🧚‍♀️Resveratrol, the “longevity molecule”

LaurenH1LaurenH1
Jun. 8
Have you ever been enticed with the thought that there may be a fountain of youth, an elixir of life? There may just be. And this fountain of youth lies in a chemical called resveratrol found in grape skins. Aside from the life-extension benefits claimed by many, resveratrol is a proven anti-oxidant and a powerful ingredient in skincare. Read on to find out more about how you can fight off age and keep your skin youthful.
Resveratrol belongs to a group of compounds called polyphenols and is a naturally-occurring chemical found in grape skin, berries and peanuts. As a potent anti-oxidant, it’s used in moisturizers, serums, creams and even as oral supplements.
Although resveratrol has been consumed by humans in our diet for a long time, it has soared in popularity as a skincare ingredient in recent years due to the scientific community taking an interest in the chemical’s anti-aging properties. Some have even claimed that resveratrol is the single best anti-oxidant that can be applied topically to skin. 
Benefits of resveratrol
What’s all the hype about resveratrol? To answer that question, first we need to understand how skin ages. There are both natural mechanisms (“intrinsic aging”) as well as damage by environmental aggressors like UV (“extrinsic aging”). Resveratrol’s polyphenolic anti-oxidant qualities mean that not only is it able to act like a normal anti-oxidant – like vitamin C or ferulic acid – to neutralize accumulated oxidative damage from harmful free radicals, it’s also able to stimulate the production of naturally-occurring anti-oxidants in the body, thereby protecting the body from further harm in the future. If you’re looking for the a knight in shining armour to guard your skin, resveratrol is your Sir Lancelot.
But its quest to fight off signs of aging doesn’t end there. Resveratrol is able to interact with metal ions in the body to form complex molecules, and in so doing prevents the formation of free radicals to boost cellular function and the production of collagen. Resveratrol reduces the appearance or wrinkles and fine lines, and evens your skin tone. It also increases firmness and elasticity. A 2014 study showed that a 12-week treatment period was enough to produce a 18.9% improvement in skin density and a 10.1% improvement in skin radiance. Resveratrol also helps with redness in the skin by reducing inflammation and calming your skin down.
How to use resveratrol
According to some experts, if you want the full  package of benefits resveratrol brings, including warding off Alzheimer’s and cancer, taking resveratrol in powder or liquid form is still the most effective. Now, you might be tempted to imbibe a lot of red wine – it is after all, found in the grape skins, isn’t it? Hold your horses and drop that glass – the concentrations found in wine are so low that scientists have calculated you’ll need to drink 1000 bottles a day for there to be enough resveratrol to combat the signs of aging. That’s why your best bet for maintaining a youthful complexion and firm, radiant skin is still topical application directly onto the skin. Awesome. Who drinks Merlot anyway?
Resveratrol has an important characteristic though – it is photosensitive. So the best time to apply it is at night. Plus, doing so lets your skin replenish and repair itself with a quality night of slumber, which is one of the most effective ways to trigger fibroblast cells to produce collagen, giving you healthy-looking skin.
Side effects of resveratrol
Resveratrol hasn’t been shown to produce any negative side effects to date, even if ingested or transdermally delivered in large doses. However, there is a chance that it might interact with blood thinners and NSAID medication, like aspirin and ibuprofen. So to err on the side of caution, it’s best to consult with your doctor or dermatologist before starting on a new skin care routine.
Okay, okay, so we’ve sung a lot of praises about resveratrol and you’re about to batch order all the resveratrol serums, toners and moisturizers you can from Sephora. But as with all things in skincare – in life even – don’t go overboard. After all, obsession with finding the fountain of youth is what led Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León and his troops to their demise nearly five centuries ago. Start gentle, and slowly incorporate resveratrol into your night-time skincare routine. Given how nutrient-rich products are these days, it’s hardly possible to conclude that resveratrol is the end-all and be-all to youthful skin. But if anything, it is an interesting little molecule and my bet is that it’ll pay off in the long term if you start paying attention to it now.
Used a product with resveratrol before? Comment below and tell us about your experiences!
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