Hard to pronounce but easy to take, pycnogenol might be on the short list of our favorite anti-aging treatment. The trademarked name for maritime pine bark extract, pycnogenol can be used topically or ingested to visibly reduce the signs of aging. How does it do that?? I thought you might ask.
Pycnogenol is grown in France, though you can get it through other sources like peanut skin or grape seed. Considered an antioxidant for the body, pycnogenol donates electrons to free radicals, stabilizing them and reducing the damage they can cause. It also hydrates the skin and increases the body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid and collagen, both of which improve the skin’s elasticity and reduce fine lines. It combats the damage done by harmful UV rays (and your bottle of SPF 4 tanning oil), including reducing thick skin and inflammation, and it treats eczema.
Before skin gurus started raving about this “new” treatment, pycnogenol was used to treat other issues, like cardiovascular disease, ADHD, allergies and more. Because it’s an antioxidant, it decreases oxidative stress within the body; oxidative stress can lead to cardiovascular disease, and it’s a non-genetic cause of ADHD.
Ok, let’s get to the good stuff already:
As you may have heard, as our bodies age, we produce less collagen and hyaluronic acid, without which we begin to see the signs of aging and tired, sagging, dry skin. Many of us try to get our once-supple skin back, but at some point, we make peace with an at-minimum 35% improvement. But as science pushes forward, we continue to hear about new treatments and wonder cures, pycnogenol among them. When used topically, pycnogenol binds to proteins in the skin, resulting in increased moisture retention and collagen production.
Multiple studies boast about pycnogenol’s benefits for the skin, including wrinkle reduction, improved elasticity and texture, reduced signs of hyperpigmentation, better hydration through the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, and more. The results, from both topical and oral use, are promising.
So, put down the fillers and pick up the bark! Your wish for fewer wrinkles may actually come true.
As always, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any kind of treatment.