I was invited to try out the new Skin Superfood by Sloane Inc. I had previously tried some serums from their line and was suitably impressed with their products. My favourite was the Sloane Inc 24K Gold, a skin primer which really makes my skin glow after use.
So when I received an invitation to test out their latest offering, Skin Superfood Red Algae, I jumped at the chance. When I first saw the product, I was surprised to see that unlike the minimalistic white bottles their previous products were housed in, this one was in a bright, shiny red acrylic casing. However, since the main component in this elixir was supposedly Red Algae, I thought the packaging was befitting its namesake.
Red Algae is no ‘peasant’ fungus. Red algae are red because of the presence of the pigment phycoerythrin; this pigment reflects red light and absorbs blue light. In Asia, red algae are important sources of food, such as nori. The high vitamin and protein content of this food makes it attractive, as does the relative simplicity of cultivation, which began in Japan more than 300 years ago. This variety of micro-algae is a particularly rich source of astaxanthin. In fact, one dried kilogram of the algae can contain up to 30g of astaxanthin.
A bit of trivia for you: Did you know that micro-algae swimming freely in pools of water are green. However, when the water dries out the algae are exposed to intense sunlight, and they begin producing large quantities of bright red astaxanthin as a protective mechanism. Astaxanthin is the red algae’s defence mechanism against free radicals and UV damage, keeping the red algae safe, fresh and youthful.
I was certainly intrigued because Skin Superfood’s philosophy stemmed from using natural “food-like” ingredients to nourish the skin, their philosophy being “if it’s good enough to eat, then it’s good enough for the skin.” I wholeheartedly agree with them on this point.
Touted as one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world, Astaxanthin is the key ingredient in Skin Superfood. I did some research online and found that studies believe astaxanthin to be more powerful than traditional vitamins. Astaxanthin was nicknamed Vitamin X or Super vitamin as it was found to be 6000 times stronger than Vitamin C and 550 times stronger than Vitamin E, and 800 times stronger than CoQ10 – in providing antioxidant protection and anti-aging support.
Why do we need antioxidants in our skin? It is well known that UV-induced free radicals are harmful to the skin because they accelerate the aging process. With its potent antioxidative prowess, Astaxanthin can inhibit the activity of free radicals by acting rapidly against it on the skin surface, epidermis and dermis. Research suggests potential skin benefits from the use of Astaxanthin to maintain a youthful appearance and reverse premature signs of aging.
Wow! That was a lot of science. Now to the real deal: the skin test. I used Skin Superfood every evening for a week. I loved the fact that the cream was easily absorbable and did not leave a greasy feel. Without a doubt, I could feel my skin getting softer and suppler after a few days. I am not sure if I am imagining this but my complexion definitely looked fairer after seven days even though I did not wear more than my usual BB cream or change my daily routine. Maybe there is some science to the antioxidant UV battling benefits of Astaxanthin after all.
My skin also felt more hydrated and had a nice dewy sheen from day three. If you ask me, this is certainly one good investment for age-proofing your skin. Even if you are not a sun lover, you can probably shave years off your looks just by protecting your skin with red algae’s secret defence mechanism— astaxanthin.
Maybe in five years, when I am attending my high school class reunion, I will finally be able to tell how much younger I look compared to my peers. Till then, watch this space.