Astaxanthin is one of the best anti-aging ingredients going. It’s a kind of algae and responsible for making salmon pink. When tested against common antioxidants, astaxanthin has demonstrated exceptional performance in combating singlet oxygen, one of the strongest radical scavengers that directly damages biological lipids, proteins, and DNA. Wondering how potent astaxathin is? Well, a clinical research study at Creighton University demonstrated that astaxanthin can eliminate free radicals 6,000 times more effectively than vitamin C, 800 times more than CoQ10, 550 times more than vitamin E and green tea, 75 times more than alpha lipoic acid, and 20 times more than beta-carotene.

Given how powerful it is, it is surprising that we don’t come across it more often. And, sadly, Osmosis no longer uses it in its Replenish serum. However, there are some great products with astaxanthin, including shampoos and sunscreens as well as serums, which Nutra-Lift Rejuvenating A makes a good budget priced alternative to Replenish. Here are my Five Best picks.

Perricone MD Firming Neck Therapy ($98). Although I’m not a huge Perricone fan, astaxanthin is one of his signature ingredients. And this was one of my Five Best neck cream picks. Not only is this an effective neck cream that imparts firming and improved tone, the price isn’t at all bad. As well as  astaxanthin, here is  carnosine, which is supposed to extend the Hayflick Limit, allowing cells to reproduce for longer before they finally croak. Good for repairing early stage damage (this is not the heavy artillery) and future prevention.

Skin Nutrition Moisturizer ($70 in the TIA shop) My husband borrows this, proof if needed that this is a good unisex product. After several natural hydrating oils, comes the star of the show, the antioxidant astaxanthin. Skin Nutrition’s Moisturizer is a complex bend of antioxidants that also contains the company’s signature botanical, cactus pear, which plenty of antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid and carotenoids. A really good moisturizer that is hydrating and soothing without being greasy. Lots of fruit extracts (raspberry, blueberry, goji) provide an antioxidant punch. See the full review.

Nutra-Lift Rejuvenating A Nano Reneu ($46 in the TIA shop) is one of the better value Matrixyl 3000 serums and, as always with Nutra-Lift, the ingredients are mostly natural and 80% organic. The Matrixyl comes in a hefty 5% dose and it is choca with most of the anti-aging ingredients known to man. The collagen and elastin are from fish, so that should mean there’s no danger of estrogen (as there is if they have been derived from human or other animal cells). As well as astaxanthin, there is Pycogenol, an antioxidant from the bark of the French maritime pine tree.

Suntegrity All Natural Moisturizing Face Protection SPF30 ($45 in the TIA shop) Astaxanthin is also an efficient absorber of specific ultraviolet sunlight rays that may contribute to skin aging and cancer.  I think it really intelligent of Suntegrity to put it to use in this mineral sunscreen. It gets an antioxidant boost from red algae and pomegranate. This sunscreen with zinc oxide is top rated by the EWG. See the full review.

Nutra-Lift Shampoo ($22). Astaxanthin is associated with hair growth because it contains 5-alpha-reductase and so it makes a great ingredient in a shampoo that would put many expensive face serums to shame it is so chock full of great ingredients. This was the first shampoo I used that seemed to decrease shedding. The price is pretty good too for something of such good quality. It majors on marine extracts with four types of seaweed, which are antioxidants. Research has shown that antioxidants can prevent hair from being damaged by the sun.

Ingredients in Perricone

Aqua (Water), Taurine, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phosphatidylcholine, Palmitoyl Carnosine, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Pyridoxamine Dihydrochloride, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Resveratrol, Disodium EDTA, Pantethine, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Tocotrienols, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Astaxanthin, Parfum (Fragrance

Ingredients in Skin Nutrition

Water (Aqua), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Glycerin,Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Haematococcus Pluvialis Algae (Astaxanthin) Extract, Glucose, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Arginine, Butylene Glycol, Opuntia Ficus-indica (Cactus Pear) Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Euterpa Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Lactoperoxidase, Vitex Agnus Castus (Monk’s Pepper Berry) Extract, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Extract, Phaeodactylum Tricornutum (Algae) Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glucose Oxidase, Sodium Levulinate, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract SN-NPS™ * (Proprietary Natural Preservative System) *Patent Pending

Ingredients in Nutra-Lift Shampoo

Aloe Vera gel, cocomide betaine, sea algae, bladderwrack, sea kelp, ascophyllum, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin C ester, soy liposomes, hyaluronic acid, di-panthenol, linoleic acid, astaxanthin. infusion of the following natural extracts: burdock, buckthorn, charparral, comfrey, cranesbill, nettle, jojoba, rosemary, horsetail, hops, ivy, jasmine, calendula, horse chestnut, slippery elm, elder flower, olive leaf, orange blossom, ylang ylang, fennel, bilberry, milk thistle, golden seal, turmeric, arnica, butchers broom, passion flower, red clover, sage, linden flower, gentian, white willow bark, mulberry, eyebright, grapefruit seed extract, peppermint, yarrow, coltsfoot, birch sap, Austrailian tea tree oil, witch hazel, natural mixed tocopherals ( Vit.E.) niacin, biotin, capsaicin, colloidal sulphur, colloidal minerals.

Ingredients in Suntegrity

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Zinc oxide 20%

INGREDIENTS: Water (Purified), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Jojoba Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Sunflower Oil, Cucumber Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Tea-Oil Camellia, Pomegranate Oil, Red Algae Extract, Astaxanthin, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, Citrus Reticulata Blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide*, Ethylhexylglycerin* *Paraben-free anti-microbial agent.