Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that has recently become very popular in the skincare world, with more and more companies releasing any kind of products – cleansers, moisturizers, serums, sunscreens, etc – containing this ingredient. But what is Coenzyme Q10 and what does it do? And most importantly, how effective it really is?
What is Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 (also called Ubiquinone) is a vitamin-like substance that is present in all human cells. It produces the body’s energy and also has antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals, the main cause of premature aging. For the first 20 years, our body produces all the Coenzyme Q10 it needs. But sadly, this production starts to decrease when we turn 30. The breakdown of collagen and elastin is one of the main side effects caused by the decline of Coenzyme Q10.
What does Coenzyme Q10 do for skin?
Coenzyme Q10 is a small molecule that can easily penetrate into the skin. Research on this ingredient is, so far, limited but promising. As mentioned above, it has antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals, reduces UV damage, stimulates collagen production and has antiinflammatory properties (inflammation too speeds up the aging process). In addition, a 1999 German study shows that prolonged use of Coenzyme Q10 could reduce crow feet. All this shows that Coenzyme Q10 is an effective antioxidant, but keep in mind that it’s just one among many (when it comes to antioxidants, there isn’t a best one; a combination of them provides the best results).
Does Coenzyme Q10 has any side effects?
Coenzyme Q10 is generally considered to be safe for every skin type. However, allergic reactions to this ingredients, although rare, can occur. In addition, if you’re undergoing chemotherapy treatment or are taking medications for cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood thinners, you should consult with your doctor before using products with Coenzyme Q10.
Is Coenzyme Q10 in skincare products effective?
While Coenzyme Q10 is an effective antioxidant that can penetrate into the skin, we don’t know yet if the concentrations present in skincare products are high enough to be effective. This doesn’t mean that they don’t work, but only that we don’t know how well they work. In addition, Coenzyme Q10, just like other antioxidants, degrades and loses its efficacy when exposed to light and hair so avoid products packaged in jars or see-through bottles.
The Bottom Line
Coenzyme Q10 is an effective antioxidant that can help prevent premature aging by fighting free radicals, reducing inflammation and UV damage, and boosting collagen production. However, we don’t know at what concentrations it needs to be used in skincare products to be effective and, just like other antioxidants, it breaks down when exposed to light and air. Personally, I think it is a good antioxidant to include in your skincare routine, but it shouldn’t be the only one. A combination of free-radical fighting antioxidants always works best for skin.
Do you use skincare products with Coenzyme Q10?