Astaxanthin has exploded in popularity as a sought-after antioxidant in the health and wellness sector in recent years. It has a highly recognizable bright red color and can be found in algae, seafood, and some fruits and vegetables. This micronutrient is actually what makes lobsters red and flamingos turn pink from eating so much shrimp. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that can eliminate free radicals and can significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body. According to Healthcare Weekly, there have been over 1,000 peer-reviewed studies that document the many health benefits of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin Is A Powerful Antioxidant
Free radicals, left unchecked, can destroy good cells in the body. Unbalanced free radicals cause oxidative stress which damages your body on a cellular level. It can cause inflammation, speed up aging, and cause a plethora of other medical ailments. Antioxidants keep free radicals in balance and many experts agree that astaxanthin is the best source of antioxidants, over 500 times richer than green tea.
The interesting thing is that although it has a lot of wonderful health benefits, the human body doesn’t make it naturally. To benefit from astaxanthin you’ll need to eat specifics foods or takes supplements. When using astaxanthin for skincare you can use a topical cream or an oral supplement. You’ll get different benefits with each and the combination of both can yield the best results.
The Many Health Benefits Of Astaxanthin
An agent that reduces inflammation in the body has the potential to do a lot of good. Inflammation is the leading cause of many chronic health conditions. So it makes sense that a supplement that reduces inflammation results in optimal health. Here are just some of the main things astaxanthin has been proven to help with:
- Diabetes (Specifically protecting pancreas cells from oxidative stress.)
- Heart Disease (Reduces risk of a heart attack.)
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Regulates Blood Lipids
- Increases Blood Flow
- Reduced Oxidative Stress
- Can Lower Blood Pressure
- Protects Against Bacterial Inflammation
- Tames Cancer Cell Growth
- Repairs And Protects Skin
Here Are 5 Specific Ways Astaxanthin Protects The Skin
#1. Youthful Skin
When it comes to skincare, vitamins E and C have always been the go-to for skin repair. Now a new player has taken over. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent and repair cellular damage. The use of a topical cream containing astaxanthin can promote youthful, smooth, and glowing skin. Quickly aging skin can be a symptom of free radical imbalance which is why a great anti-oxidant can help turn things around.
#2. UV Protection
An article posted on the US National Library of Medicine from the Nutrients Journal talks about a double-blind study that proved astaxanthin can protect the skin against UV deterioration. Our skin does just look pretty, it has a very important function. It is the largest organ in the body and its function is to protect us from microorganisms and pathogens that would otherwise enter and harm our bodies. It also serves as a border or barrier for the elements. UV rays from the sun can damage the skin over time. A powerful antioxidant like astaxanthin repairs the skin on a cellular level. The study showed that astaxanthin reduced damage from the UV rays and also prevented moisture loss in the skin which is a side effect of UV damage. The ingredient has also been used to try to create “sunscreen in a bottle.” It’s possible that in the future you can take a pill rather than slather on sunscreen to protect yourself from UV damage.
#3. Reduce Age Spots
Astaxanthin can also help lighten dark spots on the skin, often called “age spots.” Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells in the skin called melanin. The melanin production can speed up as we age and form clumps that show up as darkened spots on the skin. Astaxanthin prevents too much melanin production in the skin and also protects against UV damage that can cause additional age spots. Age spots can be frustratingly hard to cover up with makeup so preventing them and being able to lighten them can go a long way in making your skin look more youthful.
#4. Smooth Wrinkles
Many clinical studies have been done on the way astaxanthin smooths skin wrinkles caused by the deterioration of elastic fibers in the collagen network. As we age the corners of our eyes and cheeks are extremely susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to normal aging, the following things can all lead to wrinkles and prematurely aged skin:
- Excessive UV (sun) exposure
- Poor Diet
- Pollution exposure
- Exposure to chemicals
- Lack of sleep
Many of these things can be combated with antioxidants, which is why astaxanthin has the ability to help smooth skin and give it a more youthful glow. Astaxanthin penetrates the cells and repairs the structures that retain collagen, elastin, and moisture. By providing more elasticity and moisture to the skin, wrinkles are smoothed and filled in. You can use a combination of creams and supplements that contain astaxanthin to help reduce wrinkles.
#5. Restores Moisture To Skin
Excessive dryness causes more wrinkles and a lack of shine to the skin. Astaxanthin increases blood flow and that gives skin better circulation and increases natural water retention. That is how this supplement can help your skin retain moisture, allowing it to appear younger and healthier. It’s no secret that well-hydrated skin gives you that dewy glow that all skincare enthusiasts strive for.
While you can find astaxanthin in some foods, it is usually only a trace amount. The best way to benefit from this amazing micronutrient is to use a combination of topical cream and an ingestible supplement. Astaxanthin has been shown to work best when used in this combination. The wellness market is flooded with products and supplements right now that boast astaxanthin as a main active ingredient. Look for organic sources with high concentrations of the active ingredient for the best results.
Author bio: Marina Turea works as content manager at Digital Authority Partners and a huge proponent of healthy living habits.