A new study has found that a natural supplement can be used to effectively fight the signs of aging on the skin.
Researchers in Germany examined 20 healthy women, aged 55 to 68 years. Participants were given 75 milligrams of Pycnogenol - an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree – per day, over a period of 12 weeks. Skin hydration, skin elasticity and skin fatigue were assessed at the beginning of the trial, at six weeks and at 12 weeks.
They found that taking the supplement helped to improve the appearance of the skin in several different ways. Pycnogenol was found to enhance skin elasticity by 25 percent and skin hydration by 8 percent. Its effects were especially noticeable in women who had dry skin before beginning to take the supplement.
Taking Pycnogenol was also shown to improve skin fatigue, reduce skin wrinkles by 3 percent and increase skin smoothness by 6 percent.
In addition, the supplement was shown to increase the skin's hyaluronic acid production by 44 percent.
"To date, Pycnogenol is the only natural supplement that stimulates hyaluronic acid production in human skin," said lead researcher Dr. Jean Krutmann. "And, we are encouraged by the molecular evidence confirmed in this study that shows nutritional supplementation with Pycnogenol benefits human skin."
WebMD states that Pycnogenol is used for treating a variety of ailments from allergies, asthma, circulation problems to prevention of stroke, heart disease and varicose veins. It is also used to slow the aging process and improve endurance.
Previous studies have found that the supplement improves human skin conditions, including promoting glowing skin and reducing the appearance of over-pigmentation and skin inflammation, resulting in a more even complexion.
While the results of the study are promising, many people choose to fight the signs of aging skin with non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and hyaluronic acid injections.
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