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Home > Learn > Nutrition > >CoQ10 Skin Benefits & How to Use

CoQ10 Skin Benefits & How to Use

Nov 22, 23 7 min

By Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, OBGYN

CoQ10’s antioxidant effects have led to many researched benefits, including heart health support, fertility support, and more. [1] CoQ10 has been shown to boost the immune system and improve energy levels, potentially preventing or treating a wide range of conditions. [1] Recent studies have also found a potential link between CoQ10 and skin health.

What Is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)?

CoQ10 was first identified in 1940 and has since been studied for its important roles and beneficial effects on the body. [1] CoQ10 is one of the most significant lipid antioxidants found in the body and can be found in the majority of our cells.  CoQ10 plays a large role in energy production, reducing oxidative stress, and supporting the immune system. [1] Researchers have also identified many health benefits of CoQ10, specifically related to heart health, fertility support, and many antioxidant effects. 

The Benefits of CoQ10 for Skin

Our skin is the outermost layer of the body, providing protection against UV rays, chemicals, pathogens, and injury. [2] Our skin also helps us regulate temperature, water loss, and aids in other important functions. Because the skin acts as a barrier, it is subject to a lot of oxidative stress, damage, and harmful external factors. [2] Skincare can provide many benefits, from cosmetic value to reducing skin cancer risk. [3] Let’s talk more about CoQ10 for skin. 

Wrinkle Care

Skin wrinkles are a normal part of the aging process, and in my opinion, something to embrace! Aging is a beautiful thing, and it’s natural for our bodies to show signs of aging as the years pass. That being said, some people are hoping to reduce their wrinkles to boost self-esteem or appear younger. Three different studies, two focused on oral CoQ10 supplementation and one on topical (applied to the skin) CoQ10, concluded that CoQ10 may lessen wrinkles and fine lines. [4-6] Some researchers have also combined CoQ10 with collagen to better support skin parameters and found that the combination was useful for improving the density of the skin dermis, skin smoothness, and reducing wrinkles. [4]  Read about what age to take CoQ10

Defense Against Free Radicals

As mentioned already, CoQ10 also provides antioxidant protection. Antioxidants help defend the body against free radicals, which are unstable atoms found in the body that may damage cells, contribute to various conditions, and accelerate aging. [7] Free radicals are created as a result of normal cell metabolism, but can also arise as a result of pollution, radiation, toxins, etc. [7] Antioxidants protect the body by stopping or repairing free radical damage in the cells. This leads to improved immune defense and a reduced risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases. [7] CoQ10’s useful antioxidant activity has also been shown to improve skin health, such as reducing the effects of aging, UV damage, etc. [4-6] 

Natalist call to action featuring CoQ10 supplements for fertility on top of bottle

Skin Cell Repair with CoQ10

One of CoQ10’s important functions is that of an energy transfer molecule, meaning that CoQ10 aids in the cellular processes that produce energy. [1] Our body uses this energy to function properly, allowing us to contract our muscles, metabolize our food, utilize oxygen and nutrients appropriately, and more. Our bodies also require a large amount of energy in order to repair and regenerate tissues. [8] Great examples of tissue repair and regeneration include wound repair, hair growth, and scarring. Without adequate levels of CoQ10, the body would have a difficult time healing and regrowing our skin. In fact, there is evidence of this in the older population. As we age, our total body concentration of CoQ10 decreases.  [1] This leads to a decrease in cell efficiency and an increase in the time it takes for tissues to regenerate or repair in older age. [1,9] Learn about how to treat stretch marks. 

