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Natural Sunscreen: Astaxanthin

Written by Katherine M. Coleman, M.N.T.

Internal Sunscreen

While the exact pathway is unknown, by consuming this antioxidant pigment you naturally create your own “internal sunscreen” and will thereby prevent your skin from burning. Astaxanthin is a natural compound that may help with the prevention of wrinkles, dry skin, age spots, and freckles. This supernutrient is a fairly unknown carotenoid, known for providing foods with their vibrant colors.

However, unlike other carotenoids, astaxanthin is produced only by microalgae and is known for acting as the algae’s survival mechanism; it serves as a protection against malnutrition and/or intense sunlight. This carotenoid is the reason salmon have pink skin, and the endurance to swim upstream. It is imperative to make sure you select a natural variety from marine algae over one that is not synthetic as the synthetic variety generally comes from the farmed salmon industry.Start by taking at least 2 mg per day before working your way up to 4 and 8 mg. It may take anywhere from two to four weeks to reap its benefits, so be sure to use a natural sunscreen in the meantime. The Healing Center recommends the BioAstin brand, which can be found in your natural grocers.



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  1. Katherine M. Coleman says
    May 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Over the weekend I took a trip out to Goblin Valley, UT for some hiking and camping. I've never been one for sunscreen, and I'd rather cover up with a hat and layering my clothing, so Saturday I opted to not put any on during our four to five hour eight mile hike in Sego Canyon. At one point during the hike I was concerned I might be burning (even though it didn't feel like I was) and I put on a short sleeve shirt on over my tank top for about an hour or so. After hiking, we made our way to a nearby creek for some swimming and I still hadn't put on any sunscreen. Later that evening, sitting around the campfire, it occurred to me that I hadn't burned at all during and after our hike. When I shared with my fellow campers that I hadn't applied sunscreen at all and I hadn't burned one bit they were shocked. Honestly, I was pretty surprised myself. I'm not sure when I started taking BioAstin's Astaxanthin supplement, probably about three or four weeks ago, but it clearly does the job as I write this today with a beautiful tan--No sunscreen necessary at all!! :)

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