The skincare industry is big business, more so with women wanting sophisticated products to cater to their demands – organic, whitening, anti-ageing and sensitive skin, all the works really.

Beauty website cosmeticsdesign.com reports that rising consumer income and changing lifestyles are driving the global beauty care industry, forecasted to reach USD$265bil (RM1,080.9bil) next year. If you find that staggering, you’ll be surprised to know that RM50mil was spent at the International Beauty Expo in Kuala Lumpur last year. Talk about boosting sales!

With such big bucks in the beauty business, it’s welcome news that a new homegrown skincare brand has emerged to meet consumers needs. Called Astatude, the skincare label is formulated using astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that keeps skin smooth and helps restore moisture.

Astatude derives its name from the words ‘astaxanthin’ and ‘attitude’ where the former (asta) represents the potency of astaxanthin while the latter (tude) showcases a woman’s individuality being bold, strong and confident.

The Swiss-formulated products use astaxanthin, produced by Algaetech International, a Malaysian owned biotech company based in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. The company was awarded the BioNexus Status in 2013 and is involved in the field of microalgae research and development.

Given its expertise in producing astaxanthin and potency of the antioxidant, it seemed like an obvious step for Algatech International to venture into the skincare field. Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids. It occurs naturally in certain algae and causes the pink or red in salmon, shrimp and other seafood.

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Astatude is Malaysia’s very own astaxanthin-based anti-ageing skin care range. Photo: The Star/Low Lay Phon

Celebrity sisters Syarifah Sahirah (left) and Sharifah Norazleenda are Astatude ambassadors.

Celebrity sisters Syarifah Sahirah (left) and Sharifah Norazleenda are Astatude ambassadors.

The skincare range contains astaxanthin obtained from microalgae haematococcus pluvialis cultivated at Algaetech International’s five-acre production centre in TPM. It contains high-end essential oils that prevent free radicals from damaging the skin, leaving complexion brighter, younger and smoother.

Algaetech International’s chief scientist Prof Dr Rengasamy Ramasamy said human skin is constantly subjected to environmental attacks which strip away moisture and increases vulnerability for age spots. These factors cause excessive levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) to build up on skin and inflict damage at the cellular level.

“Research indicates natural astaxanthin from the microalgae helps penetrate skin and protects each dermal layer from ROS damage,” said Dr Rengasamy after the launch of Astatude’s anti-ageing range in Kuala Lumpur recently.

He added that incorporating carotenoid astaxanthin into cosmetics could increase the antioxidant status and reduce effects of ROS on skin.

“On surface, skin will look and feel more youthful. The skincare range is developed for women aged 25 years and above,” said Dr Rengasamy, adding it took nine years to develop the skincare range.

The anti-ageing range comprises cleansing milk, cleansing gel, toning lotion, booster serum, day moisturiser (SPF 35) and night moisturiser. Ingredients such as pumpkin seed extract, apple stem cell and mushroom extract are added to help calm, rejuvenate and hydrate skin.

Also included is swiftlet nest extract to help skin’s regeneration process.

While the product may seem like a new kid on the block compared to skincare giants like Clarins, SK-II and Lancome, its managing director Datuk Paduka Syed Isa Syed Alwi remains confident it will garner a fan base after consumers give it a try.

“Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant and protects skin against damaging free radicals. It contains natural astaxanthin which can prevent wrinkle formation and loss of elasticity. Try it to see results,” said Syed Isa, adding Astatude’s brightening range would be launched in July.