“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” Leonardo da Vinci
Randomly looking for new promising foundations i came across the brand Astalift, which has one ingredient i recognized from my university lectures about color chemistry in nature: Astaxanthine. It is a member of the carotenoid family, a dark red pigment and the main carotenoid found in algae (see picture above) and aquatic animals such as krills (read more here). If you ever wondered why your shellfish turn pink in hot water or where the salmon meat color comes from, it is all ascribable to Astaxanthine. So what is it allegedly doing in our foundation?
It is primarily a powerful antioxidant. It has the capacity to quench free radicals and reactive species of oxygen and to inhibit lipid peroxidation and there are studies that have shown astaxanthin 500 times stronger than vitamin E and much more potent than other carotenoids such as lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene. Astaxanthin found inside cells protects against oxidative damage by three general mechanisms: Quenching of singlet oxygen (read here why possibly bad for skin) and dissipating the energy as heat, scavenging of radicals to prevent or terminate chain reactions and preservation of membrane structure thereby inhibiting membrane lipid peroxidation. I found an abstract (here) that shows success in preventing UV-induced skin damage using a topical application of a liposomal formulation containing Astaxanthin (which can be a foundation, too). It is only soluble in lipids by the way, so if you want to take your Astaxanthin supplement -you may not need if you regularely eat seafood and algae- be sure to not have some kind of fat-free diet. Anyways it still needs more evidence and research to fully convince me to buy a 50 dollar créme or makeup but it seems like a nice promising basic antioxidant ingredient to me. Best, Ea Birkkam.