Now that it is officially summer and the hours of sunlight that we are exposed to per day are at their peak, we need to remember to protect our skin from UV-light that can generate oxygen radicals which in turn damage skin cells. A great way to protect your skin from these oxygen radicals that cause progressive sun damage to the skin is to incorporate a diet rich in antioxidant diverse foods and eliminate environmental factors that may increase oxidative stress. Some examples of antioxidant rich foods are blueberries, dark red or purple grapes, bilberries, sweet potatoes and dark leafy vegetables. In addition to an antioxidant rich diet and limiting our exposure to certain environmental factors we may need to take an approach beyond diet and consider the role of nutrient support. (1)
One group of powerful antioxidant compounds known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins are commonly found in grape seed extract, pine bark extract, and red wine extract. The pine bark extract is a natural combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids. The extract from French Maritime Bark has three important properties, it is a powerful antioxidant, it selectively binds to collagen and elastin, and it promotes the normal production of endothelial nitric oxide. A recent study done by a team of scientist at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Germany “French Maritime Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) Effects on Human Skin: Clinical and Molecular Evidence” concluded that there is a growing evidence that this extract is important due to its affects a number of basic skin functions which are relevant for the maintenance of healthy skin. (2)
French Maritime Bark Extract has been researched for over 40 years, with over 370 published studies to its name. More and more evidence mounts that this powerful nutrient may provide many benefits to the skin as well as its many benefits to the body as a whole.
- Pycnogenol: Oral Skin Care. pycnogenol.com/en/science/application-brochures
- Grether-Beck et al. French Maritime Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) Effects on Human Skin: Clinical and Molecular Evidence. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2016; 29:13–17