Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): How Exactly Does It Benefit Your Skin Cells?

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Although it may have become a bit of a buzzword lately, CoQ10 is nothing new. In fact, this antioxidant is already naturally present in your skin cells, as well as in every other cell in the human body.

So, why has CoQ10 been popping up more and more in all of the latest skincare products?

Well, it turns out that natural CoQ10 production declines as the body and skin ages, making it important to keep those levels topped up through other means, whether this may be with beauty products or oral supplements. Here’s why…

What is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)?

coq10 pills for skin

CoQ10 is a fat-soluble enzyme that’s produced throughout our bodies.

It’s vital for energy production in cells – without enough of it, your cells wouldn’t be able to function properly and your health, as well as the appearance of your skin, would quickly deteriorate.

Although our bodies produce plenty of CoQ10 during the early stages of life, this starts to rapidly decline once you’re in your 20’s.

While some of the food that you eat will contain CoQ10 in small amounts, it’s important to be proactive in supplementing your body’s declining levels of the antioxidant if you want to keep your complexion looking its best.

Benefits of CoQ10 for Skin

Prevents Damage Caused by Oxidative Stress and Free Radicals

When it comes to skin health, free radicals are a major problem. Free radicals are molecules in your skin that have been damaged by various factors, such as:

  • UV radiation
  • Pollution
  • Harmful cosmetic ingredients

This oxidative damage turns them unstable, causing them to then attack nearby cells. As a result, each attacked cell mutates into a free radical too, continuing the cycle of damage.

Being an antioxidant, CoQ10 puts a stop to this process by preventing free radicals from forming in the first place. This then means that the oxidative damage that they would have otherwise caused is non-existent, which slows down skin aging and protects the skin from sun damage.

Evens Out the Skin Tone and Fades Dark Spots

Dark spots are another common result of skin aging. Again, they occur due to sun damage – all of that UV radiation triggers your skin into producing extra melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin its color.

The excess melanin then clusters underneath different parts of the skin, leading to those areas turning darker in color.

CoQ10 addresses this by blocking the activation of the enzyme that triggers melanin production. Without the extra pigment, dark spots soon begin to fade. This gives the skin a clearer, brighter, and more even appearance.

happy dark skinned woman using coq10 for skin

Increases Collagen and Elastin Production

If fine lines, wrinkles, and other forms of skin aging are a concern, then the collagen and elastin production processes in your skin are worth knowing more about.

Collagen and elastin are the two main proteins that give your skin its structure and firmness. These proteins physically hold your skin up from within.

However, just like with CoQ10, natural production of collagen and elastin in the body declines with age. This is the reason why the face takes on a saggier and more wrinkled appearance as the ageing process continues, with elasticity rapidly declining.

There are many ingredients out there that can help with this, but CoQ10 for skin is the one that experts most often recommend.

The way in which the antioxidant provides energy to the skin helps to kickstart collagen and elastin production, encouraging your body to create more of these vital protein fibers.

How to Add CoQ10 to Your Skincare Routine

With CoQ10 being increasingly used in skincare products, it’s now easier than ever to add the antioxidant into your skincare routine.

You’ll find CoQ10 in everything from serums to creams, giving you plenty of choices. It functions well when combined with other skincare ingredients too, with some ingredients, such as vitamin C, even enhancing its effects.

Using CoQ10 with Vitamin C

Whether you go for an ascorbic acid formula or use an indirect source of the vitamin, such as with rosehip oil, both antioxidants work in similar ways.

Research articles have found that combining the two gives you even better results than if you were to use just one. Have a browse through our website if you’re looking for a new vitamin C product to add to your skincare routine.

How to Add CoQ10 to Your Diet

meat and fish diet

There are a number of food sources out there that are naturally high in CoQ10, which the New York Times website refers to as a superfood vitamin. Some of the best food categories for CoQ10 include:

  • Muscle meat
  • Organ meat
  • Oily fish
  • Nuts and seeds

CoQ10 Supplements

Sadly, the food sources listed above only contain the antioxidant in small amounts. To really boost your intake, look for a CoQ10 oral supplement. This will nourish your skin from the inside out. Coenzyme Q10 supplements are usually available in two forms:

  • Ubiquinone
  • Ubiquinol

Ubiquinol is the more absorbent and natural of the two, so this is the form to seek if you’re purchasing supplements.

CoQ10 Side Effects


CoQ10 for skin doesn’t interact negatively with other topical ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about any negative reactions. It’s also safe for all skin types.

However, due to the way in which the ingredient blocks the skin from producing pigment, dermatologist advice says that those who suffer from vitiligo should be cautious when using it.


When it comes to consuming Coenzyme Q10, the most common side effects are heartburn and an upset stomach. Although this may be rare, it would still be worth speaking to your MD before adding a CoQ10 supplement, or any other concentrated antioxidants, to your diet.

Cute young woman wears bathing suit, has positive smile on face and fresh tanned skin, admires good rest at ocean beach


Does topical CoQ10 tighten skin?

Long-term and consistent application of CoQ10 products will have a tightening effect on the skin. This is due to how it boosts collagen and elastin production. Try combining it with hyaluronic acid, which you will find on our website, for an even more noticeable tightening effect.

Can you use Coenzyme Q10 with retinol?

Both CoQ10 and retinol are fat-soluble compounds, meaning that they can indeed be used together. In fact, retinol helps to break CoQ10 down, allowing the skin to absorb it faster.

Is CoQ10 good for anti-aging?

Yes, CoQ10 is an amazing ingredient for those seeking anti-aging results. It reduces wrinkles while increasing skin firmness and thickness. If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of lines under your eyes or want to smooth out your forehead, CoQ10 is the answer.

Ready to Give CoQ10 a Try?

Now that you know more about CoQ10, you’re probably eager to give this antioxidant a try. Fortunately, it’s easy to find – just about every quality brand now uses this ingredient in a variety of formulas.

Online orders only take a few minutes to place, and, with expedited shipping, your skin could start benefiting from this potent ingredient in a matter of days.

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Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.