New research shows evidence that algal-derived astaxanthin provides protection against skin deterioration caused by ultraviolet light.

Anew randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial provides stronger evidence for the protective role of algal-derived astaxanthin against skin deterioration caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.

The new study, published June 25, 2018, in the journal Nutrients, was conducted at the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Research Laboratories in the Research and Development management headquarters of the FUJIFILM Corp. in Kanagawa, Japan. In the 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, volunteer participants received either 4mg of algal food-derived astaxanthin or an inert placebo. The researchers used Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae cultivated and produced by Algatech as their branded supplement ASTOTS®.

Results were determined by measuring the minimal erythema dose (MED) – the minimal dose of UV light that induces any visible reddening – and analyzing UV-induced changes of moisture and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Measurements were taken both at baseline and following nine weeks of supplementation. The subjects taking astaxanthin showed increased MED (increased time to redness under exposure to UV light) compared with those taking the placebo. The astaxanthin group also had a reduced loss of skin moisture in the area exposed to the light, compared with the placebo group.

The authors concluded that “These results demonstrated the protective role of dietary supplementation with astaxanthin against UV-induced stimuli and its usefulness for the maintenance of healthy skin.”

“Subjective skin conditions for ‘improvement of rough skin’ and ‘texture’ in non-exposed areas also were significantly improved by supplementation with astaxanthin, demonstrating astaxanthin’s ability to help protect skin from UV-induced deterioration while helping to maintain healthy skin in healthy people,” said Tair Lapidot, PhD., CSO for Algatech.

A previous clinical study of 39 women conducted by FUJIFILM’s research group and using Algatech’s all-natural astaxanthin also indicated that a combination of oral supplement and cosmetic cream yields greater overall skin moisture, in comparison to an orally delivered placebo and commercial cosmetic cream.