Has an antioxidant action and stimulates the production of melanin to slow down skin ageing and make tanning easier.
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid (orange plant pigment), which acts like a provitamin A, i.e. paves the way for Vitamin A.
Beta carotene is liposoluble (soluble in fats) and is an excellent antioxidant as it captures free radicals and neutralises them which prevents cellular aging (especially skin cells). Its antioxidant effects also help reduce the skin's sensitivity to the sun (watch out though, as this pigment cannot be used on its own for sun protection). This pigment has other benefits since it helps makes skin darker, ideal for improving your tan, by activating melanin (the pigment responsible for skin colouring).
Beta-carotene, combined with micronutrients, helps preserve your eyesight. It also has beneficial properties for cognitive functions.
The foods richest in beta-carotene are carrot, sweet potato, red pepper, pumpkin, spinach and lettuce (green vegetables also have carotenoids but they are masked by other pigments).
DID YOU KNOW? :
Excessive consumption of beta-carotene can lead to carotenoderma which manifests by turning certain parts of the body orange (between the fingers, soles of the feet, palms of the hands, nasolabial folds). This extra colouring is harmless and does not lead to excessive production of vitamin A in the body (beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A only when needed).
SIDE EFFECTS :
Beta-carotene is not recommended for chronic smokers.
There are no specific contra-indications for pregnant women; it is still preferable to discuss this with a healthcare professional before taking this supplement however.