With names like pycnogenol and salicylic acid, it feels like you have to have a Ph.D. to understand proper skincare these days. It can be intimidating for the everyday consumer.
However, you don’t need to be a biochemist to learn the best ways to get healthy, glowing skin.
The term pycnogenol may sound super complex, but we’re here to break it down, ease your mind, and tell you in simple terms why this multi-purpose marvel could be just what your skin regimen needs to spice things up.
What is Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is a registered trademark term used to describe a plant-based French maritime pine bark extract. It possesses many health benefits that help promote skin, eyes, joint and respiratory health. Its usage has been dated as far back as 400 BC to help with inflammation and 1479 to treat wounds.
If its uses and benefits date that far back, it must be doing something right. Pine bark extract, who knew!
Pycnogenol is widely used as both a topical treatment and an oral supplement and is widely celebrated because of its natural holistic benefits. It is uniquely sourced from pine bark grown found in the Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France.
Pycnogenol derived from this French maritime pine bark extract possesses multiple desirable active compounds that contain four distinct yet significant properties that make it a fantastic multi-purpose ingredient for health and beauty.
Firstly, it is a natural anti-inflammatory, meaning it can be used to treat redness in the skin as well as swelling and pain. Pycnogenol is also a potent antioxidant that aids in protecting cells from damage.
It also assists in generating collagen and hyaluronic acid and helps to produce endothelial nitric oxide, which works to dilate blood vessels.
Specifically for skin, pycnogenol aids in protecting proteins from damage and degradation.
What Is It Used For?
One of the benefits of pine bark extract is that it possesses properties that aid in combatting multiple afflictions inside and outside the body.
Backed by several years of research, pycnogenol is discovered to have properties that promote hydration, elasticity and collagen production in the skin. It also possesses properties that have been shown to protect skin from UV rays.
UV light can have significantly detrimental effects on the skin, one of the most severe being skin cancer. Pycnogenol has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of sunburn significantly through its anti-inflammatory properties.
Pycnogenol is also great for individuals susceptible to redness or irritated, sensitive skin and those suffering from pigmentation conditions such as rosacea because the French maritime pine bark extract possesses such strong anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also great for individuals with hyperpigmentation disorder melasma because pine bark extract recycles vitamin C and regenerates vitamin E.
The anti-inflammatory effects of pycnogenol make it a popular go-to oral, topical treatment for acne breakouts and prevention.
Pycnogenol has also been proven to help improve cognitive function because it serves to regulate and protect cells against oxidative stress due to the pine bark extract acting as such a powerful antioxidant.
To sum it up, pycnogenol benefits are just the gift that keeps on giving.
Is It Safe?
Like with any other skincare product, it is safer to test using pycnogenol on a small patch of skin for a couple of days before applying it liberally to the rest of your skin. Some individuals may be more susceptible to irritation or reaction to pine bark extract.
If you are still unsure about taking pycnogenol in pill or supplement form or using it topically, it never hurts to book an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss what an appropriate dosage may be for you. Common side effects of pycnogenol supplements include dizziness and headaches.
However, in general, pycnogenol is considered safe for all skin types. It is easy to find and can be purchased without the need for a prescription.
Concluding Thoughts on Pycnogenol
The benefits of pycnogenol are abundant. From being an excellent anti-inflammatory to a powerful antioxidant and protecting the skin against UV light, the many health-boosting properties of pine bark extract are impressive.
The fact that pine bark extract is a natural skin care remedy is an added bonus in that you can trace back exactly where it comes from and have comfort in knowing what it is you are using.