While sunlight helps our skin to make vitamin D, too much sun exposure can damage skin.
The body has a built-in way to protect itself from this oxidative damage by increasing its natural pigmentation—also known as getting a tan. And while a nice tan may be desirable, hyperpigmentation—the development of dark spots or age spots—is not. This is especially true when they appear in typical areas like the face, hands and upper back, and contribute to the appearance of aged skin.
Red Orange Complex, beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium and lycopene
Three are a group of antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative damage, including the oxidative damage that is involved in hyperpigmentation. Not only that, some of these antioxidants have been shown to reduce the formation of age spots and even reduce photoaging (i.e. skin-aging from sun exposure). These antioxidants include Red Orange Complex, beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium and lycopene.*
Effects of Red Orange Complex
Two recent studies examined the potential of Red Orange Complex to provide skin photo-protecting and anti-aging effects. Twenty healthy volunteers (aged 26-47) were in the first study, and two areas on their forearms were exposed to a UV-B sun lamp. Three weeks later the volunteers took a supplement with 100 mg/day Red Orange Complex for 15 days and then their forearms received the same UV-B lamp treatment. Amazingly, the Red Orange Complex reduced skin reddening (similar to what you’d get with a sunburn) by 40%.*
Twenty-five healthy volunteers (aged 47-70 years) were in the second study, and three dark spots (from previous sun exposure) were identified on the back of each subject’s two hands. In addition, one spotless area on the hands served as the control. Similar to the previous study, one hand was exposed to sunlamp tanning treatments. After a week’s break, the subjects took 100 mg/day Red Orange Complex, and then their other hand received the same sunlamp treatment. The results showed that Red Orange Complex facilitated a significant decrease in dark spot development, from 27% to 7%.*
Beta-Carotene, wrinkles, elasticity and photoaging
The following study is an example of why more isn’t always better. To determine effects on aging skin, thirty healthy women (50+ years of age) were supplemented with 30 mg or 90 mg of beta-carotene daily. As a result, the women experienced significant improvements in facial wrinkles and elasticity—but only in those using 30 mg of beta-carotene, not 90 mg. The researchers determined that beta-carotene, at 30 mg daily, prevented and repaired photoaging.*