Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone, is a fat-soluble compound that is
synthesized by the body and can be obtained from the diet. It is a member of the ubiquinone
family of compounds, which are present in all living organisms. The name ubiquinone refers
to the ubiquitous presence of these compounds in living organisms and their chemical
structure, which contains a functional group known as a benzoquinone.
CoQ10 plays a central role in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and the production of
adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy currency of cells. It also functions
as an antioxidant in cell membranes and lipoproteins.
Biological Function in the Body
CoQ10 is vital for energy production within cells. It plays a key role in the electron transport
chain, a process which is how animal and plant cells produce the bulk of their energy. The
highest concentrations of CoQ10 are found in our vital organs which are the brain, heart,
kidneys, liver, and lungs. This makes complete sense given the large amount of cellular
energy they need relative to the much less active parts of your body, such as your bones
and outside of vigorous exercise, most of your muscles. CoQ10 also works as an antioxidant
that protects cells from damage and plays an important part in the metabolism3. It helps
cells produce energy for growth and maintenance.
Natural Sources of Coenzyme Q10
CoQ10 is naturally found in the body, with the highest levels in the heart, liver, kidney, and
pancreas. It can also be obtained from certain foods. CoQ10 is found in meat, fish, and nuts.
However, the amount of CoQ10 found in these dietary sources isn’t enough to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in your body.
Benefits of CoQ10 for Skin
CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant that combats skin-damaging free radicals. Free radicals can accelerate the aging process, leading to wrinkles and fine lines. By neutralizing these
harmful particles, CoQ10 helps protect the skin and maintain its youthful appearance.
Evens Skin Tone and Reduces Sun Damage
CoQ10 has been shown to even skin tone and reduce sun damage. It helps to minimize the
appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure, leading to a
more balanced and radiant complexion.
Improves Skin Hydration
CoQ10 improves skin hydration, making it a valuable ingredient in many skincare products.
Proper hydration is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and preventing the formation of
Boosts Collagen Production
CoQ10 aids in the production of collagen, a protein that keeps the skin firm and resilient. As
we age, collagen production decreases, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles. By boosting
collagen production, CoQ10 helps to keep the skin firm and youthful.
Cellular Energy Support
By enhancing the efficiency of the mitochondria, CoQ10 supports cellular energy production,
contributing to a vibrant and energized complexion.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CoQ10 can soothe irritated skin, reducing redness and
promoting an even skin tone.
Hydration and Moisture Retention
Coenzyme Q10 helps the skin retain moisture, improving hydration levels and contributing to
a smoother and more supple appearance.
I have sensitive skin, can I use skincare products containing Coenzyme Q10?
Yes, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is generally well-tolerated and can be ideal for people with
sensitive skin. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental
stressors. However, as with any skincare product, it is always a good idea to do a patch test
first to ensure you don't have an adverse reaction. If you have any concerns, it is best to
consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional before starting any new skincare
regimen. Please note that if you have vitiligo, you should consult your dermatologist before
using products containing CoQ10.
I have Eczema, can I use skincare products containing Coenzyme Q10?
Yes, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can be beneficial for individuals with eczema. CoQ10 acts as
an antioxidant, blocking the effects of free radicals which can cause inflammation in the skin.
Its anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce levels of inflammation in the skin, improving
comfort and overall health, and potentially reducing the risk of eczema flare-ups. However,
it’s always recommended to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional before
starting any new skincare regimen, especially if you have a skin condition like eczema. They
can provide personalized advice based on your specific skin type and condition. Remember
to do a patch test first to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction to the product.
I am pregnant, can I use skincare products containing Coenzyme Q10?
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is generally considered safe for topical application during
pregnancy. However, the safety of CoQ10 use during pregnancy and breastfeeding hasn’t
been fully established. Therefore, it’s recommended to consult with your healthcare provider
before using products containing CoQ10 during pregnancy. Pregnancy can bring unexpected
changes to your skin, so it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first. Please
remember to do a patch test first to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction to the
How can Coenzyme Q10 be naturally produced for manufacturing skincare products?
In commercial production, CoQ10 is often produced through microbial fermentation. This
process involves using specific types of bacteria or yeast, which are capable of producing
CoQ10 naturally. The microbes are grown in a controlled environment, where they produce
CoQ10 as part of their normal metabolic processes. The CoQ10 is then extracted and
purified for use in various products. This method is considered more effective and
environmentally friendly than chemical synthesis or solvent extraction.
If I take a capsule containing Coenzyme Q10, how will it be absorbed, and is it
effective in reaching skin cells?
When you take a Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) capsule, it is absorbed from the small intestine
into the lymphatics, and from there it enters into the blood. It’s then distributed to the various
tissues of the body, including the skin. the effectiveness of CoQ10 in reaching skin cells
when taken orally can vary. Factors such as the individual’s age, overall health, and the
presence of certain health conditions can influence how well CoQ10 is absorbed and utilized
by the body. While CoQ10 supplements can support skin health, they are not a substitute for
a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and a good skincare routine. If you’re considering
taking CoQ10 supplements for skin health, it’s always a good idea to consult with a
healthcare provider first.
What is the recommended or safest percentage of Coenzyme Q10 in face creams?
The concentration of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in skincare products can vary, but studies
have shown that a concentration of 0.3% to 2 % is effective and generally safe. However, the
ideal concentration can depend on various factors, including the specific formulation of the
product, the other ingredients it contains, and the individual’s skin type. It’s always a good
idea to start with a lower concentration and see how your skin reacts before moving to a
higher concentration. If you have any concerns or if you experience any adverse reactions,
it’s best to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional.