The Beauty Alphabet: Q is for Coenzyme Q10

What is Coenzyme Q10?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or Ubiquinone), is a lipid-soluble quinone and antioxidant. It is capable of decreasing the collagen degradation of the skin and damage caused by photo aging. It can protect the skin from UV radiation and promote the cell renewal.

In biochemistry, CoQ10 is crucial for the mitochondria and lysosomes for the mitochondrial electron-transport chain (ETC). It undergoes cycles where it transfers protons across the membrane to form a proton gradient. This proton gradient is a crucial component of the oxidative phosphorylation process in mitochondria which converts the energy in carbohydrates and fatty acids into ATP (energy) to drive cellular synthesis — this is important for all functionality of the human body.

Topical Application of CoQ10

As we age or as we experience external stress factors, CoQ10 content diminishes. Since CoQ10 is crucial for cellular energy production, a way to restore it would be through topical application.

Topical Application of CoQ10 containing products can significantly increase the levels of this quinone on the skin surface and the deeper layers of the epidermis. CoQ10 can also augment cellular energy metabolism and give antioxidant,

Increasing CoQ10 increases cellular energy metabolism and cellular synthesis — meaning production of skin cells and improved looking skin with the benefits of an antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it protects the skin from damaging free radicals (ROS) and other environmental stressors.
CoQ10 can be supplied as
a bright yellow-orange color that can easily color your products and formulas. It can still be used at low % in products to obtain efficacy if you are concerned about coloring your product.

Products Containing CoQ10/Ubiquinone

  • Skin Laundry | Balancing Antioxidant Toner ($22 for 200 mL) — CoQ10 is a lipid soluble antioxidant. The other ingredients in this toner are all water soluble; however, it looks like CoQ10 is solubilized in the toner through the use of Polysorbate 20.
  • Indie Lee | CoQ-10 Toner ($34 for 125 mL) — This toner contains citrus aurantium flower oil and CoQ10 as the only lipid ingredients. I also do not see any solubilizers or anything of that matter that would keep the oils in solution of this toner. The toner is sprayable, so I have doubts that the Hyaluronic Acid in this toner is anywhere near 1%. Therefore, I’m not really sure how the lipids are kept in place in this product or even the efficacy of this product for that matter.
  • Paula’s Choice | 10% Niacinamide Booster ($44 for 0.67oz) — If you look at the ingredients list of this product, it showcases the functionality of the ingredients in parentheses beside it. This could be a great choice for those who want to use products from brands that are transparent about the ingredients that are used in it.

Where to Purchase CoQ10 Powder

Further Reading

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