Resveratrol for skin – what it does

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links.

What is it?

Resveratrol is an antioxidant that you may have already been consuming without even knowing. This antioxidant is actually found in the skin of grapes – so if you’re used to kicking back with a glass of red then you’ve already been enjoying a healthy dose of resveratrol. Whilst resveratrol is known to have many benefits upon consumption such as antitumor and antioxidant activity as well as cardioprotective properties, this powerful compound has plenty of benefits for the skin when applied topically.[1,2]

Resveratrol exists as two geometric isomers: cis-(Z) and trans-(E). The trans form is dominant in terms of its prevalence (and also its biological activity).

Resveratrol for skin

Resveratrol benefits

The topical application of resveratrol has several benefits:

Anti-ageing effects

Antioxidant – protects the skin from free radicals.


Anti-ageing and antioxidant benefits

Photoaging is caused by UV exposure from sunlight. This is also the main risk factor for skin cancer. UV causes ageing of the skin by creating reactive oxygen species (ROS). These free radicals are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons that are known to damage various cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins, and DNA. It is one of the widely accepted mechanisms that lead to skin ageing. Due to its antioxidant property, resveratrol and its derivatives have the capability to ameliorate cutaneous photoaging.[3]

Hyperpigmentation treatment

Resveratrol is also known for skin hyperpigmentation treatment. This compound can act as a skin lightening agent to improve skin hyperpigmentation. Cells called melanocytes convert the amino acid tyrosine into melanin by help of an enzyme called tyrosinase. Since hyperpigmentation is a result of excess melanin we need to target its production somehow. Resveratrol has been proven as an inhibitor of tyrosinase, thus decreasing the production of melanin and reducing pigmentation.[3]

Top picks

Paula’s Choice RESIST Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner

This anti-ageing toner is enriched with resveratrol, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid for the improvement of fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores and uneven skin tone.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum

Another great option from Paula’s choice – this serum is packed with goodness (including resveratrol) such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and quercetin.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Ok ok another Paula’s choice product, but this eye cream is a must have! This rich eye cream is formulated with proven age-fighting antioxidants (eg resveratrol), peptides, and skin-identical ingredients to combat wrinkles, sun damage, dryness, and other eye area concerns.

Caudalie Resveratrol-Lift Instant Firming Serum

This oil-free serum visibly firms, lifts and reduces the look of wrinkles with patented resveratrol, hyaluronic acid and vegan collagen alternative.


[1] Weiskirchen, S., & Weiskirchen, R. (2016). Resveratrol: How Much Wine Do You Have to Drink to Stay Healthy?. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)7(4), 706–718. 

[2] Salehi, B., Mishra, A. P., Nigam, M., Sener, B., Kilic, M., Sharifi-Rad, M., Fokou, P. V. T., Martins, N., & Sharifi-Rad, J. (2018). Resveratrol: A Double-Edged Sword in Health Benefits. Biomedicines6(3), 91. 

[3] Lin, M. H., Hung, C. F., Sung, H. C., Yang, S. C., Yu, H. P., & Fang, J. Y. (2021). The bioactivities of resveratrol and its naturally occurring derivatives on skin. Journal of food and drug analysis29(1), 15–38.