Summer's Skin-Protecting Supplement (& Giveaway)

antioxidant-sun-protection.PNG

[UPDATE: Giveaway closed. Congratulations to Taylor Callahan, winner via Instagram!]

Want to know one of my top summer skin secrets this year? I’ve been adding astaxanthin and its super potent UV defense benefits to my summer skin protection arsenal, in addition to my other favorite sun protective foods and mineral sunscreens. Astaxanthin (as-ta-zan-thin) is a mega powerful antioxidant to have in your diet for UV defense. The antioxidant levels of this deep red carotenoid pigment are actually among the most potent found in nature. While it doesn’t block UV rays, astaxanthin helps protect against UV-induced cell death, meaning that less damage accumulates in your skin whenever you’re exposed to the sun. One study show that after taking 4mg of astaxanthin every day for two weeks, about 20% more UV exposure was needed to create skin redness.

Astaxanthin-uv-defense.JPG

Regardless of the season, astaxanthin supports youthful skin tone, texture, elasticity, and moisture levels. It neutralizes free radicals, protecting from oxidative damage that speeds up aging, and provides excellent nutrition for healthy eye and vision function.

You’ll find astaxanthin in wild sockeye salmon, shrimp, red trout, lobster, and crab, many of which feed on astaxanthin-packed microalgae. The whole food astaxanthin supplement I’ve been using from Pure Synergy contains organic red freshwater algae to deliver 6mg of astaxanthin in each capsule. (60 of these whole food capsules are $30.) It’s one I’ll be taking all summer long as I soak up the healing benefits of the sun!

To celebrate the arrival of summer, I’ve partnered with Pure Synergy to give away a bottle of this SuperPure Astaxanthin and a signed copy of Eat Pretty Every Day, which has a page of beauty inspiration for every day of the summer (and the rest of the year!). Leave a comment on this post or like and comment on my Instagram or Facebook posts by the end of the day on Sunday, June 23rd to enter to win this pair of summer essentials. [GIVEAWAY CLOSED]

Chia Seeds Inside + Out

I've been buzzing about the beauty benefits of chia seeds for a few years now (you can check out the Pantry chapter of Eat Pretty for an in-depth overview of this beauty food), since they support healthy digestion and elimination, help with fullness and satiation, and encourage regular detoxification (all radiant skin essentials!). Chia seeds are great sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin, as well as skin-clearing, immune-supporting zinc. But this is the first time I'm experimenting with the topical benefits of their oil!

My January 2017 Beauty Heroes Discovery Box just arrived, and inside is the beloved Maya Chia The Super Couple face oil serum, as well as a special edition Supercritical Chia Waterless Wonder Balm with a fresh-smelling lavender, vetiver, and cardamom scent created just for Beauty Heroes. Opening this monthly box, and using the carefully-crafted natural and organic products inside, continues to be one of my very favorite self-care moments each month. I've been introduced to more beautiful products than I can count through my monthly Beauty Heroes box. 

But back to this month—when I saw these two Maya Chia products, I wondered first about the term 'supercritical' and the chia oil extraction process it references. How does it differ from, say, the cold pressing process? It turns out, a lot. First of all, the 'supercritical' extraction process is licensed only to Maya Chia in the US. It's a super-gentle, oxygen- and solvent-free extraction process that, "unlike cold pressing, where valuable antioxidants, omegas and sterols can be lost during the cold pressing process – the supercritical extraction method yields all of the biologically ‘active’ components (all the good stuff for your skin) of the amazing chia seed," according to Maya Chia.

The rest of the ingredients in these formulas continue the trend of being super high quality—they're are either certified organic, organic, or wildcrafted, (with the exception of myrrh). You might be surprised that the facial oil serum has a bright orange color- a product of the high levels of the antioxidant astaxanthin that it contains. Astaxanthin is quite a powerful ingredient for fighting free radical damage and slowing the aging process. So far these formulas feel amazing—I layer them at night—on my wintertime skin.

Remember: always apply your facial oil serums over skin that you've misted with a toner or hydrosol—that moisture layer helps the serum to properly hydrate your skin at the topical level. And for moisture and chia seed nourishment from the inside out, try my Ginger Grapefruit Chia Seed Pudding!

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and these products was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.