Skin series: Coenzyme Q10 in cosmetics?

Posted by on July 14, 2017 in Good for Mind and Body | 0 comments

Have you started seeing Coenzyme Q10 in cosmetics lately? Let’s understand what were talking about here.

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is an antioxidant your body produces naturally. It helps convert food into energy and is found in the mitochondria of every cell in your body. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA (affecting telomeres), and even cause cell death. Ok, none of that seems promising for skin health?

We know that free radicals contribute to the aging process, as well as a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as CoQ10, can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Aging and stress lower the production of CoQ10. Further, commonly prescribed medications including statin drugs can also deplete the body of CoQ10.

What’s happening inside always reveals itself on the outside right?

This loss of tissue CoQ10 levels effects energy metabolism in many tissues – especially liver, heart, and skeletal muscle; a few studies suggest that diminished CoQ10 production in the body can also lead to increased signs of aging on the outside like elasticity and fine lines. I think this is most likely due to the effect of diminished CoQ10 on the all important measurement of telomere length. Free radicals damage DNA. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA. Telomere length represents our biological age as opposed to our chronological age.

This is certainly a case for making sure you’re getting enough CoQ10 right?

There isn’t clear science on topical application of CoQ10 just yet. Maybe the lack of CoQ10 results in an impeded ability to produce collagen and elastin. Collagen is key in helping make your skin appear firmer; elastin gives your skin flexibility. Loss of other potentially leads to an increase in fine lines and sagging.

CoQ10 is found in oily fish (salmon and tuna), organ meats (liver) and whole grains. If your considering supplementation, in addition to a nutrient rich balanced diet, check with your doctor if you are diabetic or take cholesterol lowering medications or blood thinners.

A high quality diet rich in all antioxidants is my first priority always. But ohhh how I do love my various pots of youth 😉 Next time I see Coenzyme Q10 on a cosmetic label, I must just take a second look.  I science sure makes sense to me.

More about telomeres and aging


Kimberly Young MS CNS is a practicing Nutritionist in Dallas, Texas.   Learn about her integrative approach to diet and nutrition and schedule online at

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