Astaxanthin is a carotenoid derived from oxygen-containing non-vitamin A sources and is mainly obtained from marine organisms. Studies have demonstrated that astaxanthin is a natural antioxidant product and it is widely used in the fields of medicine, health-care products and cosmetics. Studies have shown that astaxanthin has important preventive and therapeutic effects on liver fibrosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver, liver cancer, drug and ischemia-induced liver injury, and its mechanism is related to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and the regulation of multiple signaling pathways. In this review, we discuss the latest data on astaxanthin in the prevention and treatment of liver diseases. An understanding of the structure, source and mechanism of action of astaxanthin in the body would not only provide a theoretical basis for its clinical application but could also have important significance in screening and improving related compounds for the treatment of liver diseases.