COQ10 is the abbreviation of Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone or ubiquinol. It is a fat soluble, vitamin-like compound that enables cells to convert food and other substances into usable energy. Found in nearly every cell in the human body, it is highly concentrated in the vital organs such as the heart, liver, muscles and kidneys.
Sources of COQ10 include oily fish, organ meats and whole grains. COQ10 is also a well known powerful free radical scavenging antioxidant. In skin, COQ10 levels decline with age and UV radiation. Topical application of COQ1 has been shown to significantly stimulate the energy metabolism of human keratinocytes, which forms 90% of cells in the epidermis. Applied topically, COQ10 (ubiquinone) can penetrate the deeper layers of the epidermis and convert to Ubiquinol.
Studies have shown that applying COQ10 to skin can reduce oxidative stress within the tissue. This proves that using COQ10 in the right formulations can help improve skin health and cell regeneration.
For cell nerds, CoQ10 is found inside the powerhouses of cells called the mitochondria, where energy production occurs. COQ10 functions as an electron acceptor or donor in the chain of reactions that lead to energy production. When oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) accepts an electron from another molecule in the chain, it becomes reduced (ubiquinol) and when reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) donates an electron, it becomes oxidized.
This shows that regardless of what form of CoQ10 is used ie ubiquinone or ubiquinol, the body is able to convert one form to the other form as needed. Essentially, if you take a reduced CoQ10 supplement (ubiquinol), the body can convert the reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) to the oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone) and vice versa to maintain a state of equilibrium between reduced CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and oxidized CoQ10 (ubiquinone).
Given the importance of COQ10 to overall cell health, it's no wonder that it's found in numerous skincare formulations. Here are some of our favourites containing COQ10: