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Why Are Flamingos Pink?

Why Are Flamingos Pink?

Flamingos, some of nature’s most striking creatures, are well-loved for their vibrant pink and orange coat. But, have you ever wondered if they’re born with it? 

Flamingos are actually born with gray and white feathers, and build their perfect tone over time from their diet. What’s their secret? It’s a little-known antioxidant, found in algae, that is one of nature’s most potent beauty enhancers. 

Read on to learn more about how they achieve their perfect glow, and how you can do the same. 

Flamingos get their pink color from their diet. Flamingos are born gray and white, and turn pink over the first few years of their life from eating brine shrimp. Brine shrimp turn pink from consuming a microscopic algae that’s rich in carotenoids - natural red, yellow and orange pigments that give carrots their color, turn ripe tomatoes red, and similarly, give shrimp their signature pink. When flamingos eat the nutrient and antioxidant-rich brine shrimp, they metabolize the pigments and take on the pink color over time. 

What’s the Secret Ingredient?  

The secret behind the signature pink of brine shrimp and flamingos is Astaxanthin (As-ta-zan-thin), a powerful carotenoid found in select microscopic algae. Despite its intimidating name, Astaxanthin is not that complex. It’s a potent beauty-from-within antioxidant that supports skin hydration, elasticity and smoothness when ingested. 

Where Can I Find It?  

Good news, you don’t have to rely on a diet of brine shrimp to achieve a radiant complexion with the help of this well-loved ingredient. Astaxanthin is available as a skin-healthy supplement, and can be found in our Skin Radiance Complex. Take it twice a day (morning and night) to support skin hydration and elasticity, for a natural glow. 

Will I Turn Pink?  

To assuage all fears of pink-toned skin, Astaxanthin will not contribute to pink or red undertones. Quite the opposite, the antioxidants in Astaxanthin provide optimal skin defense against harmful free radicals and environmental damage, to support your radiant skin tone. 


Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, "Why are Flamingos Pink? And Other Flamingo Facts," June 2021