Understanding the label on the back of your supplements jar can be mind boggling at times. Here at Form we think it’s important for our customers to fully understand what they’re buying and putting into their bodies, which is why we’re here exploring one of the lesser known ingredients in our Radiant beauty supplement: Astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is made by microalgae that produce it as a protective antioxidant in response to light or other environmental stressors. Pinkish red in hue, the antioxidants in astaxanthin bioaccumulate in those organisms that eat it like krill, salmon, and flamingoes, giving these species their scarlet colouring (don’t worry, the astaxanthin in our Radiant supplement comes from vegan sources).
Within the wide antioxidant spectrum, astaxanthin is more accurately understood as carotenoid, which is a class of more than 750 naturally occurring pigments synthesized by plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria.
Astaxanthin is a very powerful carotenoid, so much so that it’s been dubbed the king of this antioxidant class. For some perspective, astaxanthin is believed to be five times more potent than beta-carotene — the oft mentioned carotenoid found in carrots — and it’s this power that makes it a real secret weapon when it comes to looking after your skin.
Astaxanthin Skin Benefits
Before diving into the astaxanthin specific science, let’s first remind ourself of just what antioxidants can do for our skin.
Antioxidants have many functions in the skin, their key role being to neutralise damage to cells and structures in the skin by free radicals which are reactive molecules produced when the skin is damaged, for example by UV light and certain metabolic processes. Free radicals cause damage by binding to proteins (‘oxidation’), which changes their structure and then stimulates the body to produce inflammation in the skin, which then cause breakdown of proteins in the skin and other tissues. Antioxidants essentially stop these ‘oxidative’ processes to prevent this protein damage.
Astaxanthin — as a very powerful antioxidant — is especially effective at neutralising damage, with a 2012 study finding that daily oral and topical supplementation with astaxanthin improved skin texture and elasticity, reduced age spot size, and even addressed crow’s feet, while a 2018 study found that astaxanthin delays the impacts of UV exposure, which means less painful bright red skin now and fewer wrinkles later in life.
Beyond Your Skin
Antioxidants are great for your skin, but battling oxidative stress also has plenty of plus points elsewhere in your body. A study out of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University found short and long term benefits of taking astaxanthin for the treatment of breast cancer, including reduced growth of breast cancer cells, while a 2006 study looking at astaxanthin’s effects on rats with high blood pressure indicated that it may help to improve elastin levels and arterial wall thickness.
Besides helping prevent various diseases, astaxanthin might also have a positive effect on your workouts by affecting endurance levels and feelings of fatigue after exercise. A study from Tokyo University on mice showed that astaxanthin can boost the body’s use of fatty acids you see, which in turn helps endurance while also preventing muscle and skeletal damage.
Radiant combines scientifically-backed nutrients for healthy hair, skin and nails with Coll-egan® for vegan collagen support. An innovative first, Radiant is more than just a beauty supplement, it’s all the nutrients you need to shine.