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Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract

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

Official CosIng Information


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

The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5% Azelique Serumdipity, Anti-Aging Pycnogenol, Facial Serum REN ClearCalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment REN Clean Skincare Clearcalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel Derma E Essentials Radiance Toner Derma E Sensitive Facial Cleanser Dr. Jart+ Teatreement™ Toner Mild By Nature Pycnogenol Serum (Cream), Soothing And Anti-Aging Derma E Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Cream Non Gender Specific The Everything Cleanser Derma E Advanced Peptide And Collagen Serum Derma E Hydrating Eye Crème With Hyaluronic Acid And Pycnogenol I Dew Care Namaste Kitten Clarifying Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Oil Cleanser Ixxi Elixir Aqua Essential Serum NIOD Survival 0 Adsorb Antibody Moist Essence Serum Derma E Advanced Peptide And Collagen Moisturizer Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer Derma E Hydrating Eye Cream Liz K First C Serum Purid Overnight Refirming Essence Derma E Advanced Peptides And Collagen Eye Cream Derma E Advanced Peptides And Collagen Moisturizer Derma E Skin De-Stress Calming Cbd Cleanser Non Gender Specific Everything Serum Tula face filter blurring & moisturizing primer Umoua Polar Lights Extreme Brightening Emulsion Derma E Anti-Aging Regenerative Day Cream IWLT I Woke Up Like This Protective Base Sun Cream Spf 50+/Pa+++_For Dry Skin InnBeauty Power Up 3 In 1 Face Mist COSRX Pure Fit Cica Toner Torreya Mineral Filter Sunscreen Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Whipped Body Cream COSRX Pure Fit Cica Serum Derma E Skin De-Stress Calming Cbd Cleanser Derma E Skin De-Stress Calming Cbd Moisturizer NIOD Survival 10 Venn Vitamin B Activated All-In-One Concentrate Azelique Age Refining Pycnogenol Cream BOSCIA Luminizing Pink Charcoal Mask BOSCIA Pink Charcoal Mask Dr. Jart+ Teatreement™ Cleansing Foam NIOD Survival 20 NIOD Survival SPF 30 Skin Inc. Pure Recovery Dew COSRX Pure Fit Cica Powder Scinic Cicanoid Cream Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Resurfacing Eye Serum Swanson Dmae Serum COSRX Pure Fit Cica Cream