Natural beauty and well-being

11 November 2018

How carotenoids can help your skin

Today, I am opening a NEW series on the blog. Every month, I will be talking about a very specific molecule or family of molecules and broadly explain their role for the skin in general. Today, I am super happy to kick off with my first "candidate": CAROTENOIDS.


What are carotenoids?
Carotenoids are fat-soluble plant pigments which can be found in veggies or fruits. They are part of a big family of molecules that comprises many members such as β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids, especially β-carotene, are considered to be major anti-oxidants that help to fight free radicals resulting from UV exposure. Carotenoids cannot be synthesized independently by the body and must be provided by food.


What can carotenoids do for the skin?

They can do a lot.
  • They protect the skin against damaging UV rays at a cellular level.
  • They help to reduce premature signs of aging.
  • they may help to improve the skin suppleness.
  • They indirectly improve skin glow and resistance.

What food are rich in carotenoids?

Food high in carotenoids include veggies and fruits with a strong and vibrant color such as peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, oranges, tomatoes, grapefruits but also carrots and sweet potatoes to name a few. Eggs are well-known to be rich in lutein.

What about carotenoids in skincare products?

Research studies have investigated the topical applications of carotenoids and all seem to lead to the same conclusion: carotenoids (especially lycopene and β-carotene) play an important role in skin health. Investigations have focused on the concentration of carotenoids stocked in the epidermis and their respective distribution following topical application and/or oral intake. Both topical application and carotenoid rich-food intake seem to result in an accumulation of carotenoids in the skin which is good news!

"So, it clearly sounds a good idea to incorporate in your beauty routine skincare products that contain carotenoids in their formulation."

There is a carotenoid that generates a lot of buzz in the skincare industry and I thought it clearly deserves a mention here. It is called Astaxanthin. According to research, Astaxanthin is a promising carotenoid which claims to be 6000 times stronger than Vitamin C, displays potent anti-inflammatory properties, is incredibly moisturising, and is able to scavenge free radicals generated by UV rays. Sounds good, isn't it?

A few beauty ranges have already included this fabulous compound in some of their range such Oskia city life range, Mahalo, Marie-veronique or Maya Chia.

The things you need to remember

Aging is natural. But if you want to help to decrease and minimize any signs of premature ageing, a healthy diet rich in carotenoids is one of the best strategies you could follow in addition to an effective skincare routine using actives- and vitamin-packed products

Always remember that once the skin is damaged by UV rays, even a change of liftestyle/high anti-oxidant diet won't be enough to repair 100% of the damages. 

So my golden rules are:
. use sunscreen (this ONE is my favorite)
. enrich your diet with a powerful anti-oxidant fruits&veggies
. invest in the right skincare products (see HERE)

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