Would You Pop A Pill Of Internal Sunscreen?
Hello, sunny summer time!
If you’re feeling as eager as we are to get to the beach (or the nearest park, or roof top, or street sun spot), then you are likely, however deep down, simultaneously worrying about protection (from Mr. Sun, that is).
You want to keep your youth, right? You want to love on your skin this summer just as much as you are on your microbiome, but, you maybe don’t want to keep obsessive about applying a chemical cream every so often. Therefore, what’s a summer lover to do?!
Take astaxanthin…that’s what.
Guys, seriously, this stuff is IT. Take it from me, a girl whom at the innocent age of 18 was already diagnosed with melanoma, not to mention having had multiple funky looking freckles taken off my body every single time I saw the derm (which by the way, is three to four times a year). I began taking astaxanthin two springs ago, upon walking into my local health food shop complaining of icky sunscreens, unintentional sunburns and aforementioned skin cancer history. Feeling into my pain, a friend in the vitamin aisle gifted me two (as some sort of incentive to keep popping the pills, I guess) bottles of Hawaiian astaxanthin, so sure that it would change my life and my skin forever. Alas, it sure did.
Here’s the low down on this guy (astaxanthin, not the vitamin friend…) ~
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, and is now scientifically proven to be the most potent antioxidant that nature has to offer! But what are carotenoids, you wonder? They’re the powerful antioxidant properties which give your fruits and veggies such vibrant color — from darker greens and beets, to the vibrant yellow hues of bell peppers and oranges. As a heavy source of antioxidants and vitamin A, carotenoids are critical to the photosynthetic process of protecting plants from the damage of light and polluted oxygen. Therefore, by consuming plants that house these pretty pigments, we benefit same-same. And when it comes to astaxanthin, research has proven it’s ability to protect our skin cells from sun damage and oxygen pollution. Astaxanthin is produced by the micro-algae Haematococcus pluvial as a survival mechanism — to act as a “force field” from ultraviolet radiation. So when we ingest the stuff, again, it does same-same, becoming an internal sunscreen, if you will.
Fun fact: Astaxanthin is what gives salmon and flamingos their pink color. And no, it will definitely not turn your own skin pink, but, if taken in good quantities over a period of time, astaxanthin will give you a nice, bronzed tan, and keep any sunburn at bay.
Astaxanthin is by FAR the most powerful internal antioxidant when it comes to UVA + UVB protection, plus various free-radical scavenging and radiation safeguarding (even from airplane flying). It is 65 times more powerful than Vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene, and 14 times more powerful than vitamin E. Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier, which fellow carotenoids beta-carotene and lycopene do not do, making it a super potent DNA protector and repair-man. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties (which is all a sunburn is anyways). And, bonus: There have been zero adverse reactions found for anyone taking astaxanthin. It’s a no-brainer win-win.
In 2002, a study in Japan had 40 women taking just 2mg daily (we recommend taking at least 8 to 12mg daily during spring and summer months!) over the course of four weeks. After only two weeks, every woman showed tremendous skin improvement, and after four weeks, even more so. Benefits included fewer fine lines, more moisture (that dewy glow), increased skin elasticity, smoother surface, fewer wrinkles, and far less under-eye puffiness. Yes, please.
I, personally, stopped taking astaxanthin about a year after that friendly gift, but recently started up again, as I’m remembering the wonders its powers worked on me way back when. I can definitely attest to what the Japanese women experienced in '02, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I certainly want that again for summer 2016. Anyone else? Anyone taken astaxanthin, or some other form of “internal sunscreen” before? Share in the comments below! What more can a summer lover do?!