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Skin Care, Skin Health

What Is Astaxanthin? Explore This Antioxidant's Beauty Benefits

by Liz Thompson
April 25, 2024

Antioxidants have long been renowned for their contributions to skin health, and they each have unique properties to help you achieve your best complexion. If you haven't already, it's time to meet the latest antioxidant superstar in the beauty world: astaxanthin. So, what is astaxanthin, and how is it different? Read on to discover what antioxidant astaxanthin can do for your skin and how to get it into your skincare routine stat.

Everything You Need To Know About Astaxanthin

Getting the most bang for your beauty bucks is key to a well-rounded skincare routine, and choosing your skincare ingredients thoughtfully is at the core of this pursuit. Astaxanthin lives up to its reputation with a long, beautiful list of skin benefits.

What Is Astaxanthin, Anyway?

According to board-certified dermatologist and Ayurvedic practitioner Dr. Raja Sivamani, astaxanthin is "an ingredient derived from algae that is a strong antioxidant shown to help improve skin health and hydration."

Astaxanthin, which can also be found in certain types of fish and seafood, is a carotenoid (a class of yellow, orange and red pigments) that can improve the look and feel of skin through topical use (in astaxanthin skincare products) and dietary use (through astaxanthin supplements). In general, antioxidants reduce the appearance of oxidative stress on the skin, which can show up as skin disease, chronic inflammation and signs of aging.

Carotenoids have strong antioxidant, repairing, anti-inflammatory and potential anti-aging properties — and astaxanthin is one of the most potent carotenoids on the market.

How Astaxanthin Benefits Your Skin

Now for the specifics on what this ingredient can do for your skin.

Hydrates Skin

Skin hydration is essential to a smooth, glowing complexion. Dr. Sivamani explains that astaxanthin "has been shown in studies to improve skin hydration by pulling water into the superficial layers of the skin." Basically, astaxanthin helps ensure that the water that's already in your body makes its way out to the surface of your skin, helping to improve tone and texture.

Prevents Photoaging

Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, astaxanthin can help protect your skin from reacting to environmental factors like ultraviolet light and low humidity, which can result in photoaging and hyperpigmentation. One study found that astaxanthin supplements may actually prevent age-related skin concerns when used long term, reducing the accumulation of skin damage and discoloration over time.

Diminishes Fine Lines

The study also concluded that taking oral astaxanthin supplements can prevent moisture loss, minimizing wrinkle formation. This supports the idea that dual-action skin hydration through topical products and oral beauty supplements can work together to help keep your skin looking plump, smooth and supple, stopping crow's feet in their tracks.

Improves Elasticity

Again, skin hydration is one of the most important ways you can keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. In part, this is because dehydrated skin loses elasticity (the thing that makes your skin "spring back" after you pinch it). Two clinical studies found that daily astaxanthin supplementation improved skin elasticity, texture and hydration in men and women in as little as six weeks.

Delivers Skin Moisture

What's the difference between skin hydration and skin moisture? In short, hydration refers to water, while moisture refers to oil — and your skin needs both. When your skin is dehydrated, your skin cells shrink, making your complexion look sallow, sunken and dull. This can happen when you don't drink enough water or consume enough hydrating foods. It can also happen if you don't provide your skin with products that contain hydrating topical ingredients, which attract water to the outermost layer of skin.

Moisturizing skincare products, on the other hand, create a protective layer to trap lubrication and decrease moisture loss. Astaxanthin is both hydrating and moisturizing to the skin — a beauty one-two punch.

How To Add Astaxanthin to Your Skincare Routine

To recap: Astaxanthin is a powerful moisturizer, helping skin feel hydrated and plumped while diminishing the appearance of fine lines and discoloration. What more could you ask for? If you're eager to get this antioxidant powerhouse in your regular skin health lineup, you have two options. Healthy skin works from the inside out and the outside in, so it's about what you put in and on your body.

Supplements

Astaxanthin supplements are an easy, effective way to give your skin those beauty benefits. Dr. Sivamani believes anyone can benefit from taking astaxanthin supplements, with typical results showing in four to eight weeks. Neutrogena® Skin Hydration Astaxanthin Gummies with Vitamin C 60CT are formulated with dermatologists and are clinically tested to support real results. Just chew two gummies daily for a healthy, hydrated, fresh complexion.

Topicals

As for your topical skincare routine, add in products that contain antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, as well as astaxanthin. Choosing antioxidant-rich products made specifically for your skin type and layering in the proper order (antioxidant serums and treatments before moisturizing) can help you double down on everything these ingredients have to offer.

Get your most beautiful skin by starting on the inside and welcoming astaxanthin to your healthy skin routine with delicious, berry-flavored gummies.


FAQ

Does astaxanthin tighten skin?

Astaxanthin improves the appearance of skin elasticity. It hydrates skin and diminishes the visible effects of environmental and age-related skin issues, resulting in smooth, youthful-looking skin.

Do astaxanthin supplements improve collagen?

Neutrogena® Skin Hydration Astaxanthin Gummies with Vitamin C are formulated with two powerful antioxidants: astaxanthin and vitamin C. A match made in heaven, astaxanthin supports skin hydration while vitamin C protects the skin's vital collagen.

Does astaxanthin improve signs of aging?

Studies show that astaxanthin's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and skin-hydrating properties visibly improve signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, loss of firmness and dryness.

Are there astaxanthin side effects?

Oral astaxanthin supplements may not be recommended for people with certain health issues or who are taking certain medications. Talk to your doctor before use if you're pregnant, nursing, taking medicine or are under a doctor's care for a medical condition.



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I’m a freelance copywriter for beauty and wellness brands and creative entrepreneur with an expertise in green beauty.

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