Pycnogenol: The New Magic Ingredient

June 3, 2016

I’ve been trying out Pycnogenol, which is claimed to be the new super ingredient for beautiful, healthy and glowing skin. I was sent *Pycnogenol supplements and *Clarins Double Serum to see if Pycnogenol made any difference to my skin.

What Exactly is Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is french maritime pine bark extract with natural antioxidant properties, which enhance skin elasticity by more than 25 % and binds to collagen leaving skin healthy and glowing. Apparently, Pycnogenol is 50 times more powerful than vitamin E and 20 times more than vitamin C.
Studies have found that Pycnogenol is a potent antioxidant, a natural anti-inflammatory, helps the renewal of collagen and hyaluronic acid, and helps to improve micro-circulation. All sounds very impressive but what does that mean for your skin?
Pycnogenol is said to be effective against several skin problems;
  • Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties Pycnogenol helps prevent and soothe UV and photo-ageing damage (although I don’t recommend it as a replacement for sunscreen)
  • Increased renewal of collagen and Hyaluronic acid helps prevent the first signs of ageing
  • Anti-inflammatory properties lower scar formation and can improve acne
  • Pycnogenol binds to and protects collagen and elastin which can accelerate wound healing
It all sounds very impressive, doesn’t it? But does it actually make any difference? I’ve been testing out Pycnogenol supplements alongside Clarins Double Serum for a few weeks to see if there has been any difference to my skin.

The Supplements


My Pycnogenol supplements were from Holland and Barrett (cost £18.99 for 30 tablets, you can buy here). I’m normally happy to try out new skincare products but testing supplements did seem a little odd to me. Before I started taking these I looked up the possible side effects and there are a few nasty ones (including dizziness, nausea, headaches and ulcers), and it is recommended that if you suffer from any long term health conditions to consult a doctor first. You shouldn’t take any Pycnogenol supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. I did decide to take these, and keep an eye out for any possible side effects, luckily I didn’t have any adverse reactions.

The supplements themselves aren’t the easiest capsules to swallow, I’m normally OK taking pills and capsules but found these difficult to get down. I’ve been taking them first thing with a glass of water, just before having something to eat. I’ve managed to remember most days but have forgotten a couple of times.
Now the important part did they make any difference? To be honest I don’t know. I haven’t noticed any dramatic improvement in my skin. Although because I have a good skincare routine, my skin was already in a fairly good condition (read about my current skincare routine). I’m not too sure what I was expecting but these have been a little disappointing. I know with supplements it can take a few weeks to make any difference but to not notice anything doesn’t fill me with confidence that they’re working. I stopped taking these at the beginning of the week and won’t be continuing with them. As I said I don’t think my skin really needs them, and taking into account the possible side effects I don’t think its worth it. There is also the price to consider, personally. I think £18.99 is way too much for a supplement.

Clarins Double Serum


I was really looking forward to trying this, as I’ve heard so many good things about it. I started using this as soon as it arrived in place of my usual serum. This serum is a mix of an oil based serum and a water-based serum which mix together when you press the pump. Clarins recommend using two pumps but I found that one pump was plenty to cover my face. The texture of this serum is a little greasy feeling, which to be honest isn’t the most pleasant feeling on our face (but it’s not terrible). Because of the unusual texture, I don’t like using this in the morning, as it can leave skin feeling a little slippery. I don’t think it makes a good base for makeup, therefore switched back to my usual serum for daytime. However, I love this product at night as its so moisturising. Skin loves refreshed and glowing in the morning after using this.

The double serum is filled with high-quality ingredients, including Pycnogenol so I can’t say whether or not its the Pycnogenol which makes the different but it must add to it. I would highly recommend Clarins Double Serum to anyone with dehydrated skin looking for a moisturising serum to use overnight. You can find out more about Double Serum and buy here.

Thoughts on Pycnogenol

As I’ve already said as an ingredient in Clarins Double Serum, Pycnogenol has helped make a difference to my skin by keeping it hydrated. However, Clarins use a mix of high-quality ingredients in their products so it’s impossible for me to say whether or not Pycnogenol is the magic ingredient. As a supplement, I didn’t think it made any real difference to my skin and I won’t be continuing to take them. Personally, I don’t like supplements and try to get all the vitamins I need from my food – I just don’t feel that comfortable taking lots of tablets.

Clearly, Pycnogenol has performed well in the studies, but I think like everything else you need to take these results with a pinch of salt (especially about it provide sun protection).

One response to “Pycnogenol: The New Magic Ingredient”

  1. Parie Joshi says:

    Never even heard of this ingredient and its such an eye opener to see that everything can come in supplement form and product – neither is better than the other!

    Parie x

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