Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is present in every cell of your body. The human body makes CoQ10 naturally, but after the age of 30, production levels of CoQ10 begin to diminish(3). Researchers believe that having a deficiency in CoQ10 may make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage and environmental pollutants.
Fortunately, the human body absorbs CoQ10 through supplements or foods like fish, nuts, and meat. Or, it can be applied topically in order to harness its numerous skincare benefits.
Skincare Benefits of CoQ10
One of the main functions of CoQ10 is to help generate energy in your cells. (Warning: the following may trigger memories of high school biology class.) It’s involved in creating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a necessary component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, making it vital to the energy production process in our cells.
It protects the skin from oxidative stress
Its other crucial role is to serve as an antioxidant and protect cells from oxidative damage (2, 5). Applying CoQ10 directly to the skin can reduce the damage from internal and external agents by increasing energy production in skin cells and promoting antioxidant protection (19). In fact, CoQ10 applied directly to the skin has been shown to reduce oxidative damage caused by UV rays and even decrease the depth of wrinkles (20).
Helps the body produce collagen
The more collagen we lose, the more fine lines and wrinkles tend to appear. Research indicates CoQ10 offers a promising way to combat the loss of collagen. In an animal study, topical CoQ10 facilitated collagen formation and reduced inflammation during healing. "It does this by inhibiting enzymes that damage collagen via oxidative stress, [which] tilts the soft tissue in favor of collagen formation," says board-certified dermatologist Kenneth Mark, M.D.
Unlocking the powerful skincare benefits of CoQ10 demonstrates what's possible when nature and science unite. There's still much more research to be done, but CoQ10 has already risen to the top of the list of standout beauty ingredients to watch.
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