First there was snake venom, then dragons’ blood and now we have an extract from tree bark; whatever next! But if tests carried out by the Leibniz Research Institute in Dusseldorf are to be believed, we could be looking at the latest new anti ageing cream that actually works! Extracts of the French maritime pine bark contain a certain antioxidant that is found to make skin more elastic and could keep the signs of ageing at bay. And as such, this new beauty treatment is being hailed as the ‘new wonder treatment’ for anti ageing.
The study, which was published in the journal ‘Skin Pharmacology and Physiology’, took 20 women who were perfectly healthy, between the ages of 55 to 68 and treated them with a substance called Pycnogenol, which is a branded supplement that contains the antioxidant taken from the French maritime pine bark. The women were monitored for 12 weeks and tests were in place to check their skin hydration, skin elasticity and skin fatigue for this period of time. Results showed that their skin elasticity had improved by 25 per cent and the skin’s hydration by eight per cent. When the study had finished, a biopsy was taken to check the levels of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a chemical that helps the skin to retain water, giving a smooth, soft effect. By ensuring good skin hydration, it also helps to reduce wrinkles.
It was found that the production of the acid had been increased by 44 per cent, while skin elasticity was boosted by 25 percent and skin hydration by eight percent. The women that benefitted the greatest from the treatment of Pycnogenol were the ones that presented with the driest skin in the first instance. It was also seen that wrinkles had been reduced by 3 percent and the smoothness of the skin increased by 6 percent. The doctor who lead the research, Dr Jean Krutmann, commented, “To date, Pycnogenol is the only natural supplement that stimulates hyaluronic acid production in human skin.
And, we are encouraged by the molecular evidence confirmed in this study that shows nutritional supplementation with Pycnogenol benefits human skin.” Victor Ferrari, of Horphag Research, which produces Pycnogenol, added, “This exciting and technically advanced investigation with women representing actual consumer profiles greatly supports our efforts for targeting the skin beauty category for both dietary supplements and functional foods.” Further research has shown that Pycnogenol is also effective in the treatment of those suffering from diabetes, impotence, menopausal symptoms, asthma, osteoarthritis and hypertension. You can buy Pycnogenol capsules at Healthy Origins for £21.28 for 60 x 100mg.