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Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract

Also-called-like-this: Pycnogenol
What-it-does: antioxidant


A natural plant extract coming from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. The extract contains potent antioxidant molecules, mainly procyanidins and phenolic acids.  Horphag Research trademarked the name 'Pycnogenol', which refers to a standardized, high-active content version of the pine bark extract. 

Pycnogenol is a very well researched ingredient with more than 370 published studies and review articles. Most of these are in-vitro (made in the lab, not on real people) or analyse Pycnogenol when taken orally. It's clear from them that Pycnogenol has a load of health benefits including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic magical properties (and a bunch of other things such as improving cognitive function, relieving premenstrual symptoms, or enhancing microcirculation). 

Regarding Pycnogenol and the skin, we found a study from 2012 that examined its effect on the skin when taken as a supplement. After 12 weeks, Pycnogenol supplements resulted in increased skin hydration and elasticity. The researchers thought this was due to the increased synthesis of extracellular matrix molecules such as hyaluronic acid and perhaps collagen. 

As for topical application, the studies are also promising. A 2003 research paper, conducted on mice, showed that topical Pycnogenol (used at 0.05-0.2%) has the potential to provide photoprotection for humans in a complementary role to sunscreens. Meanwhile, a 2004 study concluded,  "pine bark extract is readily absorbed by human skin and can be used for topical application".

Overall, Pycnogenol, or Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, as it will be listed on the product label, is a well-researched and potent antioxidant that is a welcome addition to any ingredient list. 

Show me some proof

  • Rohdewald, P. "A review of the French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), a herbal medication with a diverse clinical pharmacology." International journal of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics 40.4 (2002): 158-168.
  • Marini, A., et al. "Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in women." Skin pharmacology and physiology 25.2 (2012): 86-92.
  • Sarikaki, V., et al. "In vitro percutaneous absorption of pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) in human skin." Journal of Toxicology: Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology 23.3 (2005): 149-158.
  • Sime, Suzann, and Vivienne E. Reeve. "Protection from Inflammation, Immunosuppression and Carcinogenesis Induced by UV Radiation in Mice by Topical Pycnogenol®." Photochemistry and photobiology 79.2 (2004): 193-198.

Products with Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract

CHOSEN by Dermatology White Pine Pycnogenol Mirror Glaze CHOSEN by Dermatology White Pine Pycnogenol Mousse Plus CHOSEN by Dermatology White Pine Pycnogenol Red Oil Kojiglo Forte Skin Moderne Elementals Bio-fortify The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5% Azelique Serumdipity, Anti-Aging Pycnogenol, Facial Serum Derma E Soothing Toner With Pycnogenol Sesderma Sesmahal French Maritime Pine Depigmenting Serum + Mist jane iredale Purepressed Triple Eye Shadow - Sundown Helia-D Cell Concept Antioxidant Serum L’BRI Deep Pore Cleanser Preme Nobu Natural Balancing Essence REN ClearCalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment REN Clean Skincare Clearcalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel REN Clean Skincare Clearcalm Non-drying Spot Treatment Serene Professional Skincare Vitamin C Emollient Bassa Hydrin Hyaluronic Serum Derma E Essentials Radiance Toner Dremz Ultra Cream Matter of Fact Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum Sesderma Resveraderm Antiox Liposomal Serum Derma E Soothing Cleanser Pycnogenol & Aloe Vera Dr. Jart+ Teatreement™ Toner Dr. Jart+ Teatreement™ Toner Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Bar Soap Lovinah Red-C Ampoule Mild By Nature Pycnogenol Serum (Cream), Soothing And Anti-Aging Mineral Fusion Concealer Duo Mohrish Pharmaceuticals Rejuglow Gel naturium Vitamin K Liposome Serum 3% Derma E Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Cream Derma-ceutix Acne Relief Mask Dr. G Baby Mild Up Sun SPF 35 PA+++ Provence Beauty Immortal Nightmilk Youth Restore Facial Serum Aurelderma UVedge SPF 50 Sunscreen Gel COSRX Pure Fit Cica Low pH Cleansing Pad Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Serum Non Gender Specific The Everything Cleanser Cell Fusion C Post Alpha First Cure Serum Derma E Sensitive Skin Moisturising Crème M-DEAR Renew Serum Pestlo Panthemide Cream Pestlo Pantherecipe Cream Skintrium F&f Xf15 Exquisite Corrective Skin Whitening Gel Zax's Original Facial Redness Cream disco Repairing Eye Stick oaknet Cosglo Gel ClearChoice 12% Elimaderm Derma E Advance Peptides & Collagen Serum