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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

The Ingredient Series 02: Pycnogenol

The Ingredient Series 02: Pycnogenol

The Ingredient Series 02: Pycnogenol



Pycnogenol: the ingredient you’ve never heard of with skin benefits you’ve never seen before. Welcome to our second installment of The Ingredient Series, where we take a deep dive into the ingredients we carefully handpick to formulate our Disco products.

Pycnogenol derives from the French Maritime pine tree and can also be found in grape seed, witch hazel bark, or peanut skin. It’s a potent antioxidant that can help neutralize oxidative stress in the skin. 

An Anti-Aging Superhero

Studies using pycnogenol on the skin have shown an overwhelming amount of benefits in reducing the signs of aging. 

In a study used on postmenopausal women, pycnogenol significantly improved skin elasticity and hdyration. Ingredients that bolster the moisture barrier and increase the skin’s ability to retain hydration are essential as anti-aging ingredients. This will help reduce wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, it also stimulated the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, two important naturally occuring chemicals in the skin that contribute to anti-aging. 

In an animal study, pycnogenol was able to speed up wound healing and reduce the appearance of scars. It decreased the amount of free radicals on the skin, and increased skin cell regeneration. 

Antioxidant + Prevents UV Damage

Pycnogenol is highly absorbent into human skin, which makes it an intrinsically effective skincare ingredient. It penetrates deep, and has lasting effects. 

It’s known to recycle oxidized Vitamin C and other naturally occurring oxidative species, making it a very potent antioxidant compared to others. What this means for the skin is accelerated collagen production and a decrease in redness, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation.

Last, Pycnogenol is a naturally occurring UV Ray blocker. When applied after UV exposure, it can significantly reduce inflammation, skin thickness, and irritation related to sunburn and sun damage. 

We were looking for an ingredient that would naturally brighten the skin from the deep dermal layers and up, without irritation. Pycnogenol ended up being the perfect match for our Repairing Eye Stick because as is the name, the serum repairs and restores the most tender part of our face skin, the undereye area. 

When we lose hydration and have decreased blood circulation (i.e. not getting enough sleep), the blood flows to the area under our eyes, and because the skin is thin and fragile here, it can be very noticeable and difficult to improve the appearance of this area. This causes dark circles. A lack of electrolytes and dehydration can contribute to puffiness under our eyes, and aging usually means our eyes naturally begin to form fine lines and wrinkles. Pycnogenol counteracts all of these aging factors through antioxidation, regenerating skin cell turnover and collagen production, and absorbs quickly into the skin. 

Bottom Line

Pycnogenol is a holy grail ingredient to incorporate into your skincare routine. The best step in your routine to use it in is a serum or eye cream, as this area of the skin needs the most TLC when it comes to repairing and nourishing products. 

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