Collagen vs Astaxanthin: The Secret to Great Skin
You may or may not have already known that for all the existing species in the world, the largest external organ is the skin. For humans in particular, it has a total area of approximately 20 square feet. It protects us from microbes and other external elements, regulates the body temperature and is a conduit for our sense of touch. Not only is it a functional protectant on the outer layer of our bodies, but having a healthy skin also helps with giving off a positive first impression.
Today, countless skincare and supplement brands are delivering new products every month and every year to pitch to their consumers. These products are designed to assist the consumers to achieve their ideal condition of the skin. The question is: How effective really are these products?
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the main component of the skin. Along with elastin and soft keratin, collagen acts to maintain skin strength and elasticity. Over time as we age, our collagen production declines. Environmental factors like UV light and smoke from pollution also contribute significantly to the degeneration of collagen. Although an adequate amount of UV light exposure is essential for the production of vitamin D in the skin, overexposure can easily result in increased pigmentation and reduced elasticity. This results in a less firm and dense skin, which consequently affects its ability to protect our body. Fine lines and wrinkles gradually appear, leading to an unhealthy appearance for the skin.
What You Should Know About Collagen Supplements
The majority of the skin supplements available in the market contain collagen. Collagen naturally exists as a structural protein throughout the body in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It is one of the main substances to hold the body together. Our bodies naturally synthesize endogenous collagen, whereas exogenous synthetic collagen comes from outside sources, such as supplements.
Although collagen is now widely used in supplements for skin health and cosmetics, many experts remain divided and sceptical about the benefits collagen brings. Collagen is hydrolysed for reduction into a smaller peptide for easier consumption and higher absorption in the form of functional foods and dietary supplements. These peptides are transported in the bloodstream to each individual target area, such as the skin, where it acts as building blocks for local cells to help and boost the production of new collagen.
However, there is an inadequate amount of trials on collagen supplements to provide evidence for this theoretical framework. The amount of robust and high-quality scientific studies to confirm the mechanisms of collagen peptides is lacking. Until a sufficient number of experimental trials are published, collagen supplements’ health benefits remain inconclusive.
Astaxanthin: An Alternative to Collagen Supplements
While the effect of collagen remains unresolved, a healthy diet and lifestyle can ensure a competent amount of peptides production to increase collagen regeneration. This includes a balanced diet of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as obtaining sufficient sleep and avoiding excessive stress.
What Is Astaxanthin?
The freshwater microalgae Haematococcus Pluvialis produces astaxanthin to protect the cells from being exposed to environmental stress, such as intense UV light, drastic temperature changes, low availability of nutrients and high salinity. Astaxanthin is known to be the most powerful and potent antioxidant in the world, with plenty of health benefits proven by scientific findings and papers internationally.
The effects of astaxanthin on the skin have been examined both as a dietary supplement and a topical application. Its advantageous chemical structure allows it to be absorbed along with dietary lipids into intestinal cells to be quickly digested, then secreted back into circulation for delivery to the tissues. It is also known as the only antioxidant that is capable of penetrating every cell in the body, allowing it to balance out the harmful free radicals scattered around all parts of our system.
How Does Astaxanthin Help with The Skin?
Oxidation is the main contributing factor to the unwanted free radicals in our bodies. Under normal skin conditions, these free radicals are produced naturally as a by-product of our normal metabolism. However, when our skin is exposed to environmental factors like UV radiation and pollution, oxidative stress increases which result in a rising number of free radicals.
Poor lifestyle choices such as unhealthy diet, stress, and overuse of alcohol also lead to an excessive production of free radicals. An over-expression of free radicals in the body causes a diverse range of health problems. When oxidative stress occurs particularly in the skin, wrinkles, pigmentation, acne and many other unwanted skin conditions will show.
Although there are only a few human studies addressing the dermatological benefits of astaxanthin so far, pilot studies have demonstrated the improvement astaxanthin performed by neutralizing the harmful free radicals in the skin. This results in the following:
- Reduction in hyperpigmentation
- A decrease in fine lines and wrinkles formation
- Improvement in skin elasticity and moisture content
These effects were generally observed after 4 to 8 weeks, which is highly effective and well tolerated.
Apart from being the king of all antioxidants, astaxanthin has also been reported to reduce collagen breakdown through both oral administration and topical application. Slowing down the degeneration of collagen means an improved maintenance in skin elasticity and firmness, which makes it an exceptional nutrient for skin health.
AstaNZ™ Astaxanthin Advanced True Radiance
Supreme Health’s Advanced True Radiance contains AstaNZ™ New Zealand Natural Astaxanthin, as its hero ingredient to balance the free radicals produced in the skin. The formulation has been designed to improve the elasticity and moisture content of the skin, using not only AstaNZ™ Natural Astaxanthin but also other well-known antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Grape seed extract.
These high-quality ingredients synergistically improve the skin condition by reducing inflammation, cellular damage and the natural breakdown of collagen.