Recently the powerful antioxidant resveratrol has been making waves in the scientific community, including the field of skin-care health. Resveratrol is a polyphenol-based phytochemical—an antioxidant plant-based compound that keeps cells healthy and functioning optimally (in both plants and humans). A recent study from Harvard Medical School found that high amounts of red wine extract containing the phytochemical resveratrol was linked to longer life spans and slowed the effects of aging.39

Many scientists are now looking to this extract as a possible antioxidant supplement for keeping the skin looking radiant longer. As we age, our skin undergoes a number of changes that can make us look even older than we feel, including:166,246-248

Visible Sign of Aging Skin Causes
  • Dry skin
  • Increased vulnerability to infection and injuries
  • Lentigines (also known as age, liver, and sun spots)
  • Loss of firmness, saggy skin at brow and jawline
  • Reduced ability to heal
  • Sallow, discolored skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Collagen bundles lose elasticity (loss of elastin fibers).
  • Decreased skin pigment cell density.
  • Free radical damage from sun and skin pollutants.
  • Impaired immune responsei from sun damage and loss of immune system cells in the skin.
  • Loss of collagen and fibroblasts, cells that make collagen.
  • Loss of epidermal proteinsii associated with younger skin.
  • Lower estrogen levels.
  • Reduced levels of moisture-preserving molecules (acid mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid) and natural skin oils
  • Significantly reduced vascular structures (e.g., vertical capillary loops) and loss of blood flow in the dermis.
  • Slower turnover of surface skin cells.
  • Thinning skin.

The good news is that the worst of these changes are externally influenced and can possibly be averted. Even intrinsic chronological aging, which leads to more subtle and gradual changes in the skin, can be positively affected by avoiding the things that cause extrinsic aging.247

Sun exposure, lifestyle, and hormones are the primary causes of extrinsic aging.166 Dr. Leslie Baumann, a leading dermatologist, researcher, and author/editor of dermatology textbooks suggests that the science of the so-called longevity genes and antioxidant and cell-protective properties of resveratrol can help counteract the damaging effects on skin from all of these factors.249

Ways to Get More Resveratrol for Your Skin

  • Drink moderate amounts of high-quality red wine, if your present health condition allows and your doctor agrees it is safe for you to do so. Be sure not to overdo it—too much alcohol can actually create free radical damage and age your skin.250
  • Incorporate other sources of resveratrol into your diet. This includes green tea, grape juice, apples, blueberries, peanuts, cranberries, acai, and dark chocolate.4,25-27
  • Take an oral supplement of resveratrol and red wine extracts.249
  • Look for skin care products that contain resveratrol, such as wrinkle-fighting moisturizers, skin lighteners, and even body washes and body butters.
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