The Beauty Bar: Lutein

By Lindsey Galloway

If you already take lutein for optimum eye health, you’re likely getting a bonus benefit: youthful skin. Researchers believe this carotenoid antioxidant, which gives pigment to spinach, corn, carrots, and kale, helps your skin absorb the blue wavelengths of light (not to be confused with UVA and UVB wavelengths) that cause oxidative stress (think wrinkles, dry spots, and other telltale signs of premature aging).

One recent study found that lutein’s skin-friendly benefits nearly doubled when subjects took a 10 mg supplement daily in conjunction with a topical application. Skin hydration increased by 60 percent and elasticity by 20 percent.

Take: Twinlab OcuGuard Plus. Packed with lutein and other skin-bolstering ingredients like zinc and vitamins A and E. ($46.50, 120 capsules;
Try: Ecco Bella Age Antidote Day Cream. Protects your skin with SPF 15, lutein, and the antioxidants lycopene and astaxanthin. ($36.95, 2 oz;