Astaxanthin is a powerful natural antioxidant part of the carotenoid family, which gives it its reddish-orange hue. The astaxanthin used in skincare products is mainly derived from the haematococcus algae, while the remainder is derived from seafood such as shrimp. The antioxidative prowess of astaxanthin is said to be 10 times that of other carotenoids and 100 times higher than that of vitamin E. So if you’re reading the ingredients list, look for haematococcus if you can’t find astaxanthin.
What can astaxanthin do for us?
First, astaxanthin is able to resist and scavenge free radicals. Free radicals are produced as our skin endures sun exposure, air pollution, makeup, radiation and other harmful substances we come into contact with daily. The free radicals damage cell structures and prevent the production of collagen and other beneficial substances. Over time, the skin will face problems such as sagging and dullness.
Second, astaxanthin can minimise wrinkles. Human skin is composed of the epidermis, dermis and the hypodermis fat layer. The dermis contains fibres such as collagen that support and give structure to the skin as well as give it a smooth surface. Astaxanthin can reduce the damage done to collagen and ensure the skin’s normal metabolism.
Finally, astaxanthin can brighten the complexion and reduce pigmentation. Studies have found that astaxanthin is able to absorb large amounts of UVA rays and provide sun-protective qualities while hastening the repair of sunburned skin. Those who are exposed to a lot of sunlight should add skincare products containing astaxanthin to their beauty routine.
Who is astaxanthin for?
Because astaxanthin has free radical scavenging properties, we recommend everyone to use it. But if you’re expecting or are allergic to seafood, please seek medical advice before using it. Else, ensure that the formulation is vegan or that the astaxanthin is harvested from algae sources.