Saturday, 16 June 2012

Astaxanthin for skin- Splurge vs Scrimp

Lately, there have been so much buzz about miracle ingredient Astaxanthin in skincare.

Astaxanthin is basically one of nature anti-oxidant which exists in fruits and plants to prevent environmental assault to living tissues. Commonly found in highly pigmented fruits skins, the Xanthin component exists in an enzyme form.

Similar to Super-oxide-Dismutase ( SOD), Xanthin Oxidase works to mop up free radicals in the body to clean up potentially carcinogenic free-radicals which kill or mutates cells. Xanthin oxidase is thought to be more potent that beta-carotene or Vitamin E.

Little is known if topical anti-oxidants work on the surface of the skin to prevent photo-aging or from environmental pollution. We all live on a hope and a prayer. Most likely benefits of anti-oxidants come from dietary sources- so eating richly pigmented fresh fruits and vegetables is likely to yield long term benefit for the skin and tissues to minimise oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress comes from eating hydrogenated fats, overly cooked or processed foods which naturally have poor nutrient contents. There might be some benefit here to eating raw organic produce that is harvested locally and seasonal.

Anyway-- if you are looking for Astaxanthin rich skincare products- there are some alternatives to super expensive  products.

Splurge: ASTALIFT

Astalift Concentrate

Latest in the market where collaborative work is the word du jour, Fuji films makes skincare using photo oxidation principles. So the idea is,, we can prevent the ageing of the skin using similar principles to the prevention of photograph ageing. I like the brilliant minds behind this.

The range is extensive with cleansers, serums, moisturisers, eye creams etc.


'Results are remarkable. 86% of women found their skin more luminous after just 10 days.* *10-day study of 100 women.
AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN, PEG-240/HDI COPOLYMER BIS-DECYLTETRADECETH-20 ETHER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, TRISODIUM ASCORBYL PALMITATE PHOSPHATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, METHYLPARABEN, INULIN LAURYL CARBAMATE, CERAMIDE 6 II, CERAMIDE 3, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), POLYGLYCERYL-10 OLEATE, TOCOPHEROL, ACETYL HYDROXYPROLINE, HAEMATOCOCCUS PLUVIALIS OIL, SUCROSE STEARATE, OLEIC ACID, LECITHIN, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, HYDROLYZED LUPINE PROTEIN, SOLUBLE COLLAGEN'


The above was taken courtesy of the delightfully orange/red heavy website for Astalift

Anyone who knows colour therapy- will know that Orange is a colour for happiness and radiance, so it may be a trick for the eyes to believe that applying orange coloured products is similar to eating fresh oranges or giant red tomatoes ( both fruits are good for the skin incidentally- cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene).


Scrimp : DERMA-E






Age Defying Day Cream with Astazanthin and Pycnogenol
Derma-e Age Defying day cream with ASTAXANTHIN AND PYCOGENOL

INGREDIENTS LIST: Aqua, Glycerin, Caprylic Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Jojoba Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Astazanthin, Pycnogenol, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Polysorbate 20, Citricidal, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrant Oils.

Age Defying Night Cream with Astazanthin and Pycnogenol
Derma-Age defying night creme with Astaxanthin and Pycogenol



INGREDIENTS LIST:  Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Astaxanthin (BioAstin), Pinus Pinaster (Pycnogenol) Bark Extract, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (C-Ester), Dimethicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer (Aristoflex), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.



Comparing the ingredients list for both brands, I like my chances with Derma-E as the ingredients list is a lot less laden with cheminals and parabens. At least, the main ingredient of interest ,Astaxanthin is 7th on the list for Derma-E indicating a likely higher level of concentration. 

Astalift does mention that it utilises the Xanthin from marine algae Haematococcus Pluvialis. 


Astalift retails anything between £19 (cleansers) to £69 ( moisturisers/serums).

Derma-E retails between £20-£35 for the face and eye creams. 

Derma -E can be purchased in most reputable pharmacies - in the UK I found it on VictoriaHealth


Ciao xx




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