Coenzyme Q10 Boasts Some Major Skincare Benefits

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Coenzyme Q10, commonly referred to as ubiquinone or CoQ10, is a fat-soluble antioxidant that you can often find in most medicine cabinets and supplement collections. According to the Mayo Clinic, this vitamin-like compound is known for providing an impressive range of benefits for common health conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure, migraines, and diabetes. Most notably, CoQ10 has also been proven to reduce symptoms of Parkinson's disease and improve energy levels, per Healthline.

CoQ10 has further impressed researchers by also providing key benefits to the largest and one of the most important organs in your body: your skin. This biological compound has been hailed as a promising miracle ingredient in skincare thanks to its antioxidant properties. So, how exactly does CoQ10 benefit the skin? Here's a look into CoQ10's role in the body and why you do not want to miss out on this antioxidant in your skincare routine.

The science behind CoQ10

CoQ10 is naturally produced in the body, which requires regular CoQ10 production to maintain healthy cellular growth and function (via the Mayo Clinic). This antioxidant is also involved in immune function and cellular energy production — both of which are vital functions for maintaining your body's energy levels, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and BioAllied Sciences. But what exactly is an antioxidant and what does it have to do with skincare?

Your skin is continuously exposed to the external environment throughout your life, which leaves it vulnerable to factors such as UV ray damage, harsh chemicals, and air pollution. The constant exposure to these environmental agents can result in skin damage. These harmful agents result in an increased production of free radicals, which are unstable and highly reactive molecules that, when present in a greater concentration than antioxidants, can lead to a state of oxidative stress, per Harvard Health. When this occurs, free radicals run rampant, damaging DNA and various parts of your cells. Therefore, harsh environmental elements can reduce the presence of CoQ10 in the body, thereby reducing antioxidant protection (via Paula's Choice).

What can CoQ10 do for your skin?

CoQ10 can combat the negative effects of oxidative stress, which is caused by an increased production of free radicals due to damaging environmental agents. Oxidative stress leads to DNA and cellular damage which causes thinning of the skin, barrier damage, and the loss of moisture (via Healthline). This combined damage to the skin, and the insufficient production of antioxidants, can lead to premature aging, which is why it is critical to maintain a healthy production of CoQ10 to counterbalance the presence of free radicals.

When you add CoQ10 into your routine, you can reduce the signs of aging. Specifically, CoQ10 helps reduce the depth of wrinkles and suppresses the production of collagenase, an enzyme responsible for destroying the skin's natural collagen, according to a study published in BioFactors. In addition, CoQ10 can also reduce skin damage caused by sun exposure, which causes premature aging and increases the risk of developing skin cancer (via Healthline).

The best way to use CoQ10

CoQ10 is available in various different forms, including capsules, liquid syrups, IV, and chewable tablets, per the Mayo Clinic. There is ongoing debate regarding the efficacy of oral versus topical consumption of CoQ10; however, both forms provide the intended antioxidant effect. According to a study published in BioFactors, however, topical forms of CoQ10 may be more effective for decreasing signs of aging, while oral supplementation may be more effective for treating symptoms of health-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes.

That being said, if you decide to choose a soft-gel supplement form of CoQ10, opt for a capsule that contains either ubiquinone, which is an oxidized form of CoQ10, or ubiquinol, which is a reduced form of CoQ10, according to a study published in the International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences (Nutrition). If you decide to use CoQ10 topically, choose a moisturizer that contains ubiquinone such as the Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Face Creme.

Regardless of which form you choose to add into your daily routine, you do not want to sleep on this unassuming skincare ingredient. Before you use this antioxidant, make sure to check with your doctor if you take blood thinners or have any existing health conditions that may interact with CoQ10.