What on earth is CoQ10? You may have heard about CoQ10 for internal use, as it can be related to heart health. The Mayo Clinic notes that it may help lower blood pressure and reduce angina, and other studies show it may be helpful for a realm of different internal conditions.
However, this little known powerhouse of a nutrient is also extremely helpful in skin care. As we age, our bodies naturally produce less of it. So not only does it help to take supplements, but if you apply CoQ10 topically, you’ll find your skin responding with more energy.
What is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is short for “coenzyme Q10,” which is a substance similar to a vitamin found in every cell of the body. Also called “ubiquinone,” this nutrient is absolutely essential for the basic functioning of the human cell, participating in the generation of energy as well as in protecting the body from damaging free radicals.
Organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, because they have the highest energy requirements, also have the highest CoQ10 concentrations. The skin, as well, requires the nutrient for daily repair and protection against aging.
Internal Health Benefits of CoQ10
The body makes CoQ10 on its own, and we also get small amounts from some meats, seafood, and whole grains. The University of Maryland notes that some studies suggest CoQ10 supplements may help prevent or treat heart failure, high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, heart damage caused by chemotherapy, and gum disease.
Other research indicates that those patients taking CoQ10 prior to heart surgery experience faster recoveries, and that CoQ10 may help improve immune function in people with HIV or AIDS, improve male fertility, help treat Parkinson’s disease, improve exercise ability in people with angina, and help prevent migraines.
Patients taking some types of medications, as well—like cholesterol-lowering statins, which deplete the body’s supply of CoQ10—may also benefit from taking CoQ10 supplements.
CoQ10's Benefits to the Skin
As we age, the body starts producing less CoQ10 and we can notice the effects of this on our skin, in the form of sagging and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Here are some of the benefits CoQ10 provides for the skin:
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, protecting skin from environmental stressors and giving your skin a tighter, firmer look.
CoQ10 stimulates giving you younger-looking skin.
CoQ10 helps plump the appearance of your skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
More good news—whereas some nutrients are too big to penetrate the skin, CoQ10 is not.
Since the eyes are vulnerable to aging the fastest, we stacked our nutrient-filled Anti-Aging Eye Cream with CoQ10. For the best overall effects, if you’re 35 or older, try 100 mg daily of a CoQ10 supplement, as well.
Hoppe U, et al, “Coenzyme Q10, a cutaneous antioxidant and energizer,” Biofactors 1999;9(2-4):371-8, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10416055.
Rusciani L, Proietti I, Rusciani A, et al. Low plasma coenzyme Q10 levels as an independent prognostic factor for melanoma progression. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Feb;54(2):234-41.
Russell Martin, “CoQ10’s New Benefits,” Life Extension Magazine, August 2006, http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/aug2006_report_coq10_01.htm.