I often receive insightful questions from my readers and welcome the opportunity to share them with you.
A recent one that piqued my interest is the following:
Dear Dr. Perricone,
Does using the Pigment Corrective make the skin more exposed to the sun and cancer, since it inhibits the production of melanin?
Fortunately, the answer to this is ‘no.’
Pycnogenol® is a key antioxidant in the Pigment Corrective formula. This remarkable antioxidant has the unique ability to lighten the skin, diminish skin discolorations, brown spots, unsightly age spots and much more. Moreover, this is the first highly effective and completely safe product to lighten and brighten skin—and when used topically and taken as a supplement at the same time, studies have found the following benefits:
• A visible improvement in the appearance and size of discoloration and brown spots
• An overall brightening of the skin
• Protection against further photo damage
• Gentle exfoliation of damaged cells
• A smoothing of fine lines
• Improved elasticity
And, while Pycnogenol inhibits melanogenesis, (the production of the pigment melanin, responsible for skin color) and lowers skin pigmentation intensity so that skin is more even toned, studies have found it to both safe and effective.
It has been noted that oxidative stress is involved in the over-production of skin pigments. Exposure to sunlight greatly contributes to further oxidative stress. In attempts to remove these over-pigmented areas, aggressive chemical peeling agents are applied to the skin, even though some are known to cause irreversible skin damage.
The good news is that a study demonstrated that oral supplementation of 30 women with Pycnogenol for one month reduced the size of skin affected by hyper-pigmentation significantly by 37%. And, more importantly, the average pigmentation intensity of women taking part in the trial was lowered by about 22%. In this study Pycnogenol was found to be a safe and effective way to achieve a fair skin free of the dark spots or patches safely and without any side-effects.
Oral supplementation of healthy volunteers with Pycnogenol was shown to help prevent UV damage and the resulting photo-aging. Pycnogenol inhibits the inflammation caused by UV-exposure and consequently protects the skin from sunburn.
In pre-clinical trials it was also demonstrated to be protective against chronic UV-exposure induced skin malignancies. These findings point to a significant photo-protective and anti-photo-aging effect of Pycnogenol.
So the news is good, as Pycnogenol helps lighten and brighten the skin while protecting it from further UV damage.