Resveratrol, an antioxidant found naturally in many foods, especially dark red or purple produce, peanuts and dark chocolate, has been praised for its anti-aging abilities when used topically in skincare. Many skincare brands started putting it into their products, citing its high antioxidant value and ability to stave off wrinkles and keep skin looking young. But a recent study shows the ingredient may be effective for getting rid of acne.

Dermatology Times reported that a study done by researchers at the UCLA Department of Dermatology found that when paired with benzoyl peroxide, resveratrol was able to sustain the ance-squashing effects for longer because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

To test the antioxidant’s ability to fight blemishes, researchers used it in different concentrations, both alone and combined with popular topical acne treatment benzoyl peroxide. (This was all done in vitro, meaning in a petri dish and not on actual human skin.) What they found was that the benzoyl peroxide was able to initially kill the acne bacteria more effectively, but when it came to keeping the bacteria away, resveratrol was the superstar. Combined, the study showed that acne bacteria could be more effectively killed and the effects sustained over a longer period of time than just using one of the products alone.

“I think topical combination medications are the way of the future,” explained Rebecca Kazin, M.D., FAAD, Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Dermatology and Cosmetic Center. “We can maximize the strengths of two topical medications so that the end result is better than either alone.” By doing this, derms could hopefully treat this chronic condition solely with topical treatments instead of turning to antibiotics or other oral medications. Dr. Kazin also noted that combining resveratrol with other irritating acne ingredients like trentinoin (Retin-A) could also be very effective. “The thought behind it is that neutralizing free radicals will boost [skin’s] ability to repair itself and decrease the speed of visible photoaging including loss of elasticity and pigment change,” she added.

Dermatologist Eric Schweiger of Schweiger Dermatology Group also noted that it would be great to see any new product on the market to treat acne. “It’s exciting to see other medications out there besides antibiotics that are proving to be effective for the treatment of acne,” Dr. Schweiger said. More testing needs to be done, but this study gives acne-sufferers hope of another treatment option on the horizon.

Both resveratrol and benzoyl peroxide are already proven safe for human use and sold over the counter, so as long as the results translate to human use, this could give acne-sufferers a much-needed gentler path to clear skin.