It's common to see moisturizers and lotions boasting "Q10" on drugstore shelves. Coenzyme Q10 is produced by the body and is necessary for basic cell function, according to MayoClinic.com. Researchers also know that CoQ10 levels fall in people as they age and in those with some chronic diseases. But whether supplementing a beauty regiment with CoQ10 lotion is beneficial is still unknown.
CoQ10 has been a popular additive to beauty products since the 1970s. It continues to be a popular ingredient in facial moisturizers, eye creams, body lotions plus skin cleansers and treatments. It's promoted as an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle tool. Several major brands market CoQ10 not just to women but also to men as an anti-aging treatment.
Manufacturers of lotions with CoQ10 say the ingredient can help repel free radicals, a cause of aging. Proponents also say CoQ10 can combat the other signs of aging and help the skin produce collagen and elastin, which keep it appearing firm and young.
There is some research in support of the benefits of topical CoQ10 treatment. According to MayoClinic.com, some studies have shown the ingredient can help reduce fine wrinkles around the eyes without producing negative side effects. Other studies show it can help protect against sun damage.
CoQ10 was discovered in the late 1950s by a scientist at the University of Wisconsin, according to Ask-a-Doc.com. In 1978 a Scottish scientist won a Nobel Prize for chemistry for his research into how CoQ10 works in the body. In the years since, CoQ10 has been studied for its benefits on the heart, digestive system, immune system, metabolism and nervous system. Still, according to MayoClinic.com, it remains controversial because studies have shown conflicting information about its benefits.
Consumers should consider several factors when buying a beauty product that contains CoQ10 or another additive that claims to repair or prevent wrinkles.
MayoClinic.com warns consumers to consider that over-the-counter products likely have a lower concentration of an active ingredient than those available by prescription. Also, the cost of a product is not necessarily in line with its effectiveness; a higher price tag does not necessarily mean a product will work better. Many skin treatments, including lotions containing CoQ10, require daily application for continued effectiveness.
Experts don't agree on the effectiveness of CoQ10 as an additive in lotions and skin treatments. But there are common-sense steps you can take to prevent or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, according to MayoClinic.com:
• Avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen when you will be in the sun for an extended period of time. • Choose a moisturizer or skin treatment that includes sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 15 for ample protection. • Quit smoking or don't start smoking. Smoking damages the skin and can make it appear older. • See a dermatologist if you are concerned about the way your skin looks. Many options are available for prevention or treatment of wrinkles and the appearance of aging.