Beginners Guide To Skin Care: What Is Pycnogenol And Why Is It Good For The Skin?

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Even though skin dryness and aging are part of life, they can affect a person’s self-esteem. But what if there was one ingredient that could potentially reverse the signs of skin dryness and aging?

Pycnogenol is one such ingredient. It is fast gaining popularity for its supposed ability to reverse some signs of aging. But is it really effective? How does it benefit your skin? Here, we further elaborate on the effects of pycnogenol on the skin and how to use it right. Keep reading.

What Is Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is the trademarked name of a substance extracted from the French maritime pine bark. It is rich in elastin, antioxidants, and collagen, and is ideal for treating dry, aging skin. The active ingredients in this extract can also be found in grape seed, witch hazel bark, and peanut skin. These ingredients are responsible for the characteristic skin benefits of pycnogenol.

What Are The Benefits Of Pycnogenol For Skin?

1. May Help Reverse Signs Of Premature Aging

In a study, 20 postmenopausal women were asked to consume 75 mg of pycnogenol every day for 12 weeks. The participants observed better skin hydration and elasticity by the end of the period. Pycnogenol supplementation is found to reduce the signs of aging.

Pycnogenol may also promote the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Reduced collagen levels are known to cause wrinkles. Research suggests that hyaluronic acid can retain skin moisture and help delay the aging signs.

2. May Help Reduce Pigmentation

As per research, pycnogenol may help reduce skin hyperpigmentation caused due to exposure to UV radiation. It works by fighting free radicals, which otherwise break down the proteins responsible for maintaining your skin’s hue and elasticity.

Pycnogenol also enhances and accelerates the process of cell regeneration and replication. This compound is also believed to soften rough skin, soothe inflamed skin, and potentially reduce skin cancer risk. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

3. May Help Heal Wounds

An animal study showcased the wound-healing abilities of pycnogenol. The compound was found to accelerate wound healing and reduce the appearance of scars. However, more research is warranted to further understand the mechanism here.

Apart from these benefits, pycnogenol may also pose some side effects one must be aware of.

What Are The Side Effects Of Pycnogenol On Skin?

Pycnogenol is generally considered safe for use on skin. That said, you must start with a low dose to allow your body to get accustomed to the supplement. The potential side effects of pycnogenol include:

  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Skin irritation
  • Urinary issues
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness

If you experience any of these side effects, stop the intake of the product and consult your doctor.

No matter how many benefits a product has, one will not be able to see results unless they use it properly. Read the next section to understand the best way to use pycnogenol on your skin.

How Do You Use Pycnogenol On Your Skin?

Pycnogenol is an OTC (over-the-counter) product. It is available in the following forms:

1. Supplement

As per the guidelines set by the National Institute Of Health, adults can ingest anywhere between 50 to 450 milligrams of pycnogenol supplements daily to achieve the desired results. However, more research is warranted to determine a safe dosage level for children.

2. Cream

You can use pycnogenol cream as part of your morning routine after you apply your serum and before you apply any heavy lotions or oils. You can use this cream for 7 days at a stretch. But if you don’t see any results even after 7 days, we recommend you visit a dermatologist.

3. Skin Powder

You can include this powder in your morning skin care routine. Here’s how:

  1. Combine the powder with some water and whisk until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. Apply the paste to your skin and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is completely dry.
  3. Wash the dried paste off with lukewarm water.
  4. Dry with a soft towel.
  5. Complete this process by applying some oil or lotion to your skin.

Carry out this process every day for 6 weeks for the best results. If you do not experience any change even after 6 weeks, consult your dermatologist.

Can pycnogenol be used by all? Who would benefit the most from it?

Who Is Pycnogenol Best Suited For?

While everyone can use pycnogenol, the extract is best suited for individuals with aged, pigmented, or dry skin. But if you have any specific skin condition, it is always better to consult a dermatologist before using pycnogenol.

As discussed, you can use pycnogenol in various forms. The compound works well with certain ingredients too. Check them out in the next section.

What Ingredients Work Well With Pycnogenol?

Several ingredients can be paired with pycnogenol. These include:

  • Vitamin C: The ingredient enhances the body’s collagen production. It helps firm up the skin and reduces any wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: This is a potent antioxidant thought to work with pycnogenol to soothe skin and increase skin moisture. However, more research is needed in this regard.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps retain skin moisture. It hydrates the outer skin layers and reduces dry skin, pigmentation, and other signs of aging.

You can pair several ingredients with pycnogenol. However, there are a few other ingredients you must never use with this compound. We have covered them in the next section.

What Ingredients Should Not Be Paired With Pycnogenol?

It is believed that using pycnogenol with products containing copper peptides may cause adverse effects. However, research is limited in this regard. Consult your dermatologist for more information.

Concluding Thoughts

Pycnogenol is rich in elastin, antioxidants, and collagen. It helps revive dry, aging skin. It also may reduce pigmentation and scars. However, use of pycnogenol, orally or topically, has been reported to cause certain adverse effects. While research is limited in this regard, you still must be wary of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

. How long does pycnogenol take to show results?

Pycnogenol can take anywhere between 7 and 20 days to show results, depending on the method of use.

7 Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Pycnogenol® Effects on Skin Elasticity and Hydration Coincide with Increased Gene Expressions of Collagen Type I and Hyaluronic Acid Synthase in Women
    https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/335261
  2. Pycnogenol: A Miracle Component in Reducing Ageing and Skin Disorders
    https://www.longdom.org/open-access/pycnogenol-a-miracle-component-in-reducing-ageing-and-skin-disorders-2155-9554-1000395.pdf
  3. Pycnogenol® accelerates wound healing and reduces scar formation
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.1477
  4. Maritime Pine
    https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1019.html
  5. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
  6. Skin anti-aging strategies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3583892/
  7. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).