Good old wine. It really cures everything. (Except maybe alcoholism.)
There are magical, potion-y powers in red wine that can benefit the lazy, sad, and ugly alike. Last year, a study showed that it lessens your risk of developing depression (well, if you're over the age of 55, but close enough). And just a month ago, we discovered that a glass of Merlot is basically a substitute for an hour of dreaded exercise (sort of) and, as you likely already knew, helps to prevent cardiovascular disease.
But now, new research shows that it can even help to transform you into a pretty zit-free princess. Behold as your ragged, blemish-adorned pizza face becomes a flowing visage through the power of the grape. It's science!
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has found that a little old compound called resveratrol—the same substance responsible for wine's pro-exercise-y effects—inhibits the growth of acne bacteria, especially when combined with benzoyl peroxide, another popular acne treatment found in many face washes and creams. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that fights those ugly little free radicals that we have come to loathe despite barely understanding what they are from a chemistry perspective (scientists seem to have a legitimate grasp on the topic, however). Benzoyl peroxide, on the other hand, is an oxidant—but instead of cancelling each other out, the two have a mutually enhancing relationship that is going to blast those pus volcanoes right off your chin. Although resveratrol doesn't have a strong bacteria-killing capacity, it works preventatively to prevent future bacterial growth.
All of this might seem like no big deal, but keep in mind that acne is the most common skin problem in the United States, driving 40 to 50 million people insane at any given time. And it's not just teenagers; many people are afflicted through their 20s, 30s, and 40s. (In fact, if you're one of the mere 15 percent of people who has never had acne, let it be known that nobody trusts you.) The acne treatment market is a $3 billion industry, and one that seems to thrive on the lack of a universal cure. The bacteria P. acnes is the culprit, festering in the tiny hair follices all over your face and body when things get a little oily and clogged. And then—voila. Friendly whiteheads appear. At least until red wine was revealed as the savior to our psychological, physical, and cosmetic woes.
In case you were wondering about the rest of the food-acne gossip chain, chocolate—once thought to be a culprit in breakouts—has been cleared, but dairy's role is still hazy. Our solution: just make sure you enjoy a nice glass of Burgundy with your next cheese plate.