Did Astaxanthin Protect Me From A Bad Sunburn?

The results of 4 hours at the Montréal botanical gardens
The results of 4 hours at the Montréal botanical gardens

I did something really stupid while on vacation in Montréal last month. Luckily, I have been taking astaxanthin for about a year now and I think it prevented a severe sunburn.

I haven’t found a sunscreen yet that doesn’t have some corn derivative in it. So I had been going without and hoping for the best. Living in the southern part of the USA, that’s not the best plan. But, I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors and so far that’s worked for me.

I discovered astaxanthin last year and added it to my supplement routine because it’s such a powerful antioxidant. It comes from algae and it’s what causes salmon to be pink. It supposedly protects your skin and eyes from UV radiation. Until last month, I never really put it to the test to see if it worked.

The Stupid Thing I Did

I did everything wrong. I went to the Montréal Jardin Botanique (botanical gardens) at 10 AM and spent a fantastic four hours wandering the water gardens, rose gardens, very clever landscape sculptures, and on and on. That’s right. I was out in the summer sun during the hottest part of the day without sunscreen and no base tan.

As you see from the picture, I did get a little red on my shoulders and chest. That’s nothing compared to what I expected to happen. The redness never hurt and the next day it was tan.

What Worked in My Favor

  • The gardens had lots of shady spots so I wasn’t in direct sunlight the whole time. (So more like three hours instead of four hours. Snort!) As a southerner, its natural to gravitate to the shady whenever possible.
  • I’m no longer on medications that can increase sensitivity to the sun like birth control pills and blood pressure medication.
  • I’ve been taking astaxanthin for over a year.

Please don’t do what I did. If you can find a sunscreen that works for you, use it. Skin cancer is no joke. But if you decide to add astaxanthin to your routine, make sure you buy a natural algae-based one. There are many artificially-created astaxanthin supplements on the market that may do more harm than good.

Astaxanthin research

Over the next couple of weeks, I have more to share with you from my Montréal vacation:  allergy-friendly restaurants, and even a bakery, in both Montréal and Québec City.

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9 Responses to Did Astaxanthin Protect Me From A Bad Sunburn?

  1. Kelly says:

    Great tip! I’ve never heard of that supplement. Doubling down with sunscreen is a great idea.

  2. I admit I do the same thing because I have eczema and most sunscreens bother my skin. I just found out about Bare Belly Organics though, maybe you should try them? I don’t think their sunscreen has any corn.

    • Thanks for the lead! I checked out their site. Vitamin E can be derived from corn. I’ll have to get them to verify. I do like that they’re zinc oxide is non-nanoparticle. I’ve been reading up on the potential dangers of nanoparticles and I don’t want any part of them!

  3. Linda W. says:

    I’ve heard of astaxanthin. I should try it. I have a “mild” corn allergy and I don’t know if it effects my skin.

    The pictures are delightful!

  4. How funny I came across this when I did: I think I am developing a corn allergy as the last two times I have eaten it I have gotten TERRIBLE stomach cramps, I am actually recovering from some at the moment. Ugh! I think I will look into both the supplement and corn allergies and put a stop to it before it gets worse! Thank you for the info and I am really glad that you didn’t get burned!

  5. Swathi says:

    Great info, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. pinning

  6. Kristin says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you’ll join us again and share more of your awesome posts.

  7. Raia says:

    Those gardens do look beautiful. I’ve heard of astaxanthin before, but only as it comes in foods (like the salmon you mentioned) I’d never thought to take it as a supplement. Hmm… Thanks for sharing this at Savoring Saturdays!

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