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Coenzyme Q10, or simply CoQ10 (also called ubiquinone) is a compound found in human cells that exhibits antioxidant properties. Because of this, cosmetic manufacturers have started implementing it in a number of skin care products. The theory is that topical application of CoQ10 will deliver its antioxidant benefits to the skin. Let’s look at how CoQ10 promotes healthy skin and how certain factors can reduce the CoQ10 levels within your body.

Basics Of CoQ10  

All human cells have traces of CoQ10 which help generate cellular energy. It has vitamin-like qualities and is produced efficiently in the body during the first 20 years of a person’s life. It acts as an antioxidant and can prevent the chain-reaction oxidation of molecules. However, by the time a person reaches 30 years of age, the body’s production of CoQ10 declines. This can lead to a number of damaging effects to the skin, including a breakdown in collagen fibers and elastin.  

How CoQ10 Benefits Your Skin  

As an antioxidant, CoQ10 has a natural ability to neutralize molecular oxidation, thereby limiting or preventing damage from free radicals. In doing so, the compound can encourage the production of collagen fibers and elastin. Damage from free radicals can result in breakdown of collagen and elastin at the cellular level. Skin starts to show signs of aging including the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. CoQ10 can help to prevent this from occurring. There is also limited evidence that suggests topical application of CoQ10 has anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.

Factors That Reduce CoQ10 Levels  

There are a number of things that can cause a reduction in CoQ10. Chief among them is exposure to the sun’s UV radiation, though you can prevent this happening by using an effective sunscreen. Another influence is age. When a person grows older, their body becomes less capable of producing CoQ10. Other factors that can reduce production include stress and certain medications. When levels decline, the compound can no longer help eliminate free radicals.

Is CoQ10 Vital For Skin Health?  

CoQ10 is useful for its antioxidant qualities and care should be taken to prevent its early depletion within the body. While studies certainly suggest that CoQ10 provides skin benefits when applied topically, more research would be welcome. If you are interested in trying a product that contains CoEnzyme Q10 on your skin, [Link Removed] also contains the additional benefits of DMAE and Alpha Lipoic Acid.  

An ingredient that possesses similar action to CoEnzyme Q10 with much more evidence to back up its efficacy is Vitamin C. Consider [Link Removed] 

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 


Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Waxwing wrote Dec 31, 2008
    • Thank you !  I was wondering what all this talk about Q 10 was about. I recently read in Allure that the only thing that dermatologists are really getting behind is antioxidants  and Retin A for anti-aging: particularly Alpha Lipoic Acid as an antioxidant.  

      It was a bit scary for me to read about all the other stuff that is being “micronized” or put into nano particles. I started using micronized zinc and titanium oxide as a sunscreen - but then I read that the particles are so small that they may be absorbed into one’s blood stream and possibly even cross the Blood Brain Barrier ! YIKES !!! My brain neurons imploded during labor several years ago, the last thing I need is titanium or zinc in there too !! Or in my liver or heart....or that of my children.

      Any thoughts on this would be really helpful !!!!  I want my inside to be healthy AND my outside to look good.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Dec 31, 2008
    • Hi Silver

      Thanks for your comment.  

      I will be posting an article on nano particles in the coming weeks. As an aside, the risks of nano particles in cosmetics are quite widely disputed with many scientists claiming that they pose little to no risk. In fact, the Environmental Working Group, who analyzes safety of ingredients in cosmetics state that nano sized particles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are most likely safe and unlikely to penetrate healthy skin if applied in lotions. There is greater concern with sprays and creams, which may be inhaled.  

      Sharmani



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Waxwing wrote Jan 2, 2009
    • Great ! I look forward to the piece on nano particles. Though I am a bit relieved with the info you gave me.  I particularly worry about my children and their sunscreen !

      Thank you again for your take on this !



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