Have you ever heard of astaxanthin (pronounced as-ta-ZAN-thin)? This little-known nutrient is one of the most powerful youth-restoring antioxidants you can find – it’s even more powerful than beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Read on to find out what exactly astaxanthin is and what the amazing things are that it can do for your skin.
What is astaxanthin?
Let’s start with the basics: Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant classified as a carotenoid. It’s not produced by the body, so you need to get it through food or supplements. It is mainly found in marine life such as microalgae, crabs, crayfish, crustaceans, krill, lobsters, red trout, shrimp, salmon or wild salmon, as well as some wild berries. Its best natural source is the microalgae known as Haematococcus pluvialis. It’s also what gives flamingos and salmon their bright pink color.
Since it’s hard to acquire astaxanthin in significant amounts through diet alone, the potent antioxidant is available in supplements and some skincare products. Always look for natural astaxanthin; it is fat-soluble and has a chemical structure that is much more readily absorbed by the body. It’s best consumed with a meal.
6 Reasons to use astaxanthin for skincare
Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature
Research shows that astaxanthin is up to 1,000 times more potent than vitamin C; 500 times more effective than vitamin E; and 10 times more powerful than beta-carotene. Research also reveals that astaxanthin is 800 times stronger than coenzyme Q10, 550 times more powerful than green tea catechins, and 75 times stronger than alpha-lipoic acid. It can also enhance the antioxidant effect of vitamins C and E. As an antioxidant, astaxanthin filters every cell of the body. It can neutralize multiple free radicals at once, protecting your skin from oxidation and damage.
Astaxanthin maintains healthier skin from within
Astaxanthin is a gem when it comes to maintaining the youthful appearance of the skin, thanks to its ability to sustain important barrier functions like water retention. By improving the function of the skin, its appearance also improves. Astaxanthin reduces skin wrinkles, improves skin elasticity and texture, and boosts skin moisture while reducing skin water loss.
Astaxanthin works as an internal sun lotion
Astaxanthin may also combat minor dark spots, sunburns, freckles, wrinkles, and other unsightly pigmented skin areas associated with sun exposure. Recent studies show that astaxanthin reduces the effect of prolonged exposure to minor UV radiation.
Astaxanthin also has great sun-protective benefits. It has a unique chemical structure that makes it a natural sun lotion, soaking up the harmful stuff before it harms our skin. In addition, astaxanthin prevents minor sunburn, which results in redness and swelling. This effect of astaxanthin can be attributed to its ability to combat oxidative stress.
Whether you take it orally or apply it topically, astaxanthin is well-absorbed by the body and reaches all layers of your skin. Studies show that the skin gets considerably less damage if it is pre-treated with astaxanthin before sun exposure. Research reports that ingestion of astaxanthin can reverse the effects of prolonged sun exposure and improve wrinkling and can keep the skin hydrated. You don’t have to worry in case you forgot to take or apply astaxanthin before basking in the sun; your skin can recover quickly from minor sun damage after applying astaxanthin topically. The potent antioxidant properties of astaxanthin protect the skin from prolonged sun exposure or soothe a minor sunburn after its formation.
In addition, astaxanthin supports healthy fibroblasts, which are skin cells that serve as a skin defense system. Fibroblasts provide antioxidant enzymes, as well as reduce the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and scavenge them after formation. ROS forms and builds up when the skin is exposed to sunlight, causing damage.
Overall, astaxanthin provides excellent natural protection from the sun. For better sun protection, it’s best to use topical astaxanthin together with an external natural sunscreen. Some experts also recommend applying a concentrated vitamin C serum with astaxanthin on the skin, together with a natural facial sunblock, for more effective sun protection.
Astaxanthin supports healthy collagen production
Another great thing about astaxanthin is that it supports healthy collagen production in skin cells, which is an important protein when it comes to skin health. This protein is responsible for maintaining the tone, elasticity, and firmness of your skin. Therefore, using astaxanthin can maintain or restore your skin’s youthful plumpness and firmness.
Astaxanthin lightens minor dark spots
Age spots, freckles, and dark eye circles – these are some of the most common signs of aging we experience. But with astaxanthin, these minor skin pigmentations may improve. Because of this, topical astaxanthin is often used as an effective natural agent for lightening skin areas associated with aging.
Astaxanthin supports normal blood circulation
Astaxanthin is shown to support normal blood circulation, which provides various benefits such as improved skin elasticity, and better skin hydration.
Imagine, all these amazing skin health benefits with just one supplement.
Do you know other youth-restoring antioxidants? Let us know in the comments below.
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