Resveratrol as a multifunctional topical hypopigmenting agent

Jung Im Na, Jung Won Shin, Hye Ryung Choi, Soon Hyo Kwon, Kyung Chan Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Melanin is produced in melanocytes and stored in melanosomes, after which it is transferred to keratinocytes and, thus, determines skin color. Despite its beneficial sun-protective effects, abnormal accumulation of melanin results in esthetic problems. A range of topical hypopigmenting agents have been evaluated for their use in the treatment of pigmentary disorders with varying degrees of success. Hydroquinone (HQ), which competes with tyrosine, is the main ingredient in topical pharmacological agents. However, frequent occurrence of adverse reactions is an important factor that limits its use. Thus, efforts to discover effective topical hypopigmenting agents with less adverse effects continue. Here, we describe the potential of resveratrol to function as an effective hypopigmenting agent based on its mechanism of action. Resveratrol is not only a direct tyrosinase inhibitor but an indirect inhibitor as well. Additionally, it can affect keratinocytes, which regulate the function of melanocytes. Resveratrol regulates the inflammatory process of keratinocytes and protects them from oxidative damage. In this way, it prevents keratinocyte-induced melanocyte stimulation. Furthermore, it has a rescuing effect on the stemness of interfollicular epidermal cells that can repair signs of photoaging in the melasma, a typical pigmentary skin disorder. Overall, resveratrol is a promising potent hypopigmenting agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number956
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2019


  • Antioxidant
  • Hypopigmenting agent
  • Melanogenesis
  • Resveratrol
  • Tyrosinase inhibitor


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