Does Resveratrol Live Up To Hype? Clear Skin Without Side-Effects?

By Seppo | Members-only


Resveratrol seems like the magic pill we’ve all been secretly hoping for. Many researchers believe it’s the secret behind the “French paradox”, and study after study shows it can protect against countless health conditions.

And when there’s hype the supplement and skincare companies are never far behind. Indeed you can find countless products touting the benefits of resveratrol. Recently, I found out that some companies are pushing resveratrol acne creams. So I wanted to find out if there’s anything to them.

It turns out there could be. In the past two years a couple of interesting human studies have come out, some evaluating topical resveratrol and some looking at supplemental form. These studies indeed show resveratrol has potential as an acne treatment.

So let’s see what the science says about this, and whether it can live up to the hype.


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About the Author

Seppo Puusa, a.k.a. AcneEinstein shares rational advice about natural and alternative acne treatments. Read more about me and my acne struggles at the page.

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(11) comments

Adel-Alexander Aldilemi September 29, 2013

…It’s really too bad that there isn’t a cream containing ALL the ingredients for acne.. that would be amazing but oh well. :) At least the madre labs cream contains resveratrol

Liora A October 20, 2013

So what is the conclusion of what we should do and how to implement this?

Any creams you recommend that have this in it?
Should we take a resveratrol supplement?

    Seppo October 21, 2013

    The data shows resveratrol can be helpful in acne. I’m not sure I would take resveratrol as supplement, but I would keep it as one option for topical skincare.

Mariya Z May 20, 2014

Hi, Seppo!

This is a very interesting article. I’ve been researching the connection between antioxidants and acne lately, and it all looks very promising. . . Except that it’s not always easy to find a product with antioxidants that’s right for my skin – and I assume other people have similar problems. Most of what I tried makes me break out when I’m otherwise clear. Obviously, there is no reason to torture my skin with something that it doesn’t “like” when there are so many products on the market. One moisturizer that I really like has totarol – though not much of it – but it definitely doesn’t make me break out, and feels very soothing after I apply it. Also seems to calm down a lot of the redness after my unsuccessful trials with other products.

Have you come across any studies about the effects of topical totarol on acne? I wonder if I’m having good results with it because of the antioxidant’s effect on acne, or simply because it’s a good moisturizer that doesn’t lead to breakouts.

    Seppo Puusa May 20, 2014

    Yep, the use of topical antioxidants on acne is one of the more promising natural approaches.

    I could only find 1 paper on total and acne. It showed totarol has quite strong anti-bacterial properties against acne-causing bacteria. I couldn’t find any studies where totarol containing cream was used to treat acne. Google did bring up one case report where a doctor reports totarol containing moisturizer helped his 14-year old patient. But one can’t make any conclusions based on case reports.

Tracey Merritt July 28, 2014

Have you heard of Shaklee’s Vivix? It is a resveratrol liquid supplement that says it has 1290mg resveratrol from a few all natural sources. Is this legit? Helpful for acne/inflammation?

    Seppo Puusa July 28, 2014

    I can’t comment on the merits of individual supplements brands. I really have no way of knowing what’s good and what’s not. Resveratrol is an antioxidant. If you are already planning to take sillymarin then I wouldn’t bother with resveratrol. It’s not a good idea to take too many antioxidants.

Adel-Alexander Aldilemi September 7, 2014

I just read that B3 and Resveratrol is not the best mix. Do you really think they cancel each other out?

    Seppo Puusa September 9, 2014

    Nobody can say for sure. Most of that is relevant for anti-aging purposes anyway. There’s plenty of evidence to show vitamin B3 is helpful in acne.

Whitney Richardson November 1, 2014

Thank your for all of your research. Along with many people, I’ve spent countless hours at a computer and in a dermatologist’s office attempting to find relief from acne. I’m so happy to have found your site! THANK YOU. I’ve read through most of your posts, as well as your Clear for Life publication. I’ve been implementing most of your suggestions (daily consumption of green tea, slightly adjusted diet, probiotics, Michael’s Skin Factors supplements, etc). Like you’ve pointed out, there are many factors often contributing to acne, and patience is needed in identifying and addressing them. Unfortunately, most of the risk factors (hormonal, inflammatory, emotional, gut, stress) apply to me. I tried to do my due diligence by reading through your posts before commenting, but I still have a question regarding creams. My current regimen consists of:
AM: Cleansing with Purpose (mild, soap-free cleanser)
Benzoyl peroxide (discriminately applied)

PM: Cleansing with Purpose
Ziana (an Rx topical 1.2%clindamycin phosphate + 0.025%tretinoin gel)
Plus a honey/aspirin mask every few days

I also purchased the Madre Labs Camellia Care EGCG cream) and used it once. My concern with this is that while it contains tea tree oil (which, as you said, makes it viable as a treatment cream), it also contains glycerin. Is this potentially pore-clogging, or do the cream’s other antioxidant properties override this? I want to be as open-minded as possible, but I’ve always had “no glycerin” drilled into me by dermatologists. Please advise!!!!!

    Seppo Puusa November 3, 2014

    Glad to hear you like the site :)

    This is the first time I’ve heard anyone saying glycerin clogs the pores. It’s rated 0 on the comedogenicity scale. While I don’t think looking at comedogenicity ratings for ingredients is particularly useful, it can help you to identify those that don’t clog the pores, i.e. ones rated 0 or 1.

    Glycerin is a humectant that binds moisture into the skin. As such it can be helpful. The only negative I’ve heard that in dry climate glycerin can actually draw moisture up from the deeper layers of the skin, instead of pulling it from the air.

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