Astaxanthin – a way to improve our skin?


Dietary supplements have in common that you can often find more applications for them than what they are mainly recommended to. Astaxanthin is such a case. Originally it is particularly famous for dermatological uses. It is worth taking a closer look at what exactly is able to work in our body and whether research is really favourable to what is often offered by the producers.

    Astaxanthin - what is it actually?

    Of course, it's always worth starting from the beginning and presenting exactly what our dietary supplement is. Astaxanthin (ASX) is a xanthophyll carotenoid that was originally isolated from lobsters. Nowadays used in various branches of industry, like:

    • aquaculture
    • food
    • cosmetics
    • nutraceuticals
    • pharmaceuticals

    Commercially, this supplement was used for fish of the Salmonidae family to have their meat have this specific, orange-red colour. Interestingly, about 95% of ASX available on the market is created synthetically through the use of petrochemical products.

    Astaxanthin chemical formulation
    Astaxanthin chemical formulation

    Astaxanthin and the impact on our health

    Because astaxanthin is closely related to other carotenoids like zeaxanthin, lutein and β-carotene, it has many metabolic and physiological properties typical for these supplements. Interestingly, astaxanthin does not convert into vitamin A, which gives it a noticeable difference compared to other carotenoids. In addition, recently there has been quite a lot of interest in what this supplement can do in the case of pharmaceuticals and such things as activities like:

    • anticancer
    • antidiabetic
    • inflammatory
    • antioxidant

    For many people, it may be particularly interesting how astaxanthin affects the health of our skin. Let's take a closer look at those properties.

    Astaxanthin and skin health

    In the case of how ASX can work for our skin, many studies have been done both on animals and humans. The most-known ones were mainly based on how this supplement affects the process of healing of wounds and how it affects DNA damage resulting from UV radiation. In both cases, the positive aspects of astaxanthin were noticed, however, it was considered that more detailed research is still needed, especially for checking what are the relations between dosage of this carotenoid and its actions affecting humans, as there may be significant differences in how it work in dose-dependent manner. An important aspect may certainly be the fact that the supplement was generally recognized as safe, so taking it shouldn’t bring any downsides to us.


    Astaxanthin has certainly been proven beneficial in research, but there are still some uncertainties as to how it affects the health of our body. More tests are still needed, especially on benefits not strictly related to dermatology. It is certainly a supplement that has quite a lot of potential in the future, so it is worth following further information on this topic.

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