Goopy, globby SPF seems like a necessary evil.
In order to keep your skin healthy for the long run, you know that you need to apply sunscreen on the daily. But even the best formulations out there feel pretty sub-par. Conventional sunscreens might go on smooth, but they’re loaded with chemicals and have that distinct smell. Plus, they contain ingredients like wax and fillers that can cause serious breakouts and skin irritations. And eco-friendly green beauty offerings usually contain fewer chemicals but more physical sunscreens (like zinc oxide) which often gives them a strange tint and texture.
And eco-friendly green beauty offerings usually contain fewer chemicals but more physical sunscreens (like zinc oxide) which often gives them a strange tint and texture. Either option you go with will protect your skin from future sun damage and sunburn … but in the present, it’ll make your complexion look less-than-stunning.
So what if I told you there was a pill that could not only make your skin look amazing—dewy, glowy, moisturized—but also protect you from sun damage? Hello, astaxanthin. Pronounced “asta-ZAN-thin,” astaxanthin is a carotenoid found in algae, shrimp, lobster, crab and salmon that gives them their pinkish red color. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it helps prevent cell damage and eradicates free radicals from the body. According to Rice University, “Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules.” Free radicals can be traced back to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer—including skin cancer. Antioxidants are basically your body’s best line of defense when it comes to free radicals!
Astaxanthin is like a mega-antioxidant. It’s able to be absorbed by every cell in the body and cross the blood-brain barrier, unlike other compounds like carotenoids and lycopene. And it’s far more powerful than comparable other antioxidants: According to a 2007 study, astaxanthin is 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than green tea catechins, and 75 times stronger than alpha lipoic acid.
When taken internally, astaxanthin’s antioxidants have sun protective qualities—a lot like sunscreen. Now, should you totally ditch your topical SPF? No way. But taking astaxanthin can certainly help protect your cute little face and make your skin look amazing in the meantime!