What is Coenzyme Q10?

When you are a card-carrying member of a skincare nerds club, anyone will tell you – it is easy to get distracted with the new and shiny. Be it a product, an acid, or a skincare ingredient. Given, there are tried-and-tested favourites (Retinol, vitamin C, and Mandelic acid come to mind). But FOMO makes us neglect an ingredient that has been around for quite a while and has just fallen off our radar. One such ingredient is Coenzyme Q10. If you are old enough, you might remember rows of products in your pharmacy/beauty store with the CoQ10 plastered on the packaging. While we might have forgotten about Coenzyme Q10, that doesn’t make it any less effective.

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as ubiquinone (or CoQ10). It is an enzyme found in the body (most abundantly in the organs like heart, liver, and kidneys) that is responsible for the production of 95% of our body’s energy. It is a fat-soluble antioxidant and protects our DNA and cells from the damage done by free radicals.

Coenzyme Q10 and our body

As we age, the levels of Coenzyme Q10 deplete in our bodies. Likewise, a number of lifestyle factors (such as stress for example) can contribute to less than optimum levels of Coenzyme Q10. Why is that significant? Because that affects our body’s ability to produce collagen and elastin. The skin will lose its firmness and elasticity. It also means that as we get older, our skin can’t protect itself as effectively against the environmental damage.
Some research suggests Coenzyme Q10 is beneficial for our cardiovascular health. You can make diet changes to get more Coenzyme Q10. Good sources of Coenzyme Q10 include meat (namely organ meats like liver and kidney), oily fish like tuna and salmon, and whole grains.
Diet changes on their own usually aren’t enough, and you might want to look into supplements. There are plenty of Coenzyme Q10 supplements on the market. Do consult with your GP before you take the plunge, as it can interact with certain types of medication.

Coenzyme q10 and topical application

In terms of topical application products with Coenzyme Q10 have plenty of benefits for the skin. It keeps our skin cells healthy and promotes the production of collagen and elastin. However, one of the most important functions is that it protects the skin from free radical damage. Because Coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant, it minimises the damage caused by oxidative stress. As we know by now, oxidative stress is the chief culprit behind the early signs of aging. On a more immediate level, it keeps the skin nice and hydrated.

The great thing about Coenzyme Q10 is it can easily be incorporated into a skincare routine as it plays well with other actives.

Do you use a product with Coenzyme Q10? How do you like it? Are you satisfied with the results?

Roberta Striga