As the world‘s population grows and our lifespan lengthens coupled with the ever-growing stress of looking young, the demand for anti-aging medicines and products increases. The market has never been more ready than it is now for a skin supplement that promises beauty from the inside out, as well as slowing down aging. SagaNatura is one of the fastest growing biotechnology companies located in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland, recently launching a new product called AstaSkin, which contains the strongest antioxidant found in nature: Astaxanthin.
AstaSkin is an Icelandic food supplement made especially for the production of healthy and younger-looking skin. Dr. Lilja Kjalarsdóttir is the co-inventor and researcher of this brand new skin formula. Dr. Lilja, graduated with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Texas in the year 2011, and has been working for KeyNatura and SagaMedica brands under the umbrella SagaNatura as their Head of Research and Development since January 2018. The idea for this formula came to Dr. Lilja a while ago, but finally received the chance to produce it when she began working at SagaNatura.
AstaSkin is aimed towards women and men over the age of 30 years old. However, according to Dr. Lilja, people as young as 20 years old could benefit from the supplement, as it can help to delay breakdown of the skin. “The older you are, the quicker you will see results and the more evident they will be. People as young as 20 years old can use the supplements, but they might not see immediate results due to their skin still being so young. However, they will see long-term results and their skin would age a lot slower!‘” Dr. Lilja also mentioned that testers of this product have seen improvements in their skin within as little as two weeks. Wrinkles were less obvious and the skin felt more moisturized and softer.
How does AstaSkin benefit my skin?
Due to the mixing of three key ingredients for skin health, plus a variety of vitamins and minerals contained in this formula, AstaSkin benefits the skin in many ways and is an all-in-one skin product. It protects the skin against UV rays and harmful environmental pollutants, maintains moisture within the skin and maintains the structure of the skin to prevent it from breaking down and forming wrinkles. It keeps the skin strong, healthy, soft, supple and reduces wrinkles considerably!
Each sales unit of AstaSkin contains doses for up to 30 days (2 capsules per day with food). Each capsule contains 6mg of Astaxanthin, 30mg of Myoceram™ ceramides and 250mg of fish collagen. As stated by Dr. Lilja: “The reason for having 6mg of Astaxanthin and 30mg of Myocream™ is due to the fact that these exact measurements have been used in many clinical studies and have shown positive results in human skin. Therefore we decided to mix these substances together in our formula using this exact dosage.“ As AstaSkin is a food supplement and not a cure for aging, Dr. Lilja recommends continuing use of the supplement even after seeing results in order to continue keeping your skin healthy. “It is possible to take the supplement every other month, rather than every month or you could start taking it every month and then lower the dosage as you begin seeing results.“ Dr. Lilja also mentioned that the supplement will first and foremost benefit those sensitive to the sun (sun eczema), suffering from dry skin and those living in cities where the environment is harshest to the skin due to pollution and stress.
The first key ingredient is Myoceram™, a ceramide which KeyNatura extracts from rice husks. Ceramides can also be found in the uppermost layers of our skin and are waxy lipids (fats) that act as a protective barrier to prevent the loss of moisture from the top layers of the skin, keeping the appearance of the skin firm and plump. The uppermost layers of the skin are water resistant and this resistance becomes weaker as we grow older which results in drier skin and wrinkling. The second key ingredient, fish collagen, maintains the fibrosis of the skin – which means it preserves the connective tissue of the skin. The third and possibly most important ingredient, Astaxanthin, protects the skin from photo-aging. Photo-aging is a term used to describe the damage caused to the skin by harmful UV rays from the sun. Photo-aging accelerates the aging of the skin and when exposed to a lot of radiation the skin loses its moisture and becomes very dry.
Each capsule also contains many of the following vitamins that promote healthy skin by working together with the three key ingredients.
- Vitamin A – help maintain healthy skin.
- Vitamin C – helps promote normal collagen production in the skin.
- Vitamin D – has a role in the cell division of our bodies.
- B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B7 (biotin), B12 – help maintain healthy, glowing skin.
How do we age?
As you age, the body‘s production of free radicals increases due to your body‘s cells communication systems becoming less balanced and less efficient. A free radical is an oxygen atom or a group of oxygen atoms with an odd number of electrons. Free radicals form when bonds between electrons in molecules are broken and an uneven number of electrons remain, making it unstable and highly reactive. The free radical needs an extra electron to make up for the uneven number and therefore steals an electron from a nearby molecule. This leads to the fact that the molecule that had its electron stolen, now turns into another free radical trying to steal electrons from its neighbors, causing a toxic domino effect within our bodies, thus possibly severely damaging living tissue. An increase in free radicals can lead to a higher chance of developing diseases such as Alzheimer‘s, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Parkinson‘s and cancer, and also age-related symptoms like wrinkles, osteoporosis and cataracts.
Antioxidants and free radicals
Free radicals can be found in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. To protect our cells from free radicals, we have an inbuilt defense mechanism: antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that fight the damage made by free radicals, by giving electrons to the free radicals and thereby neutralizing them. However as we age we need to increase our consumption and use of natural chemicals that are high in antioxidant properties. Astaxanthin happens to be one such naturally occurring chemical that is known as the king of antioxidants.
Antioxidants, especially Astaxanthin, are incredibly popular among athletes. Free radicals form at a faster rate during intense training and high intensity cardio because of excessive oxidative stress. Therefore it is necessary for athletes and people who workout a lot to increase their intake of antioxidants.
What is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a strong reddish pigment that belongs to a group of naturally occurring chemicals called carotenoids. Carotenoid is the name given to plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright red, yellow and orange colors. Carotenoids can be found in the cells of a variety of plants, algae and bacteria. Astaxanthin occurs naturally in certain algae called Haematococcus pluvialis and is the pigment that gives shrimps, crabs, salmon and even flamingoes their deep pink or red color. Animals cannot produce astaxanthin and therefore have to acquire it from their diet.
Astaxanthin has also garnered a lot of attention within the healthcare industry as having one of the most powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, resulting in extensive scientific research. Astaxanthin is 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C and 500 times more powerful than vitamin E in various antioxidant capacities. Because of this we need a smaller dose per serving of astaxanthin compared to vitamin C and vitamin E. Below you can see how rich in antioxidants (ORAC value) Astaxanthin is compared to well known superfoods.
Using brand-new technology, KeyNatura produce Astaxanthin from green algae which they grow themselves in their underwater greenhouse. The algae produce Astaxanthin to protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun and turns red due to the pigmentation of Astaxanthin. The researchers at KeyNatura radiate the algae with strong lights to promote the production of Astaxanthin in the algae, which the researchers then extract and use in the AstaSkin formula.
Astaxanthin and human health
Our skin, muscles, ligaments, eyes and cardiovascular systems are all receptive to Astaxanthin due to it being a highly active antioxidant. Apart from being used to treat our skin, Astaxanthin has also been used to treat a variety of health conditions such as Alzheimer‘s disease, Parkinson‘s disease, stroke, high cholesterol, liver diseases, age-related vision loss and has even been used to prevent cancer.
AstaSkin is the first of its kind – mixing together various vitamins, minerals and three super ingredients into an all-in-one formula for the skin. A food supplement guaranteed to give you beauty from the inside out and slowing down aging of the skin. AstaSkin will be available in all major pharmacies and also available online.
Article Author: Thelma Rún Heimisdóttir
Nishida, Yamashita, Miki. Carotenoid Science, 2007, 11, 16-20.