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What is Coenzyme Q10 and Why Should You Use It?

With the latest “natural skincare” trends, you’ve probably learned to keep things as natural as possible. Under these terms, the general rule of thumb is to only stick to ingredients you can pronounce - things like aloe vera, peptides, and vitamin C.

Something as scientific sounding as coenzyme Q10 - otherwise known as ubiquinone - wouldn’t seem to fall into this category, but it actually does. There are exceptions to this pronunciation rule, and some complicated-sounding names can actually refer to healthy, all-natural ingredients (like vitamin E, which is commonly known as tocopherol).

Here’s what you need to know about this powerful, complicated-sounding antioxidant and why you should incorporate it into your routine.

Coenzyme Q10: A Powerful Antioxidant

Often known by its abbreviation, CoQ10, coenzyme Q10 is a powerful ingredient that’s gotten a lot of buzz in the anti-aging community. The word on the street? That it will be a major fine line and wrinkle fighter. Here’s what’s really going on.

CoQ10 is actually not a new ingredient: it’s been used in Japanese beauty for years, and many women in Japan swear by it as their go-to ingredient for firmer, youthful-looking skin. At its most basic, this ingredient is just an enzyme, and one of the most fundamental antioxidantsthat we know. In fact, it can be found in every cell of the human body! And it’s super important for our cells to produce energy.

The problem? Like most things, you produce a lot of coenzyme Q10 when you’re young, but production starts to go down after you’re about 20 years old. That means we naturally lose a lot of this antioxidant’s skin-saving UV protection and benefits.

The solution? Start applying it on your face.

Skincare Benefits of Coenzyme Q10

When applied topically, coenzyme Q10 is shown to deliver quite a few benefits. It can:

Energize Cells

Your cells need to harness energy to function properly - that’s a given. Well, your cells need CoQ10 to make that energy. It’s a fundamental building block of healthy cells and skin like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and collagen.

Logically, then, more CoQ10 means better functioning cells. More specifically, the antioxidant can make your cells more capable of getting rid of toxins and absorbing nutrients, which will lead to healthier, happier skin over time.

Reduce Sun Damage and Free Radical Damage

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In general, antioxidants work to fight damage caused by UV rays and other environmental factors. Coenzyme Q10 helps provide this kind of protection at the cellular level, thereby decreasing the damage caused by photo-aging.

Stimulate Collagen and Elastin

Over time, CoQ10 supports your body’s ability to produce collagen and elastic. This can ultimately lead to firmer skin and fewer lines and wrinkles.

Strengthen Barrier Function

Finally, coenzyme Q10 can ultimately help strengthen your skin’s barrier function. In the big picture, this means healthier skin, fewer breakouts, less irritation, and more (you can check out all of the benefits a healthy barrier here).

How to Apply It 

Again, coenzyme Q10 can be found in moisturizers, toners, and undereye creams. It can safely be mixed with most ingredients, so you don’t have to be too careful.

That said, it is a fat-soluble ingredient - not water-soluble - so you should apply it with other fat-soluble products.