[noun] Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, being transformed into retinol – the active form of vitamin A – during digestion. This orange plant pigment is well-known for its antioxidant action that helps neutralise the free radicals which, when too abundant, contribute to premature skin ageing. It also fosters the synthesis of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin’s colour and therefore tanning. Some foods have exceptionally high beta-carotene content, such as carrots, red peppers, spinach, apricots and mangos.