Physical Health, Trends, Wellness / Self-Care

This hero Skincare ingredient is more powerful than Vitamin C

Hop on the trend train.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Apr 18, 2022

Aside from retinol, there is no other ingredient that’s quite as celebrated in the skin care world as Vitamin C. It may be because it’s an antioxidant that brightens skin and the appearance of hyperpigmentation. If you’re a fan of Vitamin C (and we don’t blame you), you might want to pay attention to astaxanthin in the future.


Not only can it do everything Vitamin C can, by ways of brightening, evening, and reducing dark spots, but this antioxidant can apparently fight against fatigue and free radical damage. Let’s get into what it is, and what it can do.


What is astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin can be found under the sea. That is, algae, lobster, salmon, and shrimp. It’s a type of carotenoid, and that means it gives you antioxidant benefits like noted above, but sometimes, they’re used to lessen the effects of skin conditions. It’s said to be more than 500 times powerful than Vitamins E and C to boot.


What are the benefits of astaxanthin?

Though we’ve gone over a few of its benefits, lets get into a few more. Its properties are said to fight against free radical damage, which is always a plus in skin care. As you know, we are always exposed to free radicals, the smoke in the air, sun, etc.—and they don’t play nice with our skin—so it’s nice to have an ingredient that protects us from pollutants. Vitamin C also does this, but at a lower level.


This ingredient can also be anti-inflammatory. So if you have a condition where the skin gets inflamed, like eczema, this can be a great benefit to you. Astaxanthin protects the skin barrier and minimizes the enzymes that produce inflammation, which is pretty cool.


How to use astaxanthin

Because it’s found in fish, you can ingest astaxanthin by simply eating seafood. If that’s not your thing, you can also look for it in skincare products or supplements. Some experts and studies suggest that ingesting and using it topically will increase its power, but be careful not to go overboard if you don’t know how it works for you.


As with most ingredients you’re not used to, your best bet is to speak with your doctor or dermatologist before you go all in. Make sure you’re a good candidate for using it. If you have diabetes and autoimmune disorders, for example, you might not be.


You can use it with other ingredients, especially Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E. But, remember to patch test, even after you see a pro — especially if you have sensitive skin. But if you’re ready for brighter and safe skin, get ready for astaxanthin.


Here’s further reading and information on whether you can use Vitamin C and retinol together.


Photo via Shutterstock