Coenzyme Q10 is a compound that is naturally found within the body, but as we age our levels decrease. For this reason, many add to the body’s CoQ10 levels by taking supplements. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, CoQ10 has a place in treating hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. CoQ10 also has a place in taking care of your skin, where it is applied topically.
Aging of the Skin
One of the first places we notice the signs of aging is on the skin. Every time the skin is exposed to the sun and the elements, it loses a little more of its vitality. These elements, such as the sun, chemicals and pollution, can create free radicals in the skin’s cells. A free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron, and according to Colorado State University, it is very reactive, meaning that when it runs into a healthy cell, it can cause damage. When cells are hit by free radicals and damaged repeatedly, they begin to die, and the aging process begins. Most free radicals stem from oxygen, and to fight these free radicals you need what is called an antioxidant. This is where CoQ10 steps in and benefits the skin.
CoQ10 Skin Benefits
CoQ10 is a very powerful antioxidant, which means it can stop the damage that free radicals cause to the skin and its tissues. Research has proven that CoQ10 is not only beneficial when taken internally, as explained by the UMMC, but it is also beneficial when applied topically. The sun is the primary “ager” of the skin, and a study published in the 2008 issue of “Biofactors” shows that topical application of CoQ10 reduces, and even reverses, damage caused to the skin by the sun. Using a 1 percent CoQ10 cream for five months, researchers found that wrinkles subsided and improved in appearance, and skin cells and fibers were protected from further damage. Not only does it renew the skin and protect it from aging, CoQ10 can assist in the healing of wounds on the skin, as reported in the June 2009 issue of “Archives of Pharmacal Research.”
CoQ10 creams are available in most pharmacies and health food stores. Speak to your pharmacist or store clerk about which brand is trusted, so you know that you are getting a quality product. CoQ10 is reportedly well absorbed by the skin. In a study abstract reported by the National Institutes of Health, CoQ10 was mixed with olive oil and then applied to the skin of a rat, and it was found that the amount that was absorbed was based upon the amount of time it was on the skin, as well as the original amount applied. If you do not have access to CoQ10 cream, you may follow this example and mix a gel cap of CoQ10 with 3 tbsp. of olive oil.
References and ResourcesUniversity of Maryland Medical Center: Coenzyme Q10
Colorado State Univeristy: Free radicals
Biofactors: CoQ10 and wrinkle formation