I’ve been in love with coenzyme Q10 (also known as ubiquinone) ever since I first encountered it in Dr. Leslie Baumann’s textbook Cosmetic Dermatology. Fast forward ten years, and I’m still in love with the ingredient, but it can be super hard to find.
Enter DHC Quick Gel Brightening Moisture ($68.00, FutureDerm.com/Shop). The product contains a fair concentration of Coenzyme Q10, higher than I’ve seen any other reputable skin care company include, at least. It has a medium-weight, olive oil-based formula that absorbs hydrates well and makes it ideal for normal to dry skin types, or skin that gets dry in the winter months. It has an almost cooling feeling upon the skin, and it drinks in at a fair rate, after about 20-30 seconds for a dime-size application. DHC Quick Gel Brightening Moisture has a very mild scent, like a mildly fruity olive oil, as it is applied onto the skin, and it is scentless once it is absorbed.
To incorporate DHC Quick Gel Brightening Moisture into a skin care routine, I recommend using it after a vitamin CE serum, like our FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum. This is because vitamins C and E work in the same pathway as coenzyme Q10, strengthening the antioxidant action even further.
How Does Coenzyme Q10 Work?
Coenzyme Q-10 — also known as ubiquinone — is found naturally in the human body as something essential for the production of cells (Mayo Clinic). Coenzyme Q-10 levels are at their highest for the first 20 years of life and then subsequently decrease as we age. Researchers are investigating how this antioxidant might be related to the aging process and longer life span. Though it’s shown process with lab rats, it doesn’t appear to do much for lab rats (MedlinePlus).
Coenzyme Q-10 is considered a regenerative antioxidant (Journal of the American College of Nutrition). When applied to the skin, Coenzyme Q-10 has been shown to penetrate the skin layers and reduce the oxidation, reduce wrinkles, and prevent UVA-irradiation damage (Biofactors). It’s antioxidant and coenzyme effects also help prevent cell death.
Q-10 is an integral part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, which is depolarized by UVB-irradiation. When skin was treated with Q-10 before UVB exposure, it mitigated these effects and increased cell viability (Journal of Biological Chemistry).
In addition to this, Coenzyme Q-10 helps to suppress the inflammation that occurs with UV-irradiation. That was magnified when coenzyme Q-10 was applied with carotenoids like beta-carotene (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology). When mixed with carotenoids, it’s also able to stop the UVR induction of matrix metalloproteinase-1, which degrade collagen (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology). In this way it serves as a powerful ingredient in anti-aging.
Coenzyme Q-10 can degrade in heat and light, so products in air tight, opaque containers are ideal (Chemical Pharmacy Bulliten).
Works Together with Vitamin C and Vitamin E
As longtime FutureDerm readers know, different antioxidants work on different pathways within the skin. There are at least three major pathways that detoxify the skin (as well as the rest of your cells) from free radicals (Nature, 2013).
What makes coenzyme Q10 great for use with vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid and vitamin E is that it operates in the same pathway as these antioxidants. This means that, when any of the three antioxidants encounter a free radical and neutralize it, losing an electron in the process, they can be regenerated by having one of the other two antioxidants donate an electron (Cosmetic Dermatology). For this reason, coenzyme Q10-containing products are a great addition to use with vitamin C + vitamin E-containing products, like our FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum.
DHC Quick Gel Brightening Moisture is a must-have product if you’re interested in trying out the benefits of coenzyme Q-10 for your normal to dry skin (or normal to oily skin in the winter months). Coenzyme Q10 has beneficial effects in and on the body and hasn’t been found to have many negative reactions, though it is as of yet untested on pregnant women and children. Some think it could help people live longer because it’s in every cell and is an integral part of cell production. On skin, it’s a powerful antioxidant and excellent for anti-aging, and works particularly well in conjunction with vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid and vitamin E.
What are your thoughts on Coenzyme Q10? Let’s discuss in Comments below!