Astaxanthin and skin health
"…Astaxanthin’s ability to suppress post UVB hyper-pigmentation in humans was already revealed in 1995 (Yamashita, 1995). The reddening (erythema) of our skin after exposure to UV irradiation is a leading cause for hyper-pigmentation and was found to be reduced by both synthetic and natural forms of Astaxanthin.
Healthy adult men (7) were topically treated with Astaxanthin on their backs by occlusive dressing, 24 hours prior to UVB irradiation. The erythema grade was measured periodically and the hyper-pigmentation grade was measured one week after irradiation. Statistically significant suppression of hyperpigmentation (lower melanin index) was measured in tests using natural Astaxanthin when compared to a control group.
Synthetic Astaxanthin showed some suppression, though statistically non-significant. Furthermore, natural Astaxanthin demonstrated faster recovery times of the erythema index, suggesting anti-inflammatory properties that together with inhibition of melanin formation may contribute to the reduction of hyper-pigmentation.
Since Astaxanthin does not absorb UVB light, the mechanism of erythema suppression might be related directly with oxidation of melanin that is produced in response to UV radiation.
“A subsequent work was performed with 16 healthy women with dry skin, albeit Astaxanthin was given orally and combined with another novel antioxidant, tocotrienol (Yamashita, 2002). In this double blind clinical study, a noticeable improvement to skin condition was achieved, as reflected in elevated skin moisture content and reduced wrinkle appearance than in a placebo control group."
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