Recently, research gave wine lovers another reason to raise their glasses – this time for its supposed anti-aging benefits. Resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine and cocoa has already been speculated to reduce blood pressure in men and help maintain motor balance in the elderly. Now with anti-aging benefits to boot, is resveratrol can become the new darling of the cosmetics industry.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is an antioxidant with a polyphenolic structure, naturally found in both red wine and cocoa. It belongs to a group of 600 antimicrobial chemical compounds collectively named phytoalexins. Plants produce phytoalexins to fight infections, change in weather, extreme climates, ultraviolet light and other severe conditions.
The research for resveratrol is not without its set of challenges. Most of the data was collected using laboratory mice and not humans, for example. A 2012 study gave resveratrol to mice with balance issues, and after receiving high doses for at least a month; the mice were able to walk across a balance beam with no problems. This same effect would be problematic to gauge in humans simply because it would take 700 bottles of red wine for humans to get the same concentration of resveratrol in their systems. This much alcohol is lethal.
Cosmetic Companies Give Resveratrol a Chance
Most prominent studies that link resveratrol with anti aging benefits have been around for only a few years. Its anti aging benefits have not been detailed yet but the cosmetics industry seems to be giving it a hard chase already. Many spas around the world including Les Sources de Caudalie in France and Aire Ancient Baths in New York have tipped their traditional spa bath infusions and replaced them with tubs full of red wine. A skincare brand named Resvology also sells products with an ester of the compound that they claim erases fine lines and wrinkles.
How Should Resveratrol be Administered?
The Mayo Clinic has stated that the human body does not readily absorb oral resveratrol supplements. Different studies imply different methods for intake of the chemical. A 2005 study published in the National Institutes of Health reports that when researchers applied resveratrol externally on the skin of animals and exposed them to ultraviolet radiation, the compound protected the subjects from skin damage. Another study published in October 2012 in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology reported that a 60-day course of orally administered resveratrol improved moisture, softness, elasticity and complexion in subjects.
Resveratrol is touted as perhaps the most effective sunblock found in plants and animals. With anti aging benefits, UV protection, cancer prevention and improved motor control in its roster of benefits, resveratrol may soon become a very popular antioxidant in the cosmetics industry.