effects of resveratrol on the skin

This component has multiple biological properties, including antioxidant, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activities. Below, we’re going to list 10 effects of resveratrol that are related to the dermal tissue so that you understand them in detail.

1. Antioxidant for the elimination of free radicals

Resveratrol is considered by many to be an anti-aging molecule. It works as a dual antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and increase the body’s intrinsic ability to get rid of them. Topical resveratrol, combined with baicalin and vitamin E, are cosmetic ingredients that people can use for skin rejuvenation.

Red wine being served.
Red wine is a natural source of resveratrol.

2. Anti-aging properties

That said, resveratrol can also help with other signs of aging. In fact, the Journal in Drugs of Dermatology conducted studies that showed significant improvement in the following signs associated with dermal aging:

Similarly, scientists continue to study the role of resveratrol in the prevention of photo-aging. Through experimental models, they compare the substance with other antioxidants used in skincare products. This way, they can have a complete idea of its effectiveness.

3. Effects of resveratrol: Depigmentation

Also, resveratrol is a direct and indirect tyrosinase inhibitor. Therefore, it’s a promising agent for the treatment of pigmentary disorders, considering its various effects on the formation of spots on the skin.

However, despite abundant laboratory evidence, there are limited data from human studies. Further clinical trials are necessary to demonstrate its full efficacy and safety.

Read also: The Causes of Hyperpigmentation

4. Acne Improvement

The American Journal of Clinical Dermatology showed positive results in their studies for resveratrol gel on acne. However, further testing of its effectiveness at different concentrations and formulations is necessary to determine the appropriate formulation for a therapeutic approach.

Acne vulgaris is a disease of the pilosebaceous unit, characterized by an inflammatory immune response to the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Resveratrol demonstrated sustained antibacterial activity against the microbe.

5. Effects of resveratrol: Anti-inflammatory supplement

Inflammatory dermatoses are the most common clinical problem in dermatology. Due to the severe side effects of immunomodulators such as glucocorticoids and tacrolimus, safe and effective alternatives are in high demand. Creams that are currently available on the market often lead to reactions that patients and doctors want to avoid.

Although there is still little or no evidence that it can inhibit skin inflammation in humans, the anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol have been well demonstrated in mice with inflammatory dermatoses.

6. Anticancerour effect

Oxidative stress is a major contributor to the development of skin cancer, such as melanoma. Consequently, the use of antioxidants, including resveratrol, can help prevent and treat this oncological disease.

For example, we can take into account the studies published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. As a whole, resveratrol demonstrates possible anticancer activity both in vivo and in vitro.

7. Epidermal regeneration

The topical application of resveratrol accelerates skin regeneration after peeling procedures by increasing collagen production. What’s more, it reduces technique irritation and skin redness.

Evidence demonstrates that formulas with the substance can stimulate the proliferation of fibroblasts and contribute to the increase of collagen III concentration. Both substances play a role in the skin healing process.

8. Ultraviolet protection (UV)

Excessive exposure to UV radiation causes sunburn, photo-aging, and skin cancer. That being said, both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that resveratrol protects the skin from UV radiation. In addition to UVA radiation, it can also protect keratinocytes (skin cells) from UVB damage.

You may be interested: Skin Memory: What You Should Know

9. Keloids

Keloids are the exaggerated scarring of the skin resulting in an overgrowth of the fibers and cells involved. Fortunately, studies in bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry suggest the positive effects of resveratrol on keloids.

In studies, resveratrol induced apoptosis of keloid fibroblasts. At the same time, it produced reductions in mRNA expression levels for collagen 1 and procollagen 3. Furthermore, it increased the expression of SIRT1. In other words, the exacerbated mechanism that culminates in these overgrown scars slows down and even stops.

A keloid scar.
Keloids are scars that appear as the result of an exagerated attempt by the body to heal.

1o. Cutaneous wound healing

The healing of skin wounds involves the proliferation of fibroblasts and keratinocytes, as well as collagen deposits. According to several observations, resveratrol stimulates cell proliferation in animal wounds, which accelerates the healing process.

The effects of resveratrol on the skin: Final considerations

As you can imagine, the use of resveratrol in cosmetology and dermatology is growing in popularity. That’s because there’s a large amount of evidence that it could be a promising therapeutic agent. However, clinical trials have yet to confirm its potential.

Nevertheless, the future is promising for this substance. This is especially the case for aspects that have to do with adequate healing and protection of the dermal tissue from external agents, like UV radiation. However, it’s always preferable to consult a medical professional for advice on its proper use until more evidence is available.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Boo YC. Human Skin Lightening Efficacy of Resveratrol and Its Analogs: From in Vitro Studies to Cosmetic Applications. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;8(9):332. Published 2019 Aug 22. doi:10.3390/antiox8090332
  • Farris P, Yatskayer M, Chen N, Krol Y, Oresajo C. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerance of a nighttime topical antioxidant containing resveratrol, baicalin, and vitamin e for treatment of mild to moderately photodamaged skin. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(12):1467-1472.
  • Castaño Amores, Celia, and Pablo José Hernández Benavides. “Activos antioxidantes en la formulación de productos cosméticos antienvejecimiento.” Ars Pharmaceutica (Internet) 59.2 (2018): 77-84.
  • Fabbrocini G, Staibano S, De Rosa G, et al. Resveratrol-containing gel for the treatment of acne vulgaris: a single-blind, vehicle-controlled, pilot study. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2011;12(2):133-141. doi:10.2165/11530630-000000000-00000
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  • Ko JH, Sethi G, Um JY, et al. The Role of Resveratrol in Cancer Therapy. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(12):2589. Published 2017 Dec 1. doi:10.3390/ijms18122589
  • Berce C, Muresan MS, Soritau O, et al. Cutaneous wound healing using polymeric surgical dressings based on chitosan, sodium hyaluronate and resveratrol. A preclinical experimental study. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2018;163:155-166. doi:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2017.12.041
  • Zeng G, Zhong F, Li J, Luo S, Zhang P. Resveratrol-mediated reduction of collagen by inhibiting proliferation and producing apoptosis in human hypertrophic scar fibroblasts. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2013;77(12):2389-2396. doi:10.1271/bbb.130502
  • Chen ML, Li J, Xiao WR, et al. Protective effect of resveratrol against oxidative damage of UVA irradiated HaCaT cells. Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2006;31(5):635-639.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.