One of my favourite ingredients for skin is Astaxanthin. I tend to combine it with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc. Depending on the skin condition, I might also combine Astaxanthin with Burdock, Biotin, Calendula, and Turmeric.
Astaxanthin is derived from the microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis. Astaxanthin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
An 8 week study showed improvements in skin wrinkle (crow’s feet at week-8), age spot size (cheek at week-8), elasticity (crow’s feet at week-8), skin texture (cheek at week-4), moisture content of corneocyte layer (cheek in 10 dry skin subjects at week-8) and corneocyte condition (cheek at week-8). A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study involving 36 healthy male subjects using 6 mg of astaxanthin for 6 weeks. Crow’s feet wrinkle and elasticity and trans-epidermal water loss were improved after 6 mg of astaxanthin daily supplementation for 6 weeks.
Astaxanthin lowered triglycerides and raised HDL-cholesterol in another trial and improved blood flow in an experimental microcirculation model. It improved cognition in a small clinical trial. In several Japanese randomised controlled trials, astaxanthin improved visual acuity and eye accommodation.
Kidd P. Astaxanthin, cell membrane nutrient with diverse clinical benefits and anti-aging potential. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Dec; 16(4): 355-64.
Tominaga K et al. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on humans subjects. Acta Biochim Pol. 2012;59(1):43-7.