CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) in Skin Care: What It Is, Benefits

CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) in Skin Care: What It Is, Benefits

We know, we know. You're probably thinking: "Oh joy, another hard-to-pronounce beauty buzzword. What in the world is CoQ10?" But stay with us here -- you may not realize it, but this is one little nutrient you're already familiar with.

CoQ10 is the short name for Coenzyme Q10, also known as Ubiquinone. It’s a nifty little compound that our body makes naturally with powerful antioxidant properties to protect us from environmental stressors. Unlike wine and cheese, CoQ10 production doesn't get better with age. But thanks to science and some dietary know-how, you can give your body a boost by taking supplements or eating certain foods.

What does this substance have to do with skincare? We're glad you asked! Stick around to find out what CoQ10 is and where it comes from, how it can enhance your beauty routine, the benefits of using it, who it's best for, and answers to any other burning questions you may have.


Ingredient Category: Antioxidant

Main Benefit: It helps protect skin, even skin tone, and smooth your skin.

Find It In: Crème de la Cream Brightening Moisturizer and Prince Charcoal Detox Mask.


Looking for a face moisturizer with CoQ10? We've got you covered.

Shop Our Brightening Moisturizer

What Is CoQ10? Where Is It From?

Coenzyme Q10 (code name: CoQ10) is a fat-soluble quinone compound that occurs in our bodies and in animals, legumes, fruits, veggies, and some oils, too. This little powerhouse has a handful of important jobs, but it's mainly responsible for boosting energy production and protecting us from damage. That saint-like selflessness extends to the skin, which falls victim to stress from UV rays, pollution, and more.

Once upon a time, scientists used to extract CoQ10 from the tissues of horses, but fret not, animal lovers. It's now mainly derived from fermented natural yeast. Once isolated, it goes into vitamins, supplements, and cosmetic products that you can apply topically.

Like its popular friend vitamin C, CoQ10 can enhance serums, moisturizers, and toners, giving skin a jumpstart and helping to even tone, firm skin, diminish the look of wrinkles, and more.

10 Benefits of CoQ10 in Your Skincare Products

CoQ10 is a giver, offering tons of perks to the body both inside and out. While many take it orally, CoQ10 is just as healthful when it comes to the skin! Here are 10 Coenzyme Q10 skin care benefits you should know about.

1. It protects skin from environmental stressors.

Our skin is a champ that takes a daily beating from dirt, makeup, and outdoor elements. CoQ10 uses its power as an antioxidant to protect it by counteracting those effects, helping to plump skin in the process.

2. It contributes to an even skin tone.

CoQ10 likes the limelight and tends to interfere with some of the processes that cause uneven skin tone, resulting in a revitalized complexion.

3. It energizes the skin.

One of CoQ10's main claims to fame is its role as hype man for our skin. It works to invigorate and strengthen it, making it that much better at soaking up nutrients that keep it healthy.

4. It helps your skin retain moisture.

By helping your skin kick impurities to the curb, CoQ10 makes it easier to hang onto the moisture it already has and soak up lotions better.

5. It fights dullness and tightens things up.

The gift that keeps on giving, Coenzyme Q10 has a plumping effect that smooths and firms the skin.

6. It minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Those smooth moves also help to fill in wrinkles, making them look less deep.

7. It can help prevent future damage.

While fine lines are firming up, your skin becomes stronger and therefore more capable of resisting damage from environmental stressors down the line.

8. It can be applied daily.

CoQ10 is well-tolerated by most people and can be applied regularly without issue. That means you can incorporate products that contain this handy little helper into both your morning and nighttime skincare routines. Happy day!

9. It's safe to mix with other ingredients.

Thanks to CoQ10's fat-soluble nature, it plays nicely with ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid. It can also enhance everything from aloe vera and acai to green tea.

