Astaxanthin is a type of carotenoid antioxidant derived from algae. A new study has shown it may protect your skin from the aging effects of UV radiation. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. It involved 65 healthy women who took an astaxanthin supplement for 16 weeks. Results showed it protected their skin against wrinkles and loss of skin moisture. It also improved the elasticity of their skin compared to the women taking a placebo.

Additional studies have shown that astaxanthin inhibits the production of inflammatory chemicals by skin cells when they are exposed to UV radiation. The inflammatory chemicals break down collagen and elastin fibers, and increase the risk of pigmentation changes to the skin.

The lead author of the study has stated that “Long term astaxanthin supplementation may prophylactically inhibit skin deterioration induced over time by environmental damage and consequently retard the skin aging process via its anti-inflammatory effect”.

Astaxanthin is a remarkable antioxidant that acts like a natural sunscreen. It is a carotenoid antioxidant produced by a type of microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis. This algae produces astaxanthin when its water supply dries up, thereby protecting itself from excessive harmful UV radiation in sunlight. Astaxanthin can have the same benefits in your body, helping to reduce age spots, freckles, wrinkles and sunburn. Unfortunately astaxanthin is not found in many foods; it is basically only found in the animals that eat the algae, such as wild salmon, shellfish and shrimp. If you don’t eat those foods regularly, or you are concerned about the health of your skin, an astaxanthin supplement will help.