Daily supplementation of Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the French maritime pine bark tree, may boost skin elasticity by 25 per cent according to a new study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.
Twelve weeks of supplementing with this extract caused the skin to become more elastic and hydrated by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found in the connective tissue of the body and plays a part in the skin’s elasticity. Because of hyaluronic acid’s ability to bind to large numbers of water molecules and bring them into the cells of the skin, it is capable of improving the skin’s appearance. Pycnogenol has been found to be the only natural supplement that promotes hyaluronic acid production in human skin.
For this small study, twenty women between the ages of 55 and 68 received 75 mg of Pycnogenol per day for 12 weeks. Researchers measured “skin hydration, skin elasticity and skin fatigue using non-invasive biophysical methods.” Pycnogenol decreased skin wrinkles by three percent, and improved the smoothness of the skin by six percent. The scientists concluded that supplementing with Pycnogenol may help lessen the signs of aging in older women by increasing skin hydration and elasticity.