10. It's great for users of all ages.

With the exception of very small children, CoQ10 can help people of all ages. It shields skin to the very top, delivering potent antioxidant protection to the layer that needs it most. It can neutralize both short-term harm and counteract age-related damage, making it excellent for users young and old.

Coenzyme Q10 ingredient

How to Use CoQ10 for Skin

CoQ10 is best used in toners, moisturizers, serums, under-eye creams, and facial oils. Any of these can help you reap its skin care benefits, especially when they're packed with other nutritious ingredients. Remember to go in order of thinnest (serums) to thickest (moisturizers), and allow everything time to absorb.

Here's a tried-and-true process for applying it at multiple steps:

  1. Clean your face and neck with a natural cleanser.
  2. Apply your toner of choice and give it time to dry (we love a good rose water toner!).
  3. Massage a few drops of your favorite serum to your face and neck and give it around ten minutes to absorb. (Now would be a great time to add lotion to the rest of your body!)
  4. Apply moisturizer to your face and neck, allowing it time to absorb. (Brownie points if it has CoQ10 in it, à la our Crème de la Cream. Wink wink.)
  5. Slather on that sunscreen to give CoQ10 the best fighting chance at keeping your skin safe.

Pro Tip: If applying body lotion with CoQ10, try to do it as soon as you can after getting out of the shower! That's when your pores are most open and ready to soak up all that hydrating goodness.

What Skin Type Is CoQ10 Good for?

One of the greatest things about CoQ10 is its versatility. It shows up in a range of products packed with powerhouse ingredients meant to suit any skin type! Here are some skin types that could benefit from CoQ10:


If you're prone to breaking out or can't handle harsh ingredients, don't worry if CoQ10 is on the list. It has a gentle effect and since it naturally occurs in our bodies, it shouldn’t shock your skin.


CoQ10 is prevalent in many moisturizers and enables them to do their job even better. It helps your skin build resilience and hold onto moisture, allowing it to stay supple and healthy-looking. Just check labels for drying ingredients like fragrances or synthetic dyes that could counteract its awesomeness.


CoQ10 kicks butt at revitalizing your skin and making it function at peak condition to better flush out impurities. If you have oily or combination skin that's prone to clogs, CoQ10 helps get rid of the icky stuff.


CoQ10 is also useful for anyone who deals with tons of sun exposure or pollution daily. That means you, busy city commuters and sun babies! Mostly anyone can use beauty products that contain CoQ10, so have fun experimenting to see what works best for your unique skin.

Frequently Asked Questions About CoQ10 and Skin Care

Are there any adverse reactions?

When applied topically, CoQ10 is generally considered safe for most skin types. But as with anything, results and allergies vary, so do a patch test beforehand to ensure everything is kosher.

Is it vegan?

Whether CoQ10 is vegan depends on where it's derived from. While it can come from a variety of sources, it's commonly obtained from fermented yeast. When buying products containing CoQ10, look for a confirmation on the label that all ingredients are vegan-friendly.

What is it best for?

CoQ10 as an ingredient in lotions, creams, and serums is best used on your face, neck, and body to help firm skin, even tone, and counteract the effects of aging.

What if I want to take CoQ10 supplements and apply it to my skin?

Like your mother used to say, moderation is best in all things. As long as you're not going overboard, you should be okay!

Is it better than vitamin C?

Think of CoQ10 and vitamin C like mac and cheese -- always better together. When used alone, each works its own magic, but applying them together can make each even more efficacious.

Can I use it while pregnant?

Coenzyme Q10 supplements have been used safely by pregnant women, but more research is needed. As far as topical applications go, the risk is low, but you should always consult your OBGYN and check ingredients labels thoroughly.

Is there anyone who shouldn't use CoQ10?

Those with certain skin conditions should consult with their dermatologist. Better safe than sorry!

What does CoQ10 do in skin care?

CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10, is full of antioxidant properties that protect the skin from environmental stressors, energizes the skin, and helps your skin retain moisture. