It's a term that holds an almost James Bond like aura of mystery and intrigue. It sounds sophisticated, scientific and suave and it happens to be the latest buzzword in the skincare industry. Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is being brandished on anti-aging skin labels across beauty product shelves the world over, and for good reason.
The health benefits of CoQ10 have been known in medical circles for quite a few years now. It has been proven to be useful in the treatment of conditions from heart disease to AIDS and from periodontal disease to cancer. However, it's use as a key active agent in the war on wrinkles and accelerated aging is a fairly new phenomenon. Many are asking why all the hype? Is it really the next big thing? And how can a coenzyme that is used to treat heart disease and cancer aid in bringing about healthier, firmer, more youthful and therefore more beautiful skin?
CoQ10 is a very important nutrient that every cell in the body requires in order to produce energy. The simplest way to understand just how CoQ10 functions is to think of the cell as a little engine, which uses oxygen to burn the organic fuel that comes from the food we consume, CoQ10 is the part of the engine that provides the spark for this whole process to take place. With regards to the skin, CoQ10 is vital in the production of collagen (which gives skin its strength), elastin (which gives skin its elasticity) and GAG's (which help the skin to retain moisture). Also CoQ10 is believed to boost skin repair and rejuvenation because it has both energizing and anti-oxidative effects, serving as a significant factor in neutralizing free radicals, which are particularly numerous in the skin due to its exposure to U.V radiation and other harmful environmental elements.
Once the age of 30 is reached, most people's bodies are not producing optimum levels of CoQ10 and as a result their skin becomes increasingly prone to accelerated aging as free radicals begin to take a Genghis Khan like approach to wreaking wrinkle-causing havoc on the skin's weakened cells. Collagen production goes into a recession, elastin manufacturing takes a nosedive and the overall integrity of the skin becomes increasingly compromised. So when a cosmetic company claims to have produced a cream that is able to infiltrate behind enemy lines and resupply besieged cells with all the fuel and ammunition they need in order to regenerate, rejuvenate and effectively drive the dermatological bad guys right out of town, the hype is understandable.
Although there remains a sizeable contingent of skincare skeptics who doubt the efficacy of CoQ10 introduced to the cells through the skin, the cosmetic companies seem to have long since jumped on the beauty bandwagon and the CoQ10 revolution is well underway. Most doubts revolve around two issues. The first being that it is unknown whether or not there is a high enough concentration of active CoQ10 in topical solutions to actually bring about the results the labels are claiming, and the second being that in many formulas the size of the CoQ10 molecules are thought to be too big to penetrate the surface of the skin. The good news is that if an anti-aging cream can actually deliver CoQ10 deep enough and in a high enough concentration to actually fuel the skin's need at a cellular level, then what follows will be a healthier, younger looking skin that is able to rejuvenate itself and practically eliminate the aging effects of free radicals.
In fact, it seems just as the debate about whether or not topical solutions are able to penetrate the skin and deliver high enough concentrations of CoQ10 to the cells that need it most is heating up, one anti-aging company has quietly managed to produce a cream that is able to deliver CoQ10 directly to the mitochondria (the energy producing engine within a cell), which is significantly deeper than what any other product on the market has been able to achieve to date.