Human skin is the body’s first line of defense and often mirrors the health, nutritional status and age of a person. Over time, skin shows signs of aging due to the gradual breakdown of collagen and elastin. However, skin can be rebuilt and made healthier no matter one’s age. Natural supplement Pycnogenol®, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, was found to improve skin hydration and elasticity in women in a clinical trial published this month in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.
The study was conducted at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF) in Dusseldorf, Germany and examined 20 healthy women, aged 55 – 68 years. Participants were given 75 mg of Pycnogenol® per day, over a period of 12 weeks. Skin hydration, skin elasticity and skin fatigue were assessed by non-invasive biophysical methods at trial start and after six and 12 weeks.
Study results confirmed Pycnogenol® improved skin at a physiological and molecular level. Pycnogenol® increased hyaluronic acid in women by 44 percent after 12 weeks of supplementation. Hyaluronic acid binds large quantities of water in the skin and in other tissues, such as cartilage. An increased amount of hyaluronic acid explains the increased skin hydration, higher elasticity and overall smoother skin appearance found in women taking Pycnogenol®.
“This exciting and technically advanced investigation with women representing actual consumer profiles greatly supports our efforts for targeting the skin beauty category for both dietary supplements and functional foods,” says Victor Ferrari, CEO of Horphag Research, exclusive worldwide suppliers of Pycnogenol®, who welcomes the publication.
According to Ferrari, beauty from within has been a driver in Horphag’s business for the last several years, with Asian markets providing numerous Pycnogenol® products in the skincare field. This study joins a sizable and largely expanding portfolio of already established skin research on Pycnogenol®. It confirms previous indications that Pycnogenol® improves human skin conditions, including promoting glowing skin and reducing the appearance of over-pigmentation and skin inflammation, resulting in a more even complexion.