ising data apply to humans. Moreover, the
safety of its high doses in humans has not
Resveratrol is unstable and oxidizes
easily, which makes it difficult to create a
skin cream with appreciable shelf life and
ideal biological efficacy. Further research is
necessary to understand the risks and benefits of its topical use and its net effect on
the skin, including the adequate manner of
its application. Researchers do not know if
topical application of resveratrol actually
activates sirtuin production. Still, commercial creams with sirtuin do exist. The concentration of resveratrol in these products
The anti-aging efficacy of these topical
products remains questionable, primarily
because sirtuins are large and unstable.
Small, oral doses of resveratrol are safe,
which can be deduced by thousands of
years of human consumption of grapes and
red wine. These questions arise only when
resveratrol’s topical uses are commercial-
ized via creams and lotions.
According to dermatologist Dr. David Bank,
sirtuin research is an exciting new arena
and the promised repair is theoretically
possible, but there is no peer-reviewed research to prove that it can be done just yet.
However, another well-known dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann questions whether
or not we actually want to make skin cells
live longer, considering that some of the
best anti-agers out there, such as retinoids,
work by speeding up cell death.
Adding sirtuins to our face creams may
extend the life of cells; but cancer is the un-
controlled growth of cells and we currently
cannot control how long sirtuins make cells
live. I conclude that sirtuins potentially lack
the ability to discriminate between a healthy
and a cancerous cell and this could be of se-
rious skin safety concern at this time.
A sirtuin-stimulating drug called Sirtris is
being developed by GlaxoSmithKline. This
drug would treat diseases associated with
aging such as diabetes. While Sirtis may not
have a direct impact on skin care, it could
help in the search for other sirtuin-stimulating chemicals.
Anecdotal evidence supports the idea of
sirtuins as effective anti-aging ingredients.
After all, for years researchers have touted
the health benefits of antioxidants derived
from red wine and grape skin. Sirtuins may
prove to be a significant weapon in the war
against aging in the near future. •
1. M. Neveu et al. Enhancing cell longevity for
cosmetic application. J. Drugs Dermatol 2007; 6