Listen: Our time in the sun is certainly not over. And the most important step you can take now is to be proactive about skin health. Certain botanical antioxidants are shown to have major photoprotective qualities, such as astaxanthin and pomegranate whole fruit extract.*
Let’s start with the former. One scholarly review of the antioxidant explained that numerous comparative studies of astaxanthin and other antioxidants showed it was the superior antioxidant in promoting dermal fibroblasts (or, what helps make skin cells, elastin, and collagen).* To give you an idea of just how powerful, the free-radical-fighting actions of astaxanthin are up to 1,000 times higher than that of many of its fellow antioxidants.*
Pomegranate whole fruit extract is another. Clinical studies have shown that this targeted phytonutrient-rich botanical has the ability to enhance photoprotection in the skin, meaning your skin cells are better equipped to deal with UV rays and their subsequent effects.* For example, one randomized controlled trial found that the pomegranate extract increased skin’s resilience against UVB rays, as well as changes to the skin microbiome.* Another—this one, a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial—found that taking pomegranate extract orally could help with common sun-induced pigmentation.*
But what about post-sun? Well, antioxidants can help here too.* Namely by enhancing skin health and reducing many of the telltale signs of skin aging and sun exposure, such as dark spots, fine lines, and dryness.*
For example, astaxanthin has loads of clinicals highlighting its skin-supporting benefits. In one study, astaxanthin supplementation significantly improved skin elasticity, smoothness, and hydration in just 12 weeks.* Another clinical investigation found astaxanthin improved skin wrinkles, age spot size, and skin texture.* And in a recent double-blind clinical trial, subjects reported significant improvement in moisture levels (especially around the eyes), overall improved elasticity, and appearance of tone.* Another recent double-blind clinical study found that it can even help skin’s water-retention capacity and suppress barrier damage.* After all, the skin is a barrier organ of supreme importance.
Additionally, pomegranate whole fruit extract can help buffer oxidative stress—which can happen after prolonged UV exposure due to increased free radicals.* To keep your body’s oxidative stress defenses up, your cells need functioning detoxification pathways—antioxidants help this process.* Pomegranate extract attenuates oxidative stress by enhancing antioxidant responses and increasing antioxidant capacity in the body.* In fact, pomegranate extract has been clinically shown via research studies to reduce biomarkers of oxidative stress.*