What Is Resveratrol in Skincare?
You know how people tell you a glass of red wine a day is good for you? That’s thanks to an antioxidant in grape skin called resveratrol. As happy as we are to take any excuse to guzzle more Malbec, the truth is that you’d need to drink 1,000 bottles of wine a day to get enough resveratrol to reap purported health benefits like protection against heart disease, diabetes, and signs of aging. Where visible aging is concerned, there’s an easier way to get your fix: skincare products.
One buzzy new product including resveratrol is Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate. It’s meant for use during your skin’s most SOS moments, think: sudden breakouts, redness, dullness from frequent traveling, and other stress-induced issues. It’s not so much a moisturizer on its own as it is an add-on to your routine when you most need it.
On a recent bout of back-to-back trips, my chin area was acting up with stubborn little red bumps. I tried fixing the problem by using multiple masks and peels—and ended up compromising my skin’s barrier from over exfoliation. I decided to apply the ANR Intense Reset Concentrate and, overnight, noticed the irritation died down and skin looked immediately less red. After three weeks of nightly use, my skin looked visibly plumper and smoother in texture. In fact, I had the “glass skin” of my dreams. Part of the magic is that resveratrol is anti-inflammatory.
“It’s going to stop any irritation you would have in your skin before it creates too much damage,” Dr. Nadine Pernodet, Estée Lauder’s Vice President of Skin Biology and BioActives told me. “When you have inflammation in your skin, you want to stop it as fast as possible before that creates damage. We want to make sure that anything that could further irritate the skin could be stopped, and for this, you have to strengthen the barrier.” Ahead, we get more into the nitty-gritty of resveratrol and what makes it so effective.
What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant that can be found in grape skin, peanuts, berries, and even dark chocolate. In skincare, however, it works on a cellular level to fight aging. “It was discovered that resveratrol is a molecule that activates sirtuin 1, helping more repair,” Pernodet explains. “This longevity gene has been discovered more activated in people living over 100 years old.” In ANR Intense Concentrate, resveratrol is chemically linked with salicylic acid, which helps remove dead cells on the surface so, as Pernodet explains, “resveratrol can be liberated in your skin fully active to activate sirtuin 1 and all your anti-inflammatory benefits.”
Dr. Lesley Rabach, a plastic surgeon and skincare expert at New York’s LM Medical NYC, adds that resveratrol as an antioxidant “protects a cell’s DNA from damage that is caused by free radicals” and “neutralizes these free radicals thereby reducing and slowing the signs of aging and cell damage responsible for skin cancers.”
Why is resveratrol beneficial for skin?
Resveratrol has been shown to protect against damage caused by ultraviolet radiation and stress, Dr. Rabach says. “In addition, resveratrol can form soluble, complex molecules with certain metal ions, inactivating them so they cannot produce free radical formation. This action, in combination with its powerful antioxidant capability, makes resveratrol highly effective in combating the damaging effect of free radicals that leads to skin aging.” she explains.
Dr. Rabach adds that resveratrol also reportedly stimulates healthy cell proliferation. It’s basically a gold mine of anti-aging effects, including protecting the skin from harmful enzymes and improving function of fibroblasts responsible for creating healthy collagen.
What skin issues are best treated with resveratrol?
Resveratrol is beneficial for repair and prevention of damage in all skin types. As I experienced, it helped with my redness, uneven, bumpy texture, and dullness. It’s hard to pinpoint, exactly, that resveratrol is solely responsible for these effects but it’s only a beneficial ingredient to add to your skincare routine for its longterm, anti-aging results.