Sunburn causes a destructive immune response in skin cells
Exposure of the skin to UV-light in sunlight generates oxygen radicals which in turn damage skin cells and connective tissues. The destructive processes can start an immune response which at an advanced level is visible as sunburn. Activated immune cells cause significant damage to the skin, as they initiate a chain reaction that creates more free radicals which further degrade collagen and elastin. Altogether, the immune response adds significantly more harm to the skin than caused by UV-rays alone.
Inflammation is a key factor in the vast majority of skin problems
As we know antioxidants act as a natural anti-inflammatory and inflammation is a key factor in the vast majority of skin problems. A superior antioxidant known as Pycnogenol®, a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine tree, has been shown to inhibit the trigger which governs the pro-inflammatory response in immune cells. Oral application of Pycnogenol® to human volunteers was shown to significantly inhibit the trigger by 15%.
Pycnogenol® is a powerful anti-inflammatory shown to protect the skin from sunburn
In the study, supplementation of Pycnogenol® in healthy volunteers was shown to inhibit the inflammation caused by UV-exposure and consequently protected the skin from sunburn. The individual UV-dose causing the first signs of sunburnt skin was measured at the start of the study and again after 4 weeks supplementation. The study was conducted with 1 mg Pycnogenol® per kg body weight - this increased the UV-dosage necessary for causing sunburn by on average 60%. Increasing the Pycnogenol® dosage to 1.7 mg per kg body weight for another 4 weeks consequently further increased the average to 85% compared to start values.
Pycnogenol® also found to have significant photo-protective and antiphoto-ageing effects
Furthermore in pre-clinical trials Pycnogenol® was demonstrated to be protective against chronic UV-exposure induced skin malignancies. These findings point to a significant photo-protective and antiphoto- ageing effect of Pycnogenol®.
Pycnogenol® is effective in lightening areas of the skin that are over-pigmented
Pycnogenol® works by inhibiting the production of the pigment melanin which is responsible for skin color. It lowers skin pigmentation intensity so that skin is a more even toned. The study demonstrated that Pycnogenol® is effective in lightening areas of the skin that are over-pigmented, helps diminish skin discolourations, brown spots, and unsightly age spots.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.