Astaxanthin: Algae and Antioxidant & Role in Skin Care

Beneficial antioxidants can come from a variety of places; the most familiar sources are fruits and vegetables. One particularly potent antioxidant, astaxanthin, comes from a less expected source. Astaxanthin is a brightly colored carotenoid pigment that occurs naturally in an array of living organisms, most notably algae and the fish that feed on it. Several scientific studies have yielded evidence as to astaxanthin’s action as a powerful biological antioxidant. Research showed its strong free radical scavenging potential, as well as its ability to protect the body against oxidative damage and lipids that raise LDL-cholesterol. Additionally, it helps strengthen and maintain cells, their membranes, and tissues. This article will discuss:


In nature, carotenoids are produced by plants and their close, microscopic aquatic cousin micro-algae. Animals cannot synthesize carotenoids, so to reap the nutritional benefit, they must consume the pigments from the plant and algae sources. Astaxanthin, the carotenoid from algae, can be chemically synthesized, although synthetic astaxanthin is used primarily in fish food. The pink tint of crustaceans like shrimp, crawfish, crabs, and lobsters comes from the astaxanthin in the algae they eat. Some fish also obtain coloration from the algae in their diets, the most notable example being the vivid pink flesh of wild salmon. Commercial fish and crustacean farms commonly add astaxanthin to their fish food in order to supplement the lack of natural dietary sources of the healthy pigment. Astaxanthin provides color to these farmed animals, and is also essential for their proper growth and survival.

Astaxanthin as an Algae

Haematococcus algae are an important food source for many marine animals including fish, crawfish, crabs, and lobster. This variety of micro-algae is a particularly rich source of astaxanthin. In fact, one dried kilogram of the algae can contain up to 30g of astaxanthin. Micro-algae swimming freely in pools of water are green. However, when the water dries out the algae are exposed to intense sunlight, and they begin producing large quantities of bright red astaxanthin as a protective mechanism. When astaxanthin’s powerful antioxidant protection kicks in, the algae are kept safe from the harmful UV radiation. Astaxanthin side effects have the ability to help shield your skin in the same way it does algae. Every day, your body and skin are under attack by the billions of free radicals that result from environmental factors and natural bodily processes. Under this stress, cell structure begins to break down, and fine lines, wrinkles, and dry skin are some of the results.

Watch this video for more information about antioxidants:

Role in Skin Care

Carotenoids perform a major antioxidant role by scavenging free radicals. Reactivity rates of cartenoids in the body depend not only on the type of carotenoid in action, but also on the nature of the free radical being acted upon. Astaxanthin, like vitamin E, is a lipophilic antioxidant. This means it is fat-soluble, and therefore exerts its antioxidant properties in lipid-rich cell membranes and tissues. Research has shown that astaxanthin can improve the appearance of skin in a number of ways including:

  • Diminish appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduce puffiness around the eye
  • Hydrate skin
  • Calm inflammation
  • Help restore even, smooth pigmentation

Dr. Perricone’s Skin and Total Body Dietary Supplements are an excellent way to add the power of astaxanthin to your diet. The Perricone discounts available make it an even better way to add to your diet.


The Doctor is "in" on Facebook.

9 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Oh, Good gald to see your views about resveratrol.I’m also looking for resveratrol supplements. I found a lots of websites online.
    and i have read some other idea about resveratrol-anti-aging: , are they true or not?
    Anyway, I’ll try resveratrol soon.

  2. I just want to add that it would be an honor to be chosen as a tester for Dr.Perricone. I would be very truthful and would not tell you what you want to hear. I too truly believe in your products or I would not use them. The proof in in how beautiful my skin has blossomed into the youthful flower it once was!!! And then some!!!
    Sincerely, Your very loyal client, Rita

  3. I started taking Astaxanthin several years ago in a supplement called Vision Enhancement to help my eyesight; my eye doctor approved. I am 64 and have never had to wear corrective lenses. About the same time I started taking fish oil, also for eyesight, and noticed how nice my skin became. I happen to love salmon (buy the Alaskan only) and red bell peppers and eat these foods several times a week. I would be interested to see if Dr. Perricone’s supplements would further help my skin.

  4. Hi, I’ve had some difficulty finding astaxanthin in a supplement. I’d like to try this one.

  5. I am fascinated by this,I wrestle with finding food sources that are healthy and not too high on the food chain.
    I am thrilled with this information

  6. As I mentioned on another blog, Dr. Perricone’s “diet” recommendations definitely have a positive effect on skin. Mainly, I’m referring to his recommendations for wild-caught salmon. I’m going to try his dietary supplements. Will let you know if I see a difference.

  7. because i don’t eat fish as often as i should with all the mercury, this would be a good product to test!

  8. I do not eat fish, This would be a good addition to all my beauty regime

  9. I wonder if the astaxanthin in algae is as active in the body as what is found in fish.