Carotenoids are a family of molecules naturally present in many living beings and widely used in the industry for their coloring, antioxidant, and photoprotective properties.
Beta–carotene is considered an antioxidant and is also a precursor to vitamin A. It’s a member of the carotenoid family. There are hundreds of carotenoids, including lycopene and lutein. Their beneficial effect on the immune system is increasingly being studied. The global market for carotenoids is expected to reach $ 1.8 billion by 2019 . In 2013, Europe represented the largest single market segment, followed by North America. The applications of these molecules continue to diversify in feed and food as well as in cosmetics and health. The largest share of the current production comes from the chemical synthesis of petroleum derivatives; however, the molecules extracted from plants grow the fastest, notably benefiting from consumer demand. Today, there are several production techniques, such as extraction from tomatoes (lycopene) or paprika (capsanthin), and bioproduction from algae (asthaxantin) or microorganisms (beta-carotene). The supply of bio-based solutions remains limited by high production costs.
Topically, beta-carotene is potentially a good antioxidant and can reduce the effects of sun damage, although this benefit is dose dependent. There is research showing that too much beta carotene can generate oxidative damage.
Topical beta carotene and retinyl esters
Topical beta-carotene is converted to retinyl esters in human skin ex vivo and mouse skin in vivo.
Photochemistry and Photobiology, May 2002, pages 503–506
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, August 2002, pages 1289–1291
Berkeley Wellness Newsletter, www.berkeleywellness.com/html/ds/dsBetaCarotene.php