The antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (known as CoQ10 or ubiquinone) is found in most living things, including humans. It’s used by our cells to process the energy our bodies need to power essential processes. It’s just one of 1300 different enzymes which keep the incredible machinery of our bodies running smoothly, but it’s becoming one of the most well known in the world of skincare, for good reason.
Studies have shown that CoQ10 neutralizes free radicals, the unstable atoms which can damage cells, causing illness and aging. By going around mopping these nasties up, it helps to slow down the process of ageing, both inside and out.
So far, so good, right? Right! But there’s a hitch…
Enzymes are produced by the mitochondria inside our cells. As we age, our mitochondria do too and they slow down, producing less CoQ10 and therefore less energy. In fact, it’s estimated our bodies produce as much as 10% less with every passing decade. External stress factors also reduce our production of this fat-soluble lipid as we age.
This has a number of implications for our bodies, but as a skincare business we’re going to focus primarily on how reduced levels of CoQ10 impacts our skin, and what we can do about it.
Where Does It Come From?
Our bodies naturally produce enough Coenzyme Q10 to function properly. Roughly a quarter of the CoQ10 in your blood seems to come from dietary sources and the remainder is produced internally.
Meat, poultry, and fish are the predominant food sources of coenzyme Q10. However, before you stock up on your favourite animal proteins, it’s worth noting that the levels of antioxidants found in these foods aren’t high enough to make much difference to how much we have in our own bodies.
For this reason, when it comes to skincare, direct (or topical) application of formulas containing plant-sourced CoQ10 is recommended.
What Does CoQ10 Do?
In a whole-body sense, CoQ10’s job is to create cellular energy and zap free radicals. It helps turn the energy we get from carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which our bodies need for healthy metabolism, bones, muscles and neurological functioning.
When it comes to skin, i.e. the largest organ in your body, CoQ10 has been proven to reduce sun damage and increase antioxidant protection. It is believed to help prevent both chronological ageing (loss of firmness in skin as you get older) and photoageing (wrinkling and drying of skin from excessive sun exposure): these are the two primary causes of skin ageing.
This is the result of its ability to reduce the damage from both internal and external forces. In fact, CoQ10 applied directly to the skin has been shown to reduce oxidative damage caused by UV rays and even decrease the depth of wrinkles.
How To Use On Your Skin
The best way to increase your skin’s CoQ10 levels and maintain youthful, glowing skin is by applying a CoQ10 enriched serum or lotion – such as our Complex CoQ10 Serum – topically and frequently.
Scientific studies have proven that applying formulas containing CoQ10 significantly increased the levels of this substance on the surface of the skin, and demonstrate that ‘stressed skin benefits from the topical Q10 treatment by reduction of free radicals and an increase in antioxidant capacity’.
We recommend dripping 3-5 drops onto the back of your hand before applying to the forehead, cheek and under the eyes, using a patting motion.Use morning and night for best results. You can also use Cannabella Complex CoQ10 Serum as a cleansing oil – simply massage over dry skin and remove with a warm damp cloth.
Who Should Use CoQ10 ?
As this is a naturally occurring substance in our own bodies, there are no contra-indications for Coenzyme 10. We recommend Cannabella Complex CoQ10 Serum for those concerned with aging and sun damage primarily, however it is perfectly safe for all skin types.