Sun spots, blotches, dark spots, acne scars — Yikes, can we all agree that these are one of life’s greatest annoyances?! Not only do they leave your complexion looking uneven and blotchy, they also serve as little reminders for the breakout you’d otherwise forget. Luckily, astaxanthin is an amazing nutrient that can help those pesky red and brown spots. By incorporating it into your daily inner skincare regimen, you can help them go away for good so you can get the glow-up you deserve.
But before we dive into the how’s and why’s this super-nutrient can transform your skin, let’s go over what exactly hyperpigmentation is:
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Simply put, hyperpigmentation occurs when excess melanin forms and leads to the discolouration of skin. There are many types of hyperpigmentation but the most common causes come from sun exposure, eczema, psoriasis and acne. This darkening of the skin not only shows up on the face, but also commonly appears on the chest, neck and hands.
The 3 Types of Hyperpigmentation:
You know those marks you see after an acne-flare up? These spots are also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). They are caused by an inflammation response your skin has after its experienced trauma, ie. acne, burns, psoriasis or scarring. You may have heard "never pick or pop your pimples" and this is why! Yes, we know it's temping but it will only lead to more inflammation and trigger more melanin production. The more inflamed your skin is, the more hyperpigmentation you can see on your skin.
These spots appear browner in color on all skin tones and are caused by sun exposure. What we think of as a “tan” is actually your body trying to defend itself. When exposed to harmful UV rays, our cells respond by sending out a protective pigment (or melanin) to naturally keep skin from getting burned. This build up of melanin can create brown spots.
If you have fairly large and spread out blotchy areas that are brown in color, it’s most likely melasma. More commonly seen in women, it typically appears on the cheeks, nose, forehead, upper lip and neck. This discolouration is usually caused by UV exposure, however it can also be brought on by genetics, pregnancy and hormones.
How does Astaxanthin Treat and Prevent Hyperpigmentation?
It’s High in Antioxidants and Carotenoids
Astaxanthin has potent antioxidant and carotenoid capabilities that allow a transformation of your skin from the inside out. With consistent use, it can help improve your skin’s texture, tone and brightness. It does this by accumulating within your cells and shielding your skin against everyday damage caused by free radicals in your environment.
It’s Extremely Anti-Inflammatory
It Prevents Future Dark Spots From Forming:
It really all comes back to our friend, the sun. As much as we love a sun-kissed glow, the sun is basically the worst thing for hyperpigmentation. It not only creates more brown spots, it also exaggerates the pigment of post-pimple marks. Astaxanthin is often known as an “internal sunscreen” for helping block UV rays and inhibiting this overproduction of melanin in the first place. Along with an external sunscreen, it’s a powerful combo at combating dark spots, pigmentation, sun damage and aging.
In fact, in one human study that exposed skin elastin cells to UV exposure, it showed that almost all of the elastin died. On the other hand, 95% in which was treated with astaxanthin were able to recover 80% of the damage. As we always say, preventative measures are always more effective than reversing!
It Helps Repair Dark Spots Fast
Depending on the depth of the pigmentation, it can take weeks to fade. Our skin cells renew itself about every 28-30 days so naturally as the skin sheds it will reveal new skin and brighter dark spots. However if the hyperpigmentation is on the deeper layers of your skin, it will take a bit longer for it to go away completely. But there’s good news. By adding astaxanthin into your skincare routine, you can greatly speed up this process. It works by boosting up our skin’s natural renewal process therefore breaking up excess pigmentation.