French maritime pine bark extract hailed as new beauty product for women which 'keeps skin elastic'
Wondercream: French maritime pine bark extract improves skin elasticity by 25 per cent
A new wondercream containing tree bark extract may have just brought us one step closer to finding the secret to eternal youth.
The extract, from French maritime pine, could slow down the signs of aging, researchers say.
It was shown to improve skin elasticity by 25 per cent and hydration by eight per cent.
In tests reported in journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 20 healthy women aged 55 to 68 were treated with Pycnogenol, a branded supplement containing the antioxidant.
They were monitored for for skin hydration, skin elasticity and skin fatigue by the Leibniz Research Institute in Dusseldorf over 12 weeks.
At the end of the study, a biopsy was carried out to see the levels of hyaluronic acid – which is known to be beneficial to the skin.
Production of the acid was increased by 44 per cent, while skin elasticity was boosted by 25 percent and skin hydration by eight percent.
The changes were particularly noticeable in women who had dry skin from the start.
Wrinkles were also reduced by three percent and skin smoothness increased by six percent.
No more dry skin: Pycnogenol, a branded supplement containing bark extracts, can also help asthma sufferers and those with diabetes
Dr Jean Krutmann, who led the study, said: '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, said: '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.'
Pycnogenol has already been found to be effective in the treatment of those suffering from diabetes, impotence, menopausal symptoms, asthma, osteoarthritis and hypertension.