Resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in the skin and seeds of grapes and red wine, shot to fame (think Dr Oz and Oprah fame) a few years back due to its supposed wrinkle-fighting abilities, on top of a whole host of potential benefits like improving heart health and protection against weight gain and cancer. A recent study is putting this age-fighter back into the spotlight again – this time for its potential to battle acne.

In this clinical study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 20 participants with acne showed significant improvement on the right side of their faces (54% improvement in acne scores) treated with a 0.001% resveratrol gel daily for 2 months as compared to their left faces, which received a placebo gel (6.1% reduction in acne scores).

Researchers found that resveratrol reduces inflammation in pimples, kills the zit-causing bacteria on skin and reduces plugged pores (almost 67% reduction in the skin clogs). An earlier study by Oxford University has also demonstrated its powerful anti-bacterial benefits and concluded that it compared favourably with other irritating acne products like benzoyl peroxide.

Unfortunately, more studies are needed before this age-cum-acne-fighting miracle becomes ready for the market, although many anti-aging creams containing resveratrol are available currently (just double-check that it’s not too rich or contain other ingredients that aggravate acne). And no, rubbing red wine on your face is unlikely to provide a similar benefit as the required concentration, stability and delivery of the resveratrol would be inadequate.

–  By Emily Wong