Finally! I have been waiting for someone to come out with an affordable version of this product for a long time. There are a few higher end and professional skin care company’s that have about the same percentage of this in their products (or a version of this, not the registered trade name) also without bleaching the color out and they charge a much higher price point for it. Ranging anywhere from $60 to $220 per ounce. Some brands only have it in their professional products at this percentage.
The product can be found at The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5% it is a bit more pricey than some of The Ordinary’s other offerings but at a much lower cost than you can find elsewhere. It is $9.40 for 15ml or .5 oz. The Ordinary has a nice write up about the product:
“Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract derived from the pine bark of French maritime pine trees. It contains procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids that work in synergy to rejuvenate the skin, with the aim of enhancing skin hydration and elasticity. With the ability to selectively bind to collagen and elastin, Pycnogenol® protects these proteins from degradation, helping to nourish the skin from the inside out. Being a unique and powerful antioxidant, Pycnogenol® scavenges for free radicals before they cause damage by oxidative stress. It can also recycle oxidized Vitamin C to restore its activity. The Ordinary Pycnogenol® 5% is free of artificial colours. The formula’s deep red colour is due to the high procyanidin content in Pycnogenol®……..”
Studies on this ingredient started over 35 years ago, but mainly as a daily supplement. Nevertheless, very useful. A 2015 study, stated that it reduced hyperpigmentation and improved skin barrier function. There was another 2012 study, that showed the benefits to human skin included increasing skin hydration and skin elasticity. The study believe it was because it helped increase the hyaluronic acid and collagen levels in the skin. That sounds pretty good to me.
Of course, the most research has been done by Pycnogenol® and they have sponsored a lot of other studies as well. They have all been very favorable and concluded that it works impressively well on improving skin tone and they also showed that not only does it recycle oxidized Vitamin C, but Vitamin E as well. Either way, it adds up to a product I wanted to add to my skin care routine.
This product definitely has the color in it. I like the color because it is what was used in most of the studies.
The percentage may be quite strong for very sensitive skin, but you can mix it with a lotion or a serum. That way you can customize it to whatever your skin can tolerate. Even mix it with Aloe or pure glycerin, if your skin is really sensitive. I can’t find where there is a toxic level to mixing it with anything. I might start mixing it with a bit of my Timeless Coenzyme Q10
It definitely has an oily feel to it. It absorbs into my skin in just a few minutes. However, I have combination skin that is on the dryer side right now. So if you have oily skin, it may take a bit to absorb into your skin and you may have to mix it with something to get the best results.
My experience so far
I have only been using it a short time but I am seriously loving it right now. True, I was super excited to see it on the market at this percentage, color and price point. So I might be a little biased.
It hasn’t started evening out my skin tone. Honestly, it is going to take a bit to see any real improvement.
Of course, I will be posting an update in the future. Since, I have seen this product apply in facials, I am super excited for daily use for a longer period of time. I hope I am not disappointed.