Resveratrol, found in the skins of grapes, shot to fame in recent years thanks to its claims of being able to fight wrinkles. A recent study however seems to be putting the chemical back into the spotlight, this time for its potential to fight acne.

Acne has long been a troublesome foe and individuals have been resorting to benzoil peroxide and salycylic acid to fight it along with oral supplements like accutane. There have even been at home remedies like aspirin masks and toothpaste, but their power is often limited and they tend to leave skin dried out and peeling.

A new study from Italy, set to debut in the April 2011 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, seems to be a beacon of light in the world of acne medication. In it, resveratrol was added to a carboxymethylcellulose-based gel and given to 20 patients who suffer from acne vulgaris. Resveratrol gel was applied to the right side of the face while a hydrogel (control) was added to the left; this went on for 60 days. Photographs were taken along the way and the number/type of lesions on each patient were documented, to compare the Global Acne Grading System (GAGS) score before treatment with that obtained at the end of the study. This would allow researchers to develop a good grasp of the changes.

The patients ended up showing a 53.75% average reduction in their GAGS score on the resveratrol treated side compared to a 6.10% average reduction on the hydrogel side. In the histolgic analysis, there was a 66.7% average reduction in the average area of microcomedones on the resveratrol-treated sides of the face. The comparison with the control side of the face (9.7% reduction) showed a clinically relevant and statistically significant decrease of lesions in areas treated with the resveratrol gel.

That is a noteworthy reduction and photographs of the results are telling, they can be seen here in figures 2 and 3.

This isn’t the first time that resveratrol has been linked to acne. Back in 2007, a study showed that resveratrol had properties that inhibit the replication of  propionibacterium acnes as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

Resveratrol continues to amaze us and while these studies are small in scale, they seem to be positive. Treatments using resveratrol to combat acne might still be far away though, so don't attempt to use your cream containing resveratrol on acne. These experimental topical treatments had special concentrations of resveratrol and in the Italian study from above, had to be stored at a low temperature. Despite only having a few small studies to develop an opinion around, it seems as though resveratrol may a potential acne fighter in the years to come.