Pine bark extract improves skin aging signs

February 1, 2012

Clinical trial results suggest that natural supplement Pycnogenol (Horphag Research), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, improves skin hydration and elasticity in women.

Dusseldorf, Germany - Clinical trial results suggest that natural supplement Pycnogenol (Horphag Research), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, improves skin hydration and elasticity in women.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, in Dusseldorf, involved 20 healthy women ages 55 to 68 who were given 75 mg daily for 12 weeks. Skin fatigue, hydration and elasticity were assessed at the start and after six and 12 weeks. Also, biopsies were taken at the trial’s start and after 12 weeks to assess gene expression of HAS-1 and COL1A1 and COL1A2.

According to Medical News Today, the study found that Pycnogenol:

• Elevated COL1A1 by 29 percent and COL1A2 by 41 percent and increased hyaluronic acid production in the skin by 44 percent

• Enhanced skin elasticity by 25 percent and skin hydration by 8 percent

• Decreased skin fatigue considerably

• Reduced skin wrinkles by 3 percent and increased skin smoothness by 6 percent.

According to the study abstract, Pycnogenol supplementation was well-tolerated in all volunteers.

“This study provides skin-physiological and, for the first time, molecular evidence that Pycnogenol supplementation benefits human skin by increasing skin hydration and skin elasticity,” the authors concluded. “These effects are most likely due to an increased synthesis of extracellular matrix molecules such as hyaluronic acid and possibly collagen. Pycnogenol supplementation may thus be useful to counteract the clinical signs of skin aging.”

The study was published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.

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