We recently came across an article in one of our favorite blogs, the S Life Mag, that shared some surprising information about what seems like a miracle sunscreen supplement. This was exciting, because, like most savvy modern-day women, we're concerned about the chemicals we put on our skin. Sure, we know that wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect ourselves from UV damage (although wearing sun protective clothing is the #1 way to decrease your risk of melanoma), but natural sunscreens that don't contain harmful chemicals can be expensive. If you're using them the way you're supposed to, you might go through an entire bottle on one trip to the beach.
What's a girl to do?
Astaxanthin is a supplement that you can find in your local health food store. It's a natural antioxidant that is found in a specific type of algae. In plants, astaxanthin helps protect against damage from UV light during photosynthesis. When humans take in astaxanthin (you can't get it by eating fruits and veggies--it's only found in the algae that produce it and the sea animals that eat it), our skin cells are protected from sun damage.
More Than Just a Sunscreen Supplement
Astaxanthin does protect your skin from sun damage, but it has more benefits than just that. It can impart your skin with a rosy, bronzed coloring when taken over time. It also helps protect and restore your DNA, actually erasing previous skin damage and eliminating wrinkles. It's like a beauty pill that also protects your skin from the sun. It's a win-win.
A Sunscreen Diet
This isn't just the latest beauty trend, either. One Australian study found that people who got a significant amount of omega-3s from fish lowered their melanoma risk by 40 percent. When you eat a lot of antioxidants, they actually move up when your body is exposed to UV rays, forming a protective shield similar to sunscreen. Although more research is necessary, scientists are finding that astaxanthin may be effective in inhibiting cancer.
How to Take Astaxanthin
You can consume astaxanthin by eating wild salmon that naturally contains the coloring. However, it's more effective when taken as a supplement. If you're buying an astaxanthin supplement, make sure that you choose a natural form. Synthetic astaxanthin is made from petroleum-based ingredients.
Doesn't it sound too good to be true? It's not. Even though more studies need to be done in regards to its link to cancer inhibition, there are several studies that do show that it can protect and repair skin in amazing ways.
If you're interested in trying astaxanthin, don't go whole hog and spend hours in the sun. We still recommend that you protect your skin with sun protective clothing and sunscreen. But you can repair your skin from the inside out and provide added protection with this sunscreen supplement.