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Top 6 Best Pycnogenol Supplements for Skin Health

Best Pycnogenol Supplement
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Written by Andrew Le, MD.
Medically reviewed by
Clinical Physician Assistant, Summit Health
Last updated May 25, 2024

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As we age, our skin can lose its youthful glow and vitality, leading to visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, dryness, and loss of elasticity. This can not only impact our self-confidence but also our overall well-being. Many seek effective natural solutions to combat these skin concerns and maintain a healthy, radiant complexion.

The solution lies in the remarkable properties of Pycnogenol, a potent antioxidant-rich extract derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. These top 6 best Pycnogenol supplements have been carefully selected to offer comprehensive support for skin health and rejuvenation, helping you achieve a more youthful, vibrant appearance.

Biochemical Composition of Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is a proprietary formulation derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, scientifically known as Pinus pinaster. The biochemical composition of Pycnogenol is remarkable, consisting mainly of procyanidins, bioflavonoids, and other phenolic compounds. These components are crucial for its potent antioxidant properties.

Procyanidins, also found in other plants like apples and grapes, are known for their ability to scavenge harmful free radicals and support vascular health. Bioflavonoids, including catechin and taxifolin, enhance the action of vitamin C in the body and help protect cells from oxidative stress. This combination of active compounds contributes to the wide-ranging health benefits attributed to Pycnogenol, making it a unique supplement in the realm of natural health products.

Health Benefits of Pycnogenol

Studies examining the health benefits of Pycnogenol have highlighted its multiple potential effects on human health, particularly concerning cognitive function, blood pressure regulation, skin health, and inflammation markers.

A 12-week study on healthy professionals experiencing increased oxidative stress observed significant improvements in cognitive function, attention, and mental performance among those supplemented with 150 mg/day of Pycnogenol. This group also showed a notable reduction in plasma-free radicals, indicating decreased oxidative stress. The supplement improved various aspects of cognitive testing, particularly in memory and executive functions, mood, and daily professional tasks, suggesting that Pycnogenol might enhance cognitive abilities and stress resilience professionally.

Another systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of Pycnogenol on blood pressure included nine trials with 549 participants. The results indicated that Pycnogenol supplementation could lead to a modest reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, particularly in hypertensive individuals or those treated for more than 12 weeks. Despite some inconsistencies across studies, likely due to varying study designs and participant characteristics, there seems to be supportive evidence suggesting that Pycnogenol helps manage blood pressure levels.

One study on postmenopausal women supplemented with Pycnogenol for 12 weeks reported improved skin hydration and elasticity. These effects were particularly pronounced in individuals with initially dry skin conditions. Moreover, the supplementation was associated with increased gene expression related to the synthesis of hyaluronic acid and possibly collagen, indicating that Pycnogenol could contribute to reducing the signs of skin aging through molecular mechanisms that enhance the skin's extracellular matrix.

Another systematic review and meta-analysis explored the effect of Pycnogenol on C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. Analysis of five trials involving 324 participants revealed that Pycnogenol supplementation significantly reduced CRP levels, suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect. The results were more consistent in studies where the dose exceeded 150 mg/day, highlighting the potential of Pycnogenol as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Best Pycnogenol Supplements for Skin Health

We've extensively researched the top 6 best Pycnogenol supplements for skin health, meticulously evaluating each based on their formulation, effectiveness, quality, and user feedback. These supplements are carefully selected to support skin vitality and overall well-being.

Life Extension Pycnogenol

Life Extension Pycnogenol stands as the best Pycnogenol brand, providing a potent formula derived from French maritime pine bark, renowned for its health benefits. Meticulously designed, this supplement supports healthy aging and vascular health, aiming to enhance overall well-being.

Pros

  • Pycnogenol supports vascular health by encouraging healthy nitric oxide levels, which are crucial in endothelial function and circulation.
  • The supplement provides powerful antioxidant protection, helping to combat oxidative stress and protect biological systems from free radicals.
  • Life Extension prioritizes ingredient quality, ensuring purity and potency in every capsule. Most products are non-GMO, gluten-free, and manufactured in the USA.
  • Life Extension formulates its products with specific ingredients and amounts, offering users a reliable approach to wellness.

