A new studyhas shown skincare benefits for Pycnogenol, a branded French maritime pine bark extract from Horphag.

The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study was performed on 76 Han Chinese working outdoors in Beijing, China. The study subjects were exposed to increased levels of particulate matter, and seasonal changes in humidity and temperature, over the course of the test period.

Researchers measured transepidermal water loss, skin color, hydration, and skin elasticity before beginning the study, six weeks in, and 12 weeks in, for both the placebo and the test groups. There was then a one-week washout period, and the groups switched: the placebo group was given Pycnogenol, and the test group was given placebo. Skin assessments were again completed at six and 12 weeks.

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The results: Pycnogenol intake—50mg, twice daily, for 12 weeks—prevented loss of hydration, as well as transepidermal water loss. It also improved skin elasticity, and the results pointed towards possible protective effects against pollution.

The researchers noted that, while the study had limitations, “the results obtained in this study strongly indicate that the skin of human subjects, which are exposed to high levels of environmental stress, will benefit from the regular intake of Pycnogenol.”

In a press release on the topic, natural health physician Dr. Fred Pescatore stated: “So many of us are awaiting this summer to truly enjoy the outdoors after a brutal winter and a long pandemic year. I personally cannot wait to be outside, and that means we have to be proactive in protecting our skin from heat, humidity, solar radiation, and pollution. This new study shows that daily supplementation with Pycnogenol counteracts damaging environmental stress factors and improves skin barrier function, even when exposed to rigid conditions.”