Pycnogenol Protected Skin Outdoors
The skin has several layers that keep water moisture from evaporating, but environmental factors like pollution can damage this “barrier” function. In this study, 76 adult outdoor workers took placebo or 50 mg of Pycnogenol® twice per day, for 24 weeks during spring and autumn. During the dry season, the Pycnogenol group saw a 14 percent improvement in barrier function—less water evaporation—and a 3.3 percent decrease in moisture compared to 4.5 percent and 14 percent, respectively, for placebo. During the wet season, skin elasticity and firmness improved 7 percent each for Pycnogenol compared to 0.1 and 0.3 percent for placebo.
Collagen Boosts Skin Moisture
The outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, has three major functions: maintaining skin plasticity, shedding dead skin cells, and preventing pathogens in the environment from entering the skin, which is known as its “barrier” function. To achieve these goals, the skin must maintain adequate hydration, which it does through its natural moisturizing factor (NMF): highly efficient substances in skin cells, called humectants, that attract and bind with water from the atmosphere. In this study, 99 healthy women, aged 35 to 50, took a placebo, or 1 or 5 grams of collagen peptides per day. After 12 weeks, both collagen groups saw increases in the water content of the stratum corneum, and increased levels of NMF, compared to placebo and to the start of the study. The collagen group also saw less water evaporation.