Even though you’re getting older, your skin doesn’t have to keep up with your age. Today, there are many great topical anti-aging skin care products out on the market but very few of them measure up to creating any measureable, visible results. Many of my patients ask me what’s out there that really works to reduce skin aging?
As a dermatologist, I’ve always felt that true skin change most often comes from the inside out with topical products acting as back-up support. That’s why I’d like to tell you about the real skin rejuvenating benefits of this natural extract supplement that has been proven in research to have real appearance-improving benefits to human skin.
Pycnogenol: A Natural Extract Stimulates Skin’s Youth Factors
Pycnogenol is the commercial name given to a natural substance that is harvested from the bark of French maritime pine trees. It has been found in research to be a powerhouse amongst natural antioxidants and is teeming with bioflavonoids and other natural phytonutrients. Pycnogenol has been safely used in Europe for many years and, as a result, has gained a popular following in the United States as well.
Because of its long history of use in natural medicine, health researchers wanted to put it to the test to understand why it’s great at treating so many ailments. It’s the mark of a really good substance if it can pass muster in many different studies done by different researchers and pycnogenol is one of those substances. It contains standardized amounts of bioflavonoids and procyanidins and that’s what researchers look for in testing natural substances for their health benefits. Amongst its many health benefits, pycnogenol has been used to improve varicose veins, arthritis, cardiovascular and brain health, and reducing inflammation.
But pycnogenol seems to really shine in one specific area and that is improving the health and appearance of your skin – creating a much more youthful appearance in just weeks. Pycnogenol is the only natural substance that has been proven in research to stimulate hyaluronic acid, or HA. HA is abundant in a child’s skin and that’s what gives it it’s supple, plump, well-hydrated, smooth look.
As you get older, HA stores deplete and skin elasticity is no longer as tight as it used to be. It allows the facial skin to lose tone and appear droopy and why you look older. Rebuilding HA in the skin is the answer to re-gaining elasticity and a more youthful, refreshed, hydrated look.
Researchers in Germany found that, in women aged 55-68, pycnogenol boosted HA production by a significant 44%, with improved skin elasticity by 25%, skin hydration by 8%, appearance of skin fatigue and reduced wrinkles by 3% and increased smoothness by 6%, in participants who took 75 mg a day. Its effects were most clearly seen on the women who started the study with very dry skin. But, of course, pycnogenol is not just for women – men can also benefit from its anti-aging skin effects. The researchers concluded that pycnogenol supplementation can be useful in counteracting the clinical signs of skin aging.
How To Reap The Youthful Skin Benefits of Pycnogenol
In research studies, higher, therapeutic doses are usually used, but you only really need to take between 25 and 50 mg a day to reap the HA stimulating effects of pycnogenol. Keep in mind too, that other foods contain many of the same bioflavonoids and procyanidins that pycnogenol does. Including more of these foods in your diet can further boost your health benefit of these substances on your entire body. When your body is healthy, your skin reflects it. These include red wine, grapes, green tea, and high cacao chocolate.
Additionally, be sure to drink plenty of water, as dehydration shows on your face faster than anywhere else in more pronounced sags and wrinkles. Be sure to get at least 6 hours of sleep, go outside to get some exercise, sunlight and oxygen – all which have a combined effect on your skin appearance.
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.