Posted by Dr Davin Lim on

By Dr Davin Lim

Best used: AM

Caution: Well tolerated 

Best for: Protection under sunscreen

Comments: Antioxidant 

Mode of action: Antioxidant

Science Score: ☆ ☆ ☆ 

What does resveratrol do for the skin?

Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant that’s found in red grapes, red wine, blueberries & cranberries. So what I'm really saying is drinking red wine helps with is anti ageing. This compound can protect your collagen from environmental damage & hence is used in anti-ageing creams. 


What is the science behind resveratrol?

Resveratrol helps protect the skin from UV stress & environmental pollutants. In addition this compound has anti-inflammatory properties that can minimize the look of redness & calm down angry skin. This compound also has weak pigment reducing properties. 

Can Resveratrol reverse skin aging?

Harvard Medical School researchers have confirmed that compound resveratrol that's found in red wine does provide some theoretical anti-aging benefits... cheers to that! Having said this, the real time clinical benefits may not be so obvious.

Does Resveratrol lighten skin & reduce pigmentation?

In clinical trials, 1% resveratrol has been shown to reduce pigmentation induced by UV. Compounds such as Kojic, Ascorbic, Azelaic & Retinoic Acids have higher anti pigment activity compared to resveratrol.

What are the benefits of resveratrol?

This compound can have extended benefits beyond the skin, including:

  • Resveratrol supplements may help lower blood pressure
  • It can reduce cholesterol levels
  • It protects the brain function
  • It can ease joint pain 
  • Resveratrol can clear environmental toxins & diminish damage to cells

Does resveratrol have any side effects?

Resveratrol does not appear to have side effects at short-term doses (1.0 g). Otherwise, at doses of 2.5 g or more per day, side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and liver dysfunction can be rarely seen. Applied topically, this compound has very little, if any, side effects. Irritant & contact dermatitis potential is extremely low. 

What does resveratrol & ferulic acid do?

Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% is a highly concentrated method for defending against free radicals that can damage skin cells & proteins such as collagen, elastin & hyaluronic acid. They act synergistically to remove harmful chemicals caused by UV & environmental stressors. Other free radical scavengers include tocopherol (Vitamin E) & ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).

What other skin care ingredients can be mixed with resveratrol?

For extra protection against free radicals resveratrol can be combined with other actives including Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) for optimised anti-ageing performance. This antioxidant cocktail neutralises free radicals, supports skin’s natural antioxidant defences, & decreases break down of precious collagen. Other antioxidants that can be combined with resveratrol include green tea & ferulic acid. 

Is resveratrol worth using in your skin care routine?

Remember, every single skin care active you apply will reduce your skin’s threshold for irritation, this means you have limited ammunition to fight against your chosen enemy, whether it be protection against UV, antioxidation duties, pigment correction or collagen building. Here is my spin on things- if you have sensitive skin, for example, rosacea, & can not tolerate traditional anti-oxidants such as ascorbic or ferulic acid, then resveratrol may be a good option. However to add this to the list of ascorbic, retinoic, ferulic acid, niacinamide, tocopherol, green tea, ginseng, argan oil & other antioxidants may be too much of an overkill. 

What does a skin care routine with resveratrol look like?

AM: Cleanser, Antioxidant/Resveratrol, Sunscreen

PM: Cleanser, Vitamin A, B, C, or Skin Care Acids, or Pigment correctors

Davin’s Pro Tip on Resveratrol

Still early days with this compound, antioxidants should be viewed as the third line of defence against UV, the first being physical shade (hats, sunglasses, clothing & the not so trendy umbrella, the second is sunscreen, & antioxidants as third. Resveratrol has a very low irritant potential & hence can be used in patients with sensitive skin who can not tolerate traditional antioxidants such as ascorbic & retinoic acids. 

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