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Red wine extract helps treat acne

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An extract taken from red wine and red grapes called resveratrol has been found in new research to inhibit the growth of acne.

The research, carried out at the University of California and published in the October on-line edition of the journal Dermatology and Therapy, combined resveratrol with benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in anti-acne treatments. The research found that the combination of the two was much more effective at killing the acne bacteria than benzoyl peroxide alone.

Benzoyl peroxide alone did kill the acne bacteria but the effects were short lived and wore off after 24 hours. Resveratrol alone didn’t kill the acne bacteria very effectively.  However when the two compounds were combined the acne bacteria was killed off effectively and then stayed inactive for much longer.

Benzoyl peroxide is known to be very toxic for the skin and often causes redness, irritation and dryness, so although it can kill the acne bacteria it has other undesirable side effects which often puts people off using it. However when combined with resveratrol the benzoyl peroxide became less toxic and less damaging to the skin due to the strong antioxidant effects of the resveratrol.

The researchers concluded that this new research could lead to the development of a more effective and less irritating topical treatment for acne that current treatments based on benzoyl peroxide alone. 

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