Skin care experts avoid vitamin C — because it works better

Skin care experts avoid vitamin C — because it works better

Skin care experts avoid vitamin C — because it works better

There’s a reason everyone is so interested in vitamin C in skin care right now. As an antioxidant, this ingredient protects skin from environmental aggressors, including pollution, which causes dullness and breakouts, and UV

rays, which speed up the aging process. In addition to brightening your skin, it boosts collagen and elastin (the essence of skin's plumpness), leaving it firmer and softer.

No wonder brands add it to their cleansers, serums, and moisturizers. LookFantastic reports that vitamin C is actually one of the most Googled skin-care ingredients this year, along with retinol and hyaluronic acid. But what if

we told you that there's another popular antioxidant vying for the top spot, and one that might be better for those who can't tolerate vitamin C?

What is Pycnogenol? What are its benefits in skin care?

You'd be forgiven if you didn't know what Pycnogenol is or even how to pronounce it (pick-NO-jen-oll). But it's slowly making its way into the skin care world, and according to some industry experts, its benefits shouldn't be


“Topical Pycnogenol is an extract derived from the bark of French maritime pine trees,” explains Dr. Penelope Pratsou, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation. When it comes to skin care

benefits, Dr. Creo Clinic Medical Director Omar Tillo says it's a powerful antioxidant. "Pycnogenol can help stimulate the production of collagen, which is what gives skin its elasticity." As we age, collagen production

decreases, but some studies suggest Pycnogenol can help with this, Tillo explains. question. "It also improves the skin's ability to produce more hyaluronic acid to retain moisture."

This ingredient is an all-rounder because it can reduce skin inflammation (or redness and swelling), says Dr. Pratsou, especially after exposure to sunlight. "It is also thought to detect and neutralize free radicals produced by

sun exposure and pollution." Free radicals are essentially small molecules in the atmosphere that attach to the skin and cause dullness, clogged pores, fine lines and pigmentation. Causes damage in the form of composure. .

How is Pycnogenol different from Vitamin C? Which one is better?

PhD. Pratsou points out that both Pycnogenol and vitamin C are praised for their antioxidant properties, which can protect the skin from the aforementioned molecules floating around in the atmosphere. However, Pycnogenol has been

shown to be more effective than vitamin C in some studies, she said.

PhD. Tillo supports this, saying the ingredient can even help recycle vitamin C products that have oxidized (exposed to air). This often happens if your vitamin C serum comes in a dropper bottle that is opened daily. Typically,

the liquid will appear orange, and that's when you know it's no longer effective on your skin. A few drops of Pycnogenol can reverse this condition.

“Vitamin C and Pycnogenol have both been shown to help prevent and reduce hyperpigmentation and promote collagen production,” adds Dr. Prasu. The news is even better for those who find vitamin C irritating (it often causes

burning and itching of the skin), as Pycnogenol is gentler on the skin and generally well tolerated.

How to use Pycnogenol in your skin care routine?

PhD. Thilo recommends looking for a serum containing Pycnogenol and using it before heavy creams like moisturizer and sunscreen. "I recommend using it once a day in the morning," he says. You can use Pycnogenol alone or in

combination with your favorite Vitamin C serum for improved skin protection.

If you want to skip the serum step, Dr. Pratsou adds that it's also found in many moisturizers and is best applied in the morning before you head out, but you might prefer to use it at night. "There is evidence that it can be

used after sun exposure due to its anti-inflammatory effects," she explains. What are the best skin care products containing Pycnogenol? One of the most talked about Pycnogenol skincare products is Pycnogenol 5% Regular, priced at £8.60. The main benefits of serums are improved skin hydration and increased elasticity. It does this by binding to collagen and elastin (which keep skin plump and smooth). The five star reviews speak for themselves. Some people use the product alone after cleansing, while others mix a few drops with moisturizer for a radiant complexion. Like vitamin C, this product is praised for evening skin tone, reducing texture, and minimizing pores. NIOD Survival 30, priced at £27, contains pine bark extract (its trademark ingredient name is Pycnogenol) and mineral SPF 30 to provide double protection from the elements in the form of sunscreen and antioxidants. After cleansing, simply shake and apply. There’s no need to apply moisturizer or targeted sunscreen afterwards as this gets the job done in one go. Also try Vichy Liftactiv Supreme 15% Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum, £38. This is a super blend of Pycnogenol and 15% Vitamin C. Due to its potency, this serum is more suitable for those who are not stimulated by vitamin C. After cleansing in the morning, apply a few drops to dry skin and follow with moisturizer or broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect skin from UV rays and pollution. If you're looking for a moisturizer, try Derma-E Sensitive Skin Moisturizer, £30. The key ingredient is the antioxidant Pycnogenol, combined with hydrating glycerin and soothing aloe. The addition of vitamin E and jojoba oil is more suitable for people with dry skin. Do Pycnogenol skin care products have side effects? "Pycnogenol is generally well tolerated," says Dr. Pratsou, "It is therefore suitable for use by most people with sensitive skin - unless they are allergic to pine." When introducing a new product or ingredient into your daily routine, it's a good idea to test it on an area of ​​skin (such as the inside of your elbow) before using it on your face to rule out any possible reactions.

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