Reducing Sun Damage

Feeling the sun on your skin can elicit exciting feelings of summer vacation, warm days, or relaxing by the pool. Sunlight has also been shown to have some health benefits, such as improved mental health and vitamin D production. [10] Unfortunately, we know now that the sun can also be very damaging. The ultraviolet radiation (UV) that the sun emits can cause sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. UV is thought to be the main factor responsible for photoaging, which is defined by dark spots, wrinkling, decreased elasticity, rough skin, and uneven skin texture. [4,11] UV radiation also decreases the concentration of CoQ10 in the skin, reducing beneficial antioxidant effects. Fortunately, research shows that CoQ10 use may reduce the risk of UV-induced sun damage and can aid in the cell repair process following UV damage. [12] 

How to Use CoQ10 for Skin

Studies on CoQ10 for skin health have found that both topical and oral supplementation can lead to positive effects. CoQ10 can also be found naturally in the diet. Rich CoQ10 food sources include organ meats, oily fish, and plant oils. [1] If you’re interested in oral CoQ10 supplementation, you can find CoQ10 gummies as well as liquid CoQ10 capsules. There isn’t an established dose of CoQ10 for skin health, but research does show that doses up to 200 mg per day are well tolerated by most people.  [1] 

Topical CoQ10 can also be found in various serums, creams, and lotions. As always, be vigilant when looking for new products, and find as much information as you can on the ingredients, research, and safety of any supplements or topical products. You should also speak to your healthcare provider before using any new products, especially if you’re pregnant, hoping to conceive soon, or breastfeeding. 

Explore CoQ10 Supplements from Natalist

CoQ10 is just one of many supplements that may be useful on your fertility and pregnancy journey. Not only does CoQ10 support healthy skin, but it’s also known for its beneficial effects on egg and embryo quality, improved pregnancy outcomes, and improved sperm parameters. While we don’t have control over everything when TTC and pregnant, we do have control over our dietary habits. Speak with your healthcare provider about the many benefits of CoQ10 and whether or not Natalist CoQ10 is right for you. Shop more supplements here, or find topical products like belly oil and cooling cream in our self-care collection!  

 

References:

  1. Saini R. Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011;3(3):466-467. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.84471
  2. Yousef H, Alhajj M, Sharma S. Anatomy, Skin (Integument), Epidermis. [Updated 2022 Nov 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470464/
  3. US Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. Washington (DC): Office of the Surgeon General (US); 2014. Reducing the Risk of Skin Cancer. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK247163/
  4. Žmitek K, Pogačnik T, Mervic L, Žmitek J, Pravst I. The effect of dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 on skin parameters and condition: Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Biofactors. 2017;43(1):132-140. doi:10.1002/biof.1316
  5. Ayunin Q, Miatmoko A, Soeratri W, Erawati T, Susanto J, Legowo D. Improving the anti-ageing activity of coenzyme Q10 through protransfersome-loaded emulgel. Sci Rep. 2022;12(1):906. Published 2022 Jan 18. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-04708-4
  6. Žmitek K, Žmitek J, Rogl Butina M, Pogačnik T. Effects of a Combination of Water-Soluble CoenzymeQ10 and Collagen on Skin Parameters and Condition:Results of a Randomised, Placebo-Controlled,Double-Blind Study. Nutrients. 2020;12(3):618. Published 2020 Feb 27. doi:10.3390/nu12030618
  7. Pham-Huy LA, He H, Pham-Huy C. Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008;4(2):89-96.
  8. Eming SA, Martin P, Tomic-Canic M. Wound repair and regeneration: mechanisms, signaling, and translation. Sci Transl Med. 2014;6(265):265sr6. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3009337
  9. Gerstein AD, Phillips TJ, Rogers GS, Gilchrest BA. Wound healing and aging. Dermatol Clin. 1993;11(4):749-757.
  10. Ultraviolet Radiation. CDC. August 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/ultraviolet.htm
  11. Photoaging (Sun Damage). Yale Medicine. Accessed October 2023. https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/sun-damage
  12. Wu H, Zhong Z, Lin S, et al. Coenzyme Q10 Sunscreen Prevents Progression of Ultraviolet-Induced Skin Damage in Mice. Biomed Res Int. 2020;2020:9039843. Published 2020 Aug 19. doi:10.1155/2020/9039843

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