COQ10 For Skin – Benefits, How To Use, And Side Effects

Use products containing this ingredient to protect your skin and fight the signs of aging.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Farhaad Riyaz, MD, FAAD, FACMS Dr. Farhaad Riyaz Dr. Farhaad RiyazMD, FAAD, FACMS facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years
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Not many people have ever heard of CoQ10 or know the benefits of CoQ10 for the skin. It is one of those well-known ingredients that is often advertised as being quite beneficial, but we are not sure why. Simply put, CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme that is essential for good skin health. It is thought to possess antioxidant properties that promote skin moisture, even out skin tone, and minimize UV damage.

You will also be struck by the fact that the Japanese have been utilizing CoQ10 in skin care products, like facial masks, serums, and creams, for a long time. Since it has been scientifically proven to decrease fine lines and wrinkles, this blockbuster ingredient has gotten much attention. You have come to the correct place if you are looking for information on how this multipurpose enzyme can help your skin. Keep reading to know more!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: COQ10

What Is It?
An enzyme naturally produced in the body and stored in the mitochondria.

What Are Its Benefits?
CoQ10 reduces oxidative stress in the cells, regenerates skin cells, reduces anti-aging signs and boosts collagen production.

Who Can Use It?
Suitable for all skin types, except for people with vitiligo.

How Often?
During both your daily morning and night skincare routines.

Caution
People who take blood thinning medication should avoid CoQ10 to prevent negative drug reactions.

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 made by our bodies and stored in our mitochondria. It offers antioxidant properties that ensure our skin cells remain healthy by neutralizing free radicals as an antioxidant (1).

According to research, the body levels of CoQ10 decrease as we age (1). Some believe individuals dealing with cancer, genetic disorders, diabetes, heart problems, and Parkinson’s disease may have low levels of CoQ10. Some research findings suggest that baseline plasma CoQ10 levels can be used to predict melanoma progression as well. These are some reasons people rely on CoQ10 supplements to get adequate amounts of the nutrient (2).

Dr Mehmet Yildiz, a health blogger and scientist, discusses the benefits of CoQ10. He writes, “Without CoQ10, we cannot survive. In other words, it is essential for energy, such as moving, breathing, digesting food, and all bodily activities requiring energy…In addition, CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant reducing oxidative stress in the cells. It can also regenerate another antioxidant, vitamin E (i).”

protip_icon Trivia
In 1950, G. N. Festenstein of Liverpool, England, became the first person to successfully extract a small quantity of CoQ10 from the gut lining of a horse.

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

What Are The Skin Benefits Of Coq10?

Woman achieving youthful skin due to CoQ10's antioxidant protection
Image: Shutterstock

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). Topical CoQ10 could reduce photoaging and wrinkle depth.

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 skin cells. It also helps eliminate toxins that may otherwise deprive the skin of nutrients. Applying CoQ10 directly to the skin could provide antioxidant protection and reduce damage from internal and external factors. More research is warranted to further understand this benefit of CoQ10.

3. Offers Anti-Aging Benefits

Woman with reduced fine lines and wrinkles after using CoQ10
Image: Shutterstock

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 elastin and type IV and VII collagen (1). Increased collagen production means improved skin hydration and elasticity and reduced skin roughness (6).

5. Promotes Production Of Hyaluronic Acid

CoQ10 can even out skin tone
Image: Shutterstock

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

Woman using eye cream that contains CoQ10
Image: Shutterstock

CoQ10 can be used as a skincare topical product or as a dietary skin care 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 red meat (highest in liver and heart), oily fish (like salmon, tuna, and mackerel), fruits, vegetables, nuts, 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.
protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also find CoQ10 in toners, and it is also a great ingredient for use in body creams and lotions.

Apart from topical application, you can also leverage the benefits of this enzyme through dietary consumption. Read on to know more.

Foods High In CoQ10

CoQ10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in various foods, such as (10):

  1. Organ Meats: Liver and heart from animals like beef, pork, and chicken.
  1. Fatty Fish: Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
  1. Whole Grains: Wheat germ and other whole grain cereals.
  1. Cruciferous Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, and other vegetables from the same family.
  1. Nuts And Seeds: Peanuts and sesame seeds.
  1. Oils: Soybean, canola, and olive oils.
  1. Legumes: Soybeans and lentils (moderate levels).
  1. Fruits: Oranges and strawberries (smaller amounts).

