In fact, astaxanthin acts as almost an internal sunscreen (don’t use this as an excuse to stop wearing actual sunscreen), blocking UVB ray damage and managing the resulting inflammatory response.* Studies show astaxanthin delays UV-exposure-induced damage, which means fewer painful burns now and fewer wrinkles later.* Studies show this too: In a 16-week clinical trial, participants who supplemented with astaxanthin saw improvements in skin elasticity, while those who did not supplement saw worsening wrinkles.* This research points to a potentially protective role of astaxanthin against sun-exposure-induced skin damage.*
Another area it helps with is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is what happens when there are too many free radicals in the body—from UV damage, yes, but also environmental aggressors, inflammation, and many other things—and it’s no longer able to deal with the buildup. Prolonged and chronic oxidative stress can lead to disease, cognitive decline, and visible signs of aging, like wrinkles. Astaxanthin is known for being particularly effective at dealing with free radicals, thus stopping oxidative stress before it starts. It is known to be five times more potent than beta-carotene and a whopping 6,000 times more potent than vitamin C.*
Finally, astaxanthin has been shown in recent studies to enhance tone and vibrancy.* In one study, participants who took the antioxidant saw visible improvement in their skin’s overall appearance, noting it looked brighter, younger, and more awake.