Astaxanthin: A natural remedy for radiant skin

Life Extension Europe: Skin particles

What is astaxanthin? Astaxanthin is a potent red carotenoid and is found in specific microalgae. 

It's known for its remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In the past, it has been known for its contributions to the eye (1), brain (2), and heart health (3). Recent scientific discoveries highlight its role in safeguarding skin health.

Astaxanthin guards against environmental assaults

Scientists have found astaxanthin's capacity to shield the skin. By inhibiting factors which cause skin damage, it fortifies the skin's structure and functionality. (4, 5)

This defense mechanism proves crucial, as aging skin extends beyond aesthetics, impacting overall health and well-being.(6)

Importance of skin health

The skin is a multifaceted organ: (7)

  • Serving as a barrier against infections
  • Regulating body hydration and temperature
  • Acting as the frontline defender against environmental toxins

Signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dryness, signify more than cosmetic concerns. (6) They are indicators of a decline in skin integrity and functionality. (8, 9)

Anti-aging value

Astaxanthin and skin damage reduction

Astaxanthin, with its robust antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, takes on two primary culprits of skin aging: environmental pollutants and UV light exposure. 

Scientific evidence reveals its ability to:

  • Reduce the secretion of MMP-1, a protein-degrading enzyme triggered by air pollution (4, 10)
  • Suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines induced by UV rays (12)
  • Defence against UV damage (4, 11, 13)
  • UV radiation stands as a potent force behind skin deterioration (4, 10, 14)

Astaxanthin emerges as a targeted defender, with studies indicating its ability to prevent UV-induced loss of antioxidants, restoring diminished levels of protective enzymes, and combating the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Astaxanthin supplement: A shield for your skin

Taking astaxanthin orally has been proven to slow skin deterioration caused by age, pollution, and sun exposure. 

Clinical trials demonstrate its efficacy in preventing wrinkles, (15) moisture loss, and UV-induced damage, enhancing both the appearance and health of the skin. (16)

Scientists have discovered astaxanthin's capability to shield the skin from the effects of pollutants and aging. The studies showed that astaxanthin:

  • Can improve skin wrinkles, elasticity, and texture (17, 18)
  • Boost the skin moisture content while reducing skin water loss, (17,18)
  • Inhibits the underlying processes which produce wrinkles and age spots, (17-19)
  • Enhances collagen production in skin cells, which helps maintain or restore the skin's youthful plumpness and firmness. (20)

These findings show that astaxanthin can help prevent the visible signs of skin aging and pollutants, and protect some of its critical barrier functions such as water retention.

Other benefits of astaxanthin

Astaxanthin can also benefits the liver, heart, and immune system. Research suggests that astaxanthin can play a role in promoting cardiovascular health. Read more here.

Astaxanthin dangers: Understanding the risks

While astaxanthin offers a plethora of benefits, it's crucial to approach its supplementation with awareness. Potential interactions or side effects may exist. 

Consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable, especially for those with pre-existing conditions or those taking other medications.

Read more


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  2. Galasso C, Orefice I, Pellone P, et al. On the Neuroprotective Role of Astaxanthin: New Perspectives? Mar Drugs.2018Jul 24;16(8).
  3. Kato T, Kasai T, Sato A, et al. Effects of 3-Month Astaxanthin Supplementation on Cardiac Function in Heart Failure Patients with Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction-A Pilot Study. Nutrients.2020Jun 26;12(6).
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  13. Chen Y-T, Kao C-J, Huang H-Y, et al. Astaxanthin reduces MMP expressions, suppresses cancer cell migrations, and triggers apoptotic caspases of in vitro and in vivo models in melanoma. Journal of Functional Foods. 20172017/04/01/;31:20-31.
  14. Chang MX, Xiong F. Astaxanthin and its Effects in Inflammatory Responses and Inflammation-Associated Diseases: Recent Advances and Future Directions. Molecules.2020Nov 16;25(22).
  15. Zhou X, Cao Q, Orfila C, et al. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Effects of Astaxanthin on Human Skin Ageing. Nutrients. 2021Aug 24;13(9).
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  19. Nakajima H, Fukazawa K, Wakabayashi Y, et al. Abrogating effect of a xanthophyll carotenoid astaxanthin on the stem cell factor-induced stimulation of human epidermal pigmentation. Arch Dermatol Res.2012Dec;304(10):803-16.
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