CoQ10 For Skin: The Ultimate Guide

Written by Arshiya Syeda

If you are a skin enthusiast and have a (healthy) habit of reading out labels before buying skin care products, you might have heard of the new ‘kid’ on the block: CoQ10. Quite simply, CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme that lays the foundation for skin health. In fact, it is known to have antioxidant properties that can even out your skin tone, reduce sun damage, and improve skin hydration (more on this later).

You will also be surprised to know that the Japanese have been using CoQ10 for ages across serums, face masks, and creams. This superstar ingredient has gained a lot of attention as it has scientifically been proven to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. If you wish to know about how this all-purpose enzyme can benefit your skin, you have come to the right place. Keep reading.

What Is CoenzymeQ10 (CoQ10)?

CoQ10 is also called Q10, coenzyme 10, ubiquinone, or vitamin Q. It is a naturally-produced body enzyme. This oil-based vitamin is typically found in our cell’s energy centers. It offers antioxidant properties that aid in neutralizing free radicals and ensuring your skill cells remain healthy (1).

According to research, the body levels of CoQ10 decrease as you age (1). Some believe individuals dealing with cancer, genetic disorders, diabetes, heart problems, and Parkinson’s disease may also have low levels of CoQ10. This is one reason some people rely on CoQ10 supplements to get adequate amounts of the nutrient (2).

In the following section, we look at the benefits CoQ10 can have on your skin.

What Are The Skin Benefits Of Coq10?

CoQ10 is often found in functional foods, used as a supplement, and is a common ingredient in cosmetics known to reduce the signs of aging (3). Here are its scientifically-backed, most prized benefits:

1. Acts As An Antioxidant And Reduces Sun Damage

CoQ10 may suppress UV light-induced oxidative stress in skin cells (1). Plus, it helps eliminate free radicals and prevents inflammation caused due to sun damage (3). In other words, it protects the skin at the molecular level from the adverse effects of the sun’s UV rays. In mice, the nutrient was found to prevent the progression of UV-induced skin damage (4).

2. May Keep Skin Youthful

CoQ10 is found in both cells and skin surface lipids. It provides the skin with the energy required for the basic repair and regeneration of the skin cells. It also helps eliminate toxins that may otherwise deprive the skin of its nutrients. More research is warranted to further understand this benefit of CoQ10.

3. Offers Anti-Aging Benefits

Taking a dietary supplement containing CoQ10 over a period of 12 weeks was found to help reduce wrinkles, improve skin smoothness, and enhance skin firmness. The nutrient can also help the skin combat seasonal changes in skin elasticity, particularly during the winters (3). Furthermore, even topical application of CoQ10 helps reduce fine lines and facial wrinkles (5).

4. Accelerates Collagen Production

CoQ10 is also known to inhibit the activity of degradative enzymes and boost the production of IV and VII type collagens (1). Increased collagen production means improved skin hydration and elasticity and reduced skin roughness (6).

5. Promotes Production Of Hyaluronic Acid

CoQ10 aids the production of hyaluronic acid (7). Hyaluronic acid helps rejuvenate skin (8). It also is known to offer depigmenting benefits and even out the skin tone.

6. Accelerates Soft Tissue Wound Healing

Rat studies suggest that topical application of antioxidant-rich coenzyme Q10 promotes wound healing after tooth extraction (9). The nutrient can facilitate collagen formation and reduce inflammation during healing. That said, more research needs to be conducted on humans to understand the efficacy of using CoQ10 topically to assist wound healing.

Clearly, CoQ10 plays a major role in skin health and should not be ignored. So, what is the right way to use CoQ10 for skin? Keep reading.

How To Use CoQ10 For Skin?

CoQ10 can be used as a skincare topical product or as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules, chewable tablets, liquid syrups, wafers, and by IV. It is generally found in serums, eye creams, and facial moisturizers. The following pointers can tell you how to make the best use of CoQ10.

  • You can use it during your morning and nighttime skincare routines.
  • Make sure to apply it before you use any heavy moisturizers.
  • Remember that this ingredient tends to work well with other skin-friendly ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin C, vitamin B3, retinol, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid.
  • CoQ10 is found in meat, oily fish (like salmon), and whole grains (10). While most people can obtain the recommended levels of CoQ10 through a balanced diet, some may need to take a supplement.

While CoQ10 is known for its many benefits, it also may cause side effects in some. Read on to know more.

Side Effects Of CoQ10: A Quick Glance

  • CoQ10 may aggravate vitiligo. People with vitiligo should consult their dermatologist prior to use as it may worsen the depigmentation (11).
  • CoQ10 might make blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin, less effective (12). This could increase the risk of a blood clot. Make sure to speak to your doctor before taking Coq10.
  • While CoQ10 supplements are generally considered safe, anecdotal evidence suggests they may cause the following side effects in some individuals:

– Upper abdominal pain
– Loss of appetite
– Nausea and vomiting
– Diarrhea
– Headaches and dizziness
– Insomnia
– Fatigue
– Skin itching or rashes
– Irritability or agitation

  • Do not use CoQ10 during pregnancy or breastfeeding without your doctor’s approval.

Be wary of the side effects. Consult your doctor before you take CoQ10. With the right information, the nutrient does offer benefits. You may also pick high-quality skincare products containing CoQ10 online.

Wrapping Up

CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound. It is a potent ingredient and is quite commonly used in most anti-aging skin care products. It provides your cells with the energy to carry out everyday skin regeneration and repair.

Coq10 can be ingested as a supplement or used topically. Typically, your CoQ10 levels lower with age or the environmental stress your skin is constantly exposed to. All in all, CoQ10 allows you to take care of your skin health internally and is a ‘superstar’ ingredient in the anti-aging world. Try it and see the difference for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use CoQ10 capsules on your face?

Yes, you can apply CoQ10 capsules to your face. Doing so can help reduce oxidative stress and boost energy production in skin cells (13).

Does Q10 tighten skin?

Yes, CoQ10 can tighten and firm your skin as it comes with potent antioxidant properties. These properties help in neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals that cause the skin to sag.

Recommended Articles


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.
Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).