Study shows that Horphag Research's Pycnogenol retains skin moisture and elasticity

Published: 20-May-2021

New published research builds on decades of established science demonstrating extensive benefits of Pycnogenol, a natural antioxidant for skin health

Just in time for summer, researchers have found how the natural super-antioxidant Pycnogenol can safeguard your skin from seasonal changes and environmental stress.

A new peer reviewed, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study shows that daily supplementation with Pycnogenol French maritime pine bark extract may help to significantly retain skin hydration, increase skin elasticity, and reinforce skin barrier function for those exposed to urban environmental pollution, as well as seasonal temperature and humidity variations.

In addition, the study found Pycnogenol to increase skin lightening during seasonal changes when dark spots can emerge.

“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,” says renowned natural health physician and author, Dr. Fred Pescatore.

“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.”

Published in Skin Pharmacology Physiology, this study tested 76 participants, 57 of whom were women, with an average age of 41. The test group was comprised of workers who spent long hours outdoors in Beijing, China and were exposed to urban air pollution and environmental stress as well as seasonal changes in temperature and humidity from April to November.

Two groups were tested in the study: a verum and a placebo group. During the first 12 weeks, from April to July, the rainy season, the verum group supplemented orally with 100mg of Pycnogenol daily. After a 1-week washout period, participants were crossed over from verum to placebo and vice versa for another 12-week study phase of a dry autumn period.

Researchers measured the skin moisture content of the participants with the Corneometer skin moisture tester. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was measured with the Tewameter, and skin elasticity was measured with the Cutometer.

Results showed that daily oral supplementation with 100mg of Pycnogenol for 12 weeks from April to July, during the wet season, provided a striking improvement of significant skin concerns, including:

  • 7% improvement in skin elasticity (vs 0.1% increase in the placebo group) 
  • 7% improvement in skin firmness (vs 0.3% decrease in the placebo group).

Additionally, during phase 2, from July to October, during the dry season, daily oral supplementation with 100mg of Pycnogenol showed:

  • 13.8% increase in skin lightening (vs 0.8% decrease in the placebo group)
  • 14% decreased in transepidermal water loss (TEWL), indicating a significant improvement of skin barrier function (vs 4.5% increase in the placebo group) 
  • 3.3% decrease of skin moisture (vs 14% decrease in the placebo group)
  • 13% improvement in skin elasticity (vs 0.7% increase in the placebo group) 
  • 13% improvement in skin firmness (vs 0.3% increase in the placebo group).

This corroborates with previous research that has shown Pycnogenol’s unique ability to promote collagen and hyaluronic acid production within the skin.

Indeed, in a clinical study Pycnogenol revealed increased hyaluronic acid synthase levels by 44%. The hyaluronic acid synthase is the natural source of water-binding hyaluronic acid in the dermis.

“Pycnogenol has a deep catalog of research for skin health, and this study builds upon decades of existing science to show that oral supplementation with Pycnogenol can make a significant difference in skin health and appearance, even in strenuous environmental conditions,” said Dr. Pescatore.

In the study, researchers concluded that this research “strongly indicates that people exposed to high levels of environmental stress will benefit from the regular intake of Pycnogenol.”

The authors propose that oral intake of Pycnogenol may represent one easy-to-use strategy, which can be used to benefit the human skin in individuals living in an urban environment.

“As a doctor, I routinely have conversations with patients about the importance of protecting their skin year-round. I regularly recommend Pycnogenol® and this study reinforces why,” says Dr. Pescatore.

This study builds on a body of clinical research supporting the benefits of Pycnogenol as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidative ingredient. To review clinical research and additional information on Pycnogenol, visit

Pycnogenol is available in more than 1,000 dietary supplements and health products worldwide.

Trending Articles

You may also like