Skin permeation and antioxidant efficacy of topically applied resveratrol


The permeation of resveratrol was assessed by in vitro and in vivo experiments 24 h after topical administration. The in vitro profile of resveratrol was assessed by Raman spectroscopy. Human skin permeation was analysed in vivo by the tape stripping method with the progressive removal of the stratum corneum layers using adhesive tape strips. Moreover, the free radical scavenging activity of resveratrol after its topical application was determined using the DPPH assay. The Raman spectra indicated that the topically applied resveratrol penetrates deep into the skin. The results showed high amounts of resveratrol in the different stratum corneum layers close to the surface and a constant lower amount in the upper layers of the viable epidermis. The concentration of resveratrol present in the outermost stratum corneum layers was obtained by tape stripping after in vivo application. The results demonstrated that resveratrol mainly remained in the human stratum corneum layers. After topical application, resveratrol maintained its antiradical activity. The antioxidant efficacy of the compound was higher in the inner layers of the stratum corneum. As these results have demonstrated, topically applied resveratrol reinforces the antioxidant system of the stratum corneum and provides an efficient means of increasing the tissue levels of antioxidants in the human epidermis.

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The authors are grateful to Montserrat Rigol Muxart and Núria Solanes Batlló from the Department of Cardiology (Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) Hospital Clínic, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain) for supplying the porcine skin biopsies.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cristina Alonso.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The authors wish to thank the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (Spanish National Project CTQ2013-44998-P) and the 2009 SGR 1212 (AGAUR) for providing financial support.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Animal handling was approved by the Institutional Review Board and Ethics Committee of Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) Hospital Clínic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. The management of the Landrace Large White pigs used in this study conforms to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals published by the United States National Institutes of Health (Eighth Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011).

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Informed consent was obtained from all the individual participants included in the study.

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Alonso, C., Martí, M., Barba, C. et al. Skin permeation and antioxidant efficacy of topically applied resveratrol. Arch Dermatol Res 309, 423–431 (2017).

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  • Resveratrol
  • Percutaneous absorption
  • In vivo
  • In vitro
  • Antiradical activity