Cons

  • While the benefits are extensive, individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking medication should consult a healthcare professional before use.
  • Some users have reported mixed opinions on the supplement's effects on the stomach and its overall value, highlighting potential variability in individual experiences.
Healthy Origins Pycnogenol

Healthy Origins Pycnogenol 100 mg - Premium Pine Bark Extract is a meticulously crafted supplement from southwestern France. With 100 mg of French maritime pine bark extract per capsule, this product aims to support various aspects of health, including heart health, skincare, and overall well-being, leveraging its antioxidant properties. This premium supplement has garnered a reputation for its effectiveness and quality, backed by 40 years of research dedicated to establishing its safety and benefits for human health.

Pros

  • This supplement supports cardiovascular function and heart health, contributing to overall well-being.
  • Healthy Origins supplements undergo rigorous testing at independent labs to ensure potency and safety, distinguishing them from competitors.
  • With a commitment to quality, Healthy Origins uses only high-quality active ingredients to create premium dietary supplements, ensuring efficacy and reliability.

Cons

  • Despite its numerous benefits, this supplement may not suit everyone, particularly those with specific medical conditions or allergies.
Carlyle Pycnogenol

Carlyle Pycnogenol emerges as the best Pycnogenol supplement brand, providing a natural solution deeply rooted in wellness with its 100 mg French Maritime Pine Bark Extract capsules. Derived from the Maritime tree, this extract is standardized to contain 60-70% Total Procyanidins, delivering potent antioxidants to support various aspects of health and well-being.

Pros

  • Each capsule contains 100 mg of Pycnogenol, providing a convenient and standardized dosage for daily supplementation.
  • The product is gluten-free and non-GMO, catering to individuals with specific dietary preferences or restrictions.
  • Manufactured by Carlyle, a company with over 40 years of experience in health and wellness, ensuring premium quality and trusted ingredients.
  • The capsules are quick-release and easy to swallow, suitable for daily use by adults seeking to enhance their overall health.

Cons

  • The label can be misleading regarding serving size, as each serving comprises two capsules, meaning fewer servings per container than initially expected.
  • Some users may experience adverse reactions, such as nausea or fatigue, especially if taken on an empty stomach or in combination with other supplements.
  • Individuals seeking immediate results may need to take the supplement consistently over time to experience noticeable benefits, requiring patience and commitment.
NOW Supplements Pycnogenol

NOW Supplements Pycnogenol 100 mg offers a unique combination of proanthocyanidins from French Maritime Pine, coupled with Amla, encapsulated in 60 veg capsules. Designed to support a healthy, balanced immune system response, this product also promotes the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and nitric oxide. NOW Pycnogenol is renowned for its potential to maintain healthy eyes, skin, and joints and support normal vascular structure and function.

Pros

  • Each capsule contains 100 mg of Pycnogenol, providing a potent dose for immune support and vascular health.
  • The inclusion of Amla extract (240 mg) enhances the product's benefits by supporting the immune system and contributing to overall health.
  • NOW Supplements adhere to strict quality standards, including being Non-GMO, Kosher, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, and suitable for vegans/vegetarians.
  • Manufactured in the USA by a family-owned and operated company since 1968, ensuring quality and safety.
  • Clinical and non-clinical studies support the efficacy of Pycnogenol in promoting overall wellness.

Cons

  • Some users report experiencing nervousness, anxiety, or malaise after taking the supplement, although individual reactions may vary.
  • The recommended dosage of 1 to 2 capsules daily might not be suitable for everyone, especially those seeking higher or lower doses.
Pure Encapsulations Pycnogenol

Similarly, Pure Encapsulations Pycnogenol stands out as the best Pycnogenol supplement, offering a potent source of pine bark extract, delivering 50 mg per capsule. Meticulously crafted to meet the highest standards of quality and purity, this hypoallergenic supplement is designed to support cognitive function and cardiovascular health.

Pycnogenol, renowned for its antioxidant properties, contributes to vascular health by promoting the integrity of blood vessels and collagenous membranes, as well as supporting vascular function through modulation of nitric oxide levels.

Pros

  • Pure Encapsulations is renowned for its commitment to purity and quality. Each batch of supplements is meticulously formulated with premium ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers and undergoes rigorous testing to ensure potency and purity.
  • Free from common allergens such as wheat, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, Pure Encapsulations Pycnogenol caters to individuals with sensitivities or dietary restrictions.

