Raise your glass! This might be the breakout cure you've been waiting for

By Esther Crain
October 03, 2014

Imagine checking in with your dermatologist for help clearing up a breakout…and leaving her office with a script for pinot noir. Sounds farfetched, but there's new science behind it. A just-released study demonstrated that an antioxidant found in the grapes used to make red wine slowed the growth of bacteria that cause acne. Not only that, but the antioxidant, resveratrol, also boosted the anti-bacterial properties of benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient of many over–the-counter acne meds.

The study, published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy, played out like this. In a lab, researchers began growing the specific type of bacteria that causes acne. When resveratrol was applied to the thriving bacteria colony, it slowed bacteria growth. The study team then added benzoyl peroxide to the resveratrol and applied the two to the bacteria, creating a potent combo that put the brakes on bacterial growth for a sustained period of time.

This isn't the first time resveratrol has been called out for its superstar health-boosting powers. Thanks to the way it fights disease-causing free radicals, this antioxidant, also found in blueberries and peanuts, has been shown to improve heart health. Resveratrol is one reason that sipping a moderate amount of red vino (the recommendation for women is no more than one glass a day of any type of alcohol) has also been linked to a longer, healthier life. Though it's too early to assume you can score blemish-free skin by stopping in at your local liquor store, the study team hopes their findings lead to a new class of acne meds that feature resveratrol as a main ingredient.

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