What are carotenoids and why are they good for your skin?
Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red organic pigments that are produced by plants and algae, as well as several bacteria and fungi. Carotenoids give the characteristic color to carrots, corn, pumpkins, papayas and tomatoes. It’s also found in marine life including micro algae, wild salmon, red trout, lobsters, crabs, shrimp, and crayfish. It’s a natural pigment that gives certain types of seafood an orange or red hue. Carotenoids are fat soluble antioxidants with powerful anti-aging properties, they play an essential role in neutralizing free radicals. Carotenoids protect skin from UV damage, help to improve skin texture and color, firm and tone the skin, stimulate production of collagen and elastin, slow down aging. There are over 600 known carotenoids. The most common carotenoids are: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin. Some carotenoids transform into vitamin A (retinol). Vitamin A stimulates fibroblasts, which are cells that are essential for tissue development and achieving firm and healthy skin. Vitamin A is also known for its ability to reduce sebum production and for preventing acne. Both oral supplementation and topical application of carotenoids are beneficial for your skin and show significant improvement in skin quality, elasticity and hydration.