Beta-carotene for Skin and Acne
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Beta-carotene is a class of pigments called carotenoids and is responsible for imparting colors to fruits, vegetables, and plants. In addition to giving color to plants, beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant providing a wide range of benefits to the skin. It is used as an active ingredient in various skin care products to relieve acne and other skin conditions. We get beta carotene from foods like carrots and this natural pigment is converted to vitamin A by the liver and helps protect the skin and eyes from a multitude of problems.
This article details beta-carotene benefits for skin and acne and possible risks or side effects associated with overconsumption.
What is Beta-carotene?
Beta-carotene is a naturally occurring carotenoid that gives yellow and orange colors to plants, fruits, and vegetables. It is claimed that there are 500 different types of carotenoids including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. Beta-carotene gives yellow or orange colors to foods.
Beta-carotene is an important dietary supplement that is a precursor to vitamin A and in the liver, it gets converted to vitamin A and used for skin care purposes. Owing to powerful antioxidant abilities, beta-carotene is used to protect from free radicals and slow the aging process. In addition, this antioxidant pigment provides protection from sun damage and is essential for optimal skin health.
Is Beta-carotene Good for Skin Health?
Being a precursor vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene does wonders for skin health. It protects the skin from oxidative damage and prevents sun damage and other skin diseases like acne.
How Does it Work?
Studies revealed that beta-carotene is converted to retinoid or vitamin A in our body which is highly effective for skin health. It helps improve inflammation and protect the skin from environmental damage.
May Prevent Acne
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant compound that is best known for preventing free radical damage and reducing the process of skin aging. It has the potential to relieve acne and promote skin health. This is the reason; various topical formula creams help prevent and treat acne.
American Academy of Dermatology reported that retinol has the potential to treat and prevent acne lesions caused by inflammation.
They may also work with antibiotics and help clear up acne breakouts. In addition, carotenoids also improve even skin tone, decrease sebum production, increase cell regeneration, and heal lesions and scars associated with acne. Thus, increased consumption of beta-carotene from food or dietary supplements helps relieve acne breakouts and prevent the complications associated with acne.
Some studies show conflicting results that the consumption of retinol does not help with acne but it only reduces the severity of acne.
Another study revealed that consumption of oral vitamin A or retinol did not have any effect on treating acne and topical application has promising results.
Prevent Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Beta-carotene is a rich source of vitamin A and is a potent antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient used in skin care products. It stimulates the regeneration of skin cells, increases collagen production, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Beta-carotene helps relieve inflammation and speed up wound healing.
Decreased levels of vitamin A or carotenes make the skin dry, bumpy, and itchy leading to chronic acne. Various laboratory and animal studies showed that beta-carotene is converted to retinal in the human skin layer and is then transformed into retinol. Fatty acids esterify the retinol and retinal esters are obtained as the end product. One of the interesting benefits is that it is also beneficial for sensitive skin and does not cause any irritation to the skin.
Slow the Skin Aging
As we age, our skin reduces the production of collagen which is essential for making the skin elastic and even. Other factors like exposure to UV radiation, dust, alcohol, smoking, pollution, and inflammation increase the aging process. They produce free radicals, break collagen and elastin fibers, stimulate inflammation, restrict skin repair and cause wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
Beta-carotene possesses radical scavenging activities, prevents oxidative damage, and reduces the onset of wrinkles. It is reported that beta-carotene is 50% more potent than vitamin E in preventing aging.
Protect Skin from UV Damage
Excessive sun exposure is harmful to the skin leading to skin damage. Beta-carotene seems to protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the risk of cancer development. It also prevents lipid oxidation and slows the process of aging. Studies have also shown that harmful UV rays destroy the beta carotene in the skin cells and supplementation of this natural compound is an ideal way to replenish skin with beta carotene.
May Relieve Skin Pigmentation
Beta-carotene has the potential to restrict the activity of tyrosinase and prevent the synthesis of melanin. It is a vitamin A precursor which helps brighten the skin, stimulates skin repair, and prevents hyperpigmentation. A small study of 31 individuals suffering from melasma showed that beta-carotene brightened the skin and relieved skin discoloration.
In addition to skin health, beta-carotene is known to have surprising benefits for hair growth and eye health. It helps improve cell growth and prevent hair loss and hair thinning. Beta carotene provides nourishment to the scalp and stimulates hair follicles thus boosting hair growth.
Besides helping to a good complexion and lustrous hair, beta carotene assists treat eye diseases and prevent vision loss. It possesses powerful antioxidant properties which protect the retina and lens from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of degenerative eye diseases like cataracts. By preventing eye diseases, beta carotene also protects vision and boosts eye health.
Foods Rich in Beta-carotene and Vitamin A
Beta carotene shines in antioxidants that help fight free radicals and relieve inflammation. Most people get enough vitamin A or beta carotene through diet while others need it in the form of supplements. They are naturally found in various foods including
- Yellow and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes
- Leafy green vegetables
- Beef liver
The addition of sufficient amounts of vitamin A can help boost skin health. It does not treat acne but also helps relieve other skin conditions and complications associated with acne.
Beta carotene is a naturally occurring compound belonging to the class of carotenoids that impart color to various fruits and vegetables. It is a potent antioxidant that acts as a scavenger for free radicals, relieves inflammation, and reduces the risks of chronic diseases. Beta carotene is converted to retinol in the body and boosts skin, eye, and hair health.
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