Against wrinkles, acne and dull skin we can do a lot not only with face and body creams and natural remedies but also with diet and supplements. The scientists (Vollmer et al, Int J Mol Sci, Oct 2018) are focusing their attention now on the protective and repairing effects on the skin of some substances that act from the inside once they are introduced in the body through diet or supplements. In the previous post we have seen the benefits, if some precautions are used, of collagen and beta carotene, today we’ll speak about two other beauty ingredients, astaxanthin and zinc.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid characterized by a powerful antioxidant action. It is also the pigment that gives the red orange color to lobster, tuna, salmon and krill, a little crustacean that lives in the cold water of the oceans. This substance is beneficial for the general health of the body, indeed, according to scientific studies, astaxanthin protects the gastric mucosa, the liver, the heart and the brain, it is anti cancer and anti inflammatory (Yuan et al, Mol Nutr Food Res, Jan 2011). Moreover, in addition to these properties, astaxanthin has also a targeted protective action on the skin, by counteracting skin aging and the damages caused by UV rays and free radicals and by preventing or, in case, repairing the damages to DNA. Then, astaxanthin acts by protecting and stimulating the collagen, it is able to reduce the wrinkles, improves the skin appearance in case of dark skin spots and increases the hydration and elasticity of cutaneous tissues (Davinelli et al, Nutrients, Apr 2018 – Mizutani et al, Jap J Cos Chem, 2005). These effects may be obtained with astaxanthin-based supplements, that you can easy find in herbalist’s and chemist’s shops. The dosage of astaxanthin used in the tests and that showed all the mentioned benefits is 2-6 mg, taken for a period from 1 month to 3 months. If taken at these doses, astaxanthin is considered safe. Also krill oil pearls contain astaxanthin.
Zinc is a trace element that plays a pivotal role for the properly functioning of the body. This element is important indeed for the immune response, blood clotting and wound healing, it protects from oxidative stress and DNA damages. At skin level zinc is helpful to heal wounds, is ideal in case of acne and pimples but it helps also to maintain skin structure (Cervantes et al, Dermatol Ther, Jan 2018 – Prasad AS, Nutrition, 1995). It is necessary to guarantee a daily intake of zinc because the body accumulates this element just for a short period, for this reason a good choice may be to introduce zinc with a varied diet that includes also good sources of zinc such as cereals, for example wheat germ or whole grain bread, dairy products and shellfish. Since both a zinc deficiency and an excess of this trace element may induce problems to the body, it is better to take zinc through diet and avoid supplements, if not prescribed by the doctor.