It is important to note that there are two forms of CoQ10 – ubiquinol and ubiquinone. Ubiquinol is the more common substance in our bodies and also more absorbable when supplemented. 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 worsen vitiligo
Image: Shutterstock
  • CoQ10 may aggravate vitiligo. People with vitiligo should consult their dermatologist prior to use as it may worsen the depigmentation (11). The mechanism for this is that CoQ10 can inhibit tyrosinase activity and melanin production.
  • 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, especially if you have diabetes or chronic thyroid, heart, kidney or liver problems.
  • CoQ10 may lower blood sugar levels or blood pressure.
  • If you are undergoing chemotherapy, discuss CoQ10 with your doctor before taking it.
  • 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. CoQ10 supplements are generally not recommended for children, either.

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.

Infographic: 5 Benefits Of COQ10

CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) is an amazing enzyme made and stored by our bodies. CoQ10 supplements are getting popular due to their antioxidant properties that can do wonders for our skin and health. The ingredient is generally safe with minimal side effects. To know more about the benefits of this vitamin-like antioxidant, check out the infographic below.

5 benefits of coq10 (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Coq10 is a fat-soluble substance. It is a powerful element used in many anti-aging skin care products. It provides your cells with the energy to regenerate and restore your skin daily. Coq10 supplements can be taken or applied topically. The CoQ10 levels typically decline as you become older or your skin is subjected to environmental stress. In short, many people treat CoQ10 as a “legendary” substance as it promotes skin rejuvenation by aiding wrinkle reduction and promoting skin protection benefits that maintain skin health from the inside out. So, try it for yourself and notice the difference!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often can I use CoQ10?

If you are taking a CoQ10 supplement, then the recommended dosage is 30-200 mg per day. You can use skin care products that contain CoQ10 as instructed on the label.

Can CoQ10 lighten skin?

Yes, CoQ10 is an effective de-pigmentation skin care ingredient that can reduce skin discoloration.

Does CoQ10 reduce cellulite?

Yes, regular use of this enzyme may help reduce cellulite.

What skin type is CoQ10 good for?

CoQ10 is suitable for all skin types. However, talk to your dermatologist before using products containing this ingredient.

Key Takeaways

  • CoQ10, a naturally-produced enzyme found in the cell’s energy centers, has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals and ensure the cells remain healthy.
  • It accelerates collagen production, helps reduce fine lines and facial wrinkles, suppresses UV light-induced oxidative stress in skin cells, eliminates free radicals, and prevents inflammation caused due to sun damage.
  • CoQ10 can be used either as a topical product or a dietary supplement.
coq10 for skin

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Learn how CoQ10 works in skin care and what it can do for you. Watch the video below to discover the amazing benefits of this powerful antioxidant and how it can help improve your skin’s health.

Personal Experience: Source

References

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.

  1. Skin Health Benefits of Coenzyme Q10,
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275408051_Skin_Health_Benefits_of_Coenzyme_Q10
  2. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation: Efficacy, safety, and formulation challenges,
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12539
  3. The effect of dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 on skin parameters and condition: Results of a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study: The Effect of Dietary Intake of Coenzyme Q10 on Skin Parameters and Condition,
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306385727_The_effect_of_dietary_intake_of_coenzyme_Q10_on_skin_parameters_and_condition_Results_of_a_randomised_placebo-controlled_double-blind_study_The_Effect_of_Dietary_Intake_of_Coenzyme_Q10_on_Skin_Paramet
  4. Coenzyme Q10 Sunscreen Prevents Progression of Ultraviolet-Induced Skin Damage in Mice,
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2020/9039843/
  5. CoQ10, a topical energizer for aging skin,
    https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(03)03634-X/fulltext
  6. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/
  7. CoQ10, a topical energizer for aging skin,
    https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(03)03634-X/fulltext
  8. Hyaluronic Acid, a Promising Skin Rejuvenating Biomedicine: A Review of Recent Updates and Pre-clinical and Clinical Investigations on Cosmetic and Nutricosmetic Effects,
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327952833_Hyaluronic_Acid_a_Promising_Skin_Rejuvenating_Biomedicine_A_Review_of_Recent_Updates_and_Pre-clinical_and_Clinical_Investigations_on_Cosmetic_and_Nutricosmetic_Effects
  9. Application of Coenzyme Q10 for Accelerating Soft Tissue Wound Healing after Tooth Extraction in Rats,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4276996/
  10. Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3178961/
  11. Q10-triggered facial vitiligo,
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23952052/
  12. [Interaction between warfarin and coenzyme Q10],
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9621803/
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Dr. Farhaad Riyaz

Dr. Farhaad RiyazMD, FAAD, FACMS

Dr. Farhaad Riyaz is a US-based dermatologist and an authority on skin cancer, ethnic skin, general dermatology, laser medicine, and non-invasive cosmetics. He has been in private practice since July 2018 and is a member of the AAD and ASDS in addition to several other professional societies. He has 9 years of experience and takes pride in developing personalized skincare...read full bio

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