Ingredient: Pine Bark Extract
INCI: Pinus Massoniana Extract
Sources: Mostly Found in Europe
Our rating: GOOD
What is Pine Bark Extract?
The extract comes from the inner bark of the pine tree and was widely used by native North Americans and Europeans for its medicinal value. In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew had suffered from malnutrition and contracted scurvy. They drank pine bark extract tea given by Quebec natives, recovered and attributed their healing to the curative qualities of the extract.
In 1947, French chemist Jacques Masquelier isolated the first extracted oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) from pine bark. He found that the OPCs had vascular protective effects that could help in fighting diseases in humans.
Benefits of Pine Bark Extract:
Collagen is a major protein that gives the skin its youthful and firm appearance. The aging process slows down collagen production which results in sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles. Studies on pine bark extract show that it can help to boost collagen production and maintain skin youth and elasticity by increasing hyaluronic acid levels in the body. Hyaluronic acid can retain huge amounts of moisture – 1,000 times its weight in water – making it an important nutrient for skin hydration.
Pine bark extract also contains flavonols and bioflavonoids, phytochemicals that have been shown to display anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-cancer and neuroprotective activities.
It can help to lower UVA-induced upregulation of pigmentation markers by 50-70% and reduce hyperpigmentation. The extract also increases the gene expression of loricrin – a protein which plays a crucial role in improving the skin barrier function and maintaining skin hydration. In a 12-week study on women who used pine bark extract, results showed that they noted a significant reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after the study period.
Side Effects & Toxicity:
A generally safe ingredient, pine bark extract has no known toxicity in general use and is shown to be non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.
According to the American Cancer Society, the possible side effects – such as headaches, mouth ulcers and gut problems – of taking pine bark supplements are mild and transient.