Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q10)

Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q10) is a relative newcomer in the realm of skin care products and research. Many studies confirm that this antioxidant coenzyme has powerful abilities to fuel the energy process in cells. Coenzyme Q10 helps converts the vitamins and nutrients we eat into food into usable "cell food."

What is CoQ10?

CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant and a biologically active quinone found in the membrane of the cellular mitochondria, and is present in most of the organs and tissues of the body. It is made up of organic non-protein coenzymes responsible for carrying electrons in our cells. Furthermore, CoQ10 works to synthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a key source of intracellular energy in the human body.

How Can CoQ10 Keep the Skin Healthy?

When we apply this coenzyme topically, CoQ10 has been shown to neutralize free radicals in the skin cells. Oxidation of the cells in our skins is one of the primary causes of wrinkles and aging. Under optimal circumstances, our skin should be able to produce enough of the enzyme to prevent premature aging, but unfortunately, due to high-stress lifestyles, improper diet and some medications, our natural levels of CoQ10 in the body are significantly lowered.

After approximately the age of thirty, our skin naturally begins to experience less-than-optimum levels of CoQ10. Not only does this increase free radical presence, but CoQ10-depleted skin is actually more at risk for environmental exposures and damage from elements such as the sun, wind and pollution. This depletion can also lead to reduced production of elastin, collagen, and other crucial skin molecules. Research shows that continual topical use of CoQ10 is linked to cellular energizing properties which aid skin cells in the ability to slow the process of wrinkling, age-spots, as well as the formation of free-radicals.

Coenzyme Q10 is also well known ubiquinone, a fat-soluble nutrient. This means that the coenzyme has the ability to dissolve in the oils of the skin. Its size is small enough to seamlessly penetrate our skin cells, a fact which increases its effectiveness. In terms of benefits, one of the main mechanisms of action of CoQ10 in the skin cells is the ability to stabilize the skin's cell membranes. The more stable the membranes of our skin cells, the less likely we are to experience wrinkling, sun damage and free radical oxidation. The collagen of the skin will also have more pliability and strength with increased levels of CoQ10. Overall, CoQ10 can improve the texture, firmness and tone of the skin.

Where You Can Find CoQ10?

CoQ10 is available as ubiquinone in many skin care products, including age serums, firming creams, treatments and other body care products. The synthetic form of ubiquinone is known as idebenone.

Did you know?

A 1999 skin-research study in German researchers showed that continual topical use of
CoQ10 around "crows feet" (the ubiquitous wrinkles around the eye), were able to visibly reduce the appearance of these wrinkles.

A study conducted in Italy on topical applications of coenzyme Q10 to laboratory rats found that levels of CoQ10 were directly related to the ability to regenerate skin cells. This suggests that the coenzyme may be able to prevent some of the detrimental effects of photo-aging.

Usage Recommendations and Possible Side Effects

Very few side-effects from topical application of CoQ10 have been reported, and usually most skin types do very well with its use. Although it is generally very safe, you should avoid topically applying CoQ10 if you have a specific sensitivity to this coenzyme. Synthetic versions of CoQ10, such as ubiquinone or Idebenone/Idebenol may cause more irritation in sensitive skin types than natural forms of the coenzyme.

 
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