Pycnogenol showed promising results in improving signs of skin aging based on established mechanism of action in the Düsseldorf study

Pycnogenol is the first natural dietary supplement proven to enhance the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in human skin

A clinical study performed by the Leibenz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Dusseldorf, Germany found Pycnogenol improved visible signs of skin aging in women.The researchers investigated whether Pycnogenol will improve cosmetic appearance and relate these effects to relevant molecular markers of their skin: genes related to the synthesis of hyaluronic acid ( hyaluronic acid synthase-1, HAS-1) and collagen ( COL1A1/COL1A2) (Marini et al).

Twenty healthy women (aged 55-68) were given 75 mg of Pycnogenol® per day for 12 weeks. Before, during and after the trial, their skin condition ( hydration, elasticity, and fatigue) was assessed using non-invasive biophysical methods. Further, at the beginning and end of the trials biopsies wereb taken to assess gene expression of HAS-1 and COL1A1/COL1A2.

Pycnogenol increased synthesis of hyaluronic acid Analysis showed Pycnogenol supplementation improved skin elasticity by 25 %, skin hydration by 8%, and skin smoothness by 6% while decreasing skin wrinkles by 3% and decreasing skin fatigue significantly. These effects were most pronounced in women presenting with dry skin conditions prior to the start of the trial.

The skin-physiological improvement was accompanied by a a noticeable increase in gene expression involved in collagen synthesis (COL1A1 by 29 %, COL1A2 by 41 %).The most important finding of the study was the significant increase (by 44%) in the gene expression of hyaluronic acid synthase-1 (HAS-1).Hyaluronic acid binds large quantities of water in the skin and in other tissues, such as cartilage. Thus, the increased amount of hyaluronic acid explains the increased skin hydration, higher elasticity and overall smoother skin appearance found in women taking Pycnogenol.

According to lead researcher Jean Krutmann, Ph.D., Pycnogenol is the only natural supplement to date that stimulates hyaluronic acid production in human skin. "And, we are encouraged by the molecular evidence confirmed in this study that shows nutritional supplementation with Pycnogenol® benefits human skin."


  • Marini A és mtsai. Pycnogenol® Effects on Skin Elasticity and Hydration Coincide with Increased Gene Expressions of Collagen Type I and Hyaluronic Acid Synthase in Women. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 25:86-92, 2012.

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