Q10 is a coenzyme that is involved in cellular energy production and protection of our cells. There are numerous cosmetics with Q10 that are believed to delay skin ageing. However, only limited amounts of data have been available to prove the effect of Q10 on skin - until recently.
We like the idea of staying as youthful as possible. Many of us spend fortunes on anti-wrinkle creams, while others try their luck with more radical methods such as plastic surgery, Botox injections, and other methods that involve a certain risk of bizarre outcome and chronic infections. Another strategy is simply to come to terms with your age and seek more natural anti-ageing solutions like Q10, which can even increase your energy levels and does not cause side effects.
Q10 benefits your skin in several different ways
Researchers from the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) wanted to study how supplementing with Q10 could affect the skin. They carried out a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 33 healthy volunteers who were divided into three groups. For a period of 12 weeks, the groups were randomly assigned to treatments with either 50 mg of Q10, 100 mg of Q10, or identical placebo (dummy pills). Neither the researchers nor the participants knew who got what, until after the study was completed.
After comparing the groups, the scientists observed that Q10 supplementation resulted in:
- Less season-related impairment of skin elasticity
- Significantly fewer micro-lines
- Significantly fewer wrinkles
- Smoother skin
Q10 supplementation did not significantly affect skin moisturizing or skin thickness. The study is published in Biofactors (June 2016)
Important to choose a high-quality supplement
There are two main forms of Q10. One is called ubiquinone, the other is named ubiquinol. Both ubiquinol and ubiquinone are involved in the energy metabolism in cells, whereas it is only ubiquinol that is also able to serve as an antioxidant. By means of enzyme processes that include selenium, Q10 is continuously converted from one form to the other and vice versa, depending on the body's needs. Because of this continuous conversion it makes no difference if you take one form or the other. What matters is that you choose a supplement with good bioavailability that can document that the Q10 is effectively absorbed in the blood. The body will take care of the rest.
Why does Q10 have such a positive effect on skin?
First of all, Q10 contributes to energy turnover and cellular rejuvenation. Secondly, Q10 is a unique and very powerful antioxidant that protects cells against free radicals, which are aggressive molecules that attack all cells, including skin cells. The free radical burden increases tremendously with age and is also worsened by smoking, poisoning, inflammation, radiation, and stress. Thirdly, Q10 contributes to a well-functioning circulatory system that is able to bring nutrients to the skin cells and remove toxins and waste products.
Q10 is the closest we can get to the "Fountain of Youth"
As mentioned, Q10 is part of cellular metabolism and the body's defense against free radicals. Our main source of Q10 is our endogenous production of the substance, but our ability to produce Q10 gradually declines from our early twenties. Many people feel the relative lack of Q10 in their 40s and 50s, which is also when the inside and outside ageing processes really set in.
It is, however, possible to boost our cells with a Q10 supplement, and that is something which we can continue taking for the rest of our lives. That way, we can delay and reduce the age-related loss of energy and various ageing processes that normally show on our skin. It is also possible to restore lost vitality and become more radiant. With the benefits we get from this substance, Q10 combined with healthy living is probably the closest we can come to the Fountain of Youth.
Curve showing the body's Q10 production though life
Q10 is involved in the energy turnover in all cells. Even though we produce less of the substance as we grow older, we can compensate for the age-related loss by taking a supplement.
Zmitek K et al. The effect of dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 on skin parameters and condition: results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. PubMed 2016
Pernille Lund: Sund og smuk hele livet. Ny Videnskab 2016
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