Cons

  • Some users may experience mild side effects or initial discomfort as their body adjusts to the supplement.
Source Naturals Pycnogenol

Source Naturals Pycnogenol 100 mg Proanthocyanidin Complex offers a potent blend of natural antioxidants derived from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima. With each tablet containing 100 mg of Pycnogenol, this product is formulated to provide robust support for overall health and well-being. Pycnogenol is renowned for its antioxidant properties, attributed to its high concentration of proanthocyanidins, which are effective scavengers of free radicals.

Pros

  • Source Naturals adheres to high-quality standards in manufacturing, ensuring a reliable and effective product.
  • Each tablet contains a substantial 100 mg dose of Pycnogenol, providing potent antioxidant support.
  • The suggested use is convenient, requiring only one to two tablets daily, making it easy to incorporate into daily routines.
  • Manufactured in the USA under Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ensuring safety and quality.

Cons

  • Some users may find the tablet form less convenient than alternative delivery methods such as capsules or softgels.
  • Individuals with specific dietary preferences or restrictions may need to check the tablet's ingredients for compatibility.
  • Due to individual variations in response, some users may not experience immediate or noticeable benefits.

Final Thoughts

Among the top 6 Pycnogenol supplements reviewed, Pure Encapsulations Pycnogenol stands out as the best choice for those seeking optimal skin health and rejuvenation. This product is recognized as the best Pycnogenol supplement due to its 50 mg of potent pine bark extract per capsule, which provides a concentrated dose of antioxidants to combat the signs of aging, while the hypoallergenic, high-quality formulation ensures purity and safety.

This pycnogenol supplement can help restore your skin's youthful radiance and resilience by supporting vascular integrity, regulating nitric oxide levels, and promoting collagen production. If you're ready to experience the transformative power of Pycnogenol for your complexion, try Pure Encapsulations Pycnogenol today and reclaim your skin's vibrant, healthy glow.

FAQs About Pycnogenol Supplement

How does Pycnogenol help with skin health?

Due to its high antioxidant content, Pycnogenol helps to protect skin from free radical damage, potentially reducing the signs of aging and improving skin hydration and elasticity.

Is Pycnogenol effective for joint health?

Pycnogenol effectively reduces pain and inflammation associated with joint disorders such as osteoarthritis, making it a beneficial supplement for joint health.

Are there any side effects associated with Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is generally safe, but some people may experience mild side effects such as dizziness, gut problems, or headaches. Always consult a healthcare professional before beginning any new supplement regimen.

When is the best time to take Pycnogenol?

The optimal time to take Pycnogenol can vary depending on your needs and preferences. The supplement can be taken in the morning or evening without significant differences in absorption or efficacy for general health benefits. It's commonly recommended to take Pycnogenol in equally divided doses, either twice a day, 12 hours apart, or three times a day, approximately 8 hours apart, to maintain consistent levels in your body throughout the day.

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Clinical Physician Assistant, Summit Health
Jeff brings to Buoy 20 years of clinical experience as a physician assistant in urgent care and internal medicine. He also has extensive experience in healthcare administration, most recently as developer and director of an urgent care center. While completing his doctorate in Health Sciences at A.T. Still University, Jeff studied population health, healthcare systems, and evidence-based medicine....
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References

  • Belcaro, G., Luzzi, R., Dugall, M., Ippolito, E., & Saggino, A. (2014). Pycnogenol® improves cognitive function, attention, mental performance and specific professional skills in healthy professionals age 35–55. Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences. Retrieved from https://santurel.nl/_library/_files/Pycnogenol-studie-werkdruk.pdf
  • Zhang, Z., Xing, T., Wei, Y.-L., Lin, Z., & Xing, F. (2018). Effect of pycnogenol supplementation on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Iranian Journal of Public Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6077626/
  • Marini, A., Grether-Beck, S., Jaenicke, T., & Krutmann, J. (2012). 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. https://doi.org/10.1159/000335261
  • Nikpayam, O., Rouhani, M. H., Pourmasoumi, M., Roshanravan, N., Ghaedi, E., & Mohammadi, H. (2018). The effect of Pycnogenol supplementation on plasma C-reactive protein concentration: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Nutrition Research, 7(2), 117-125. http://doi.org/10.7762/cnr.2018.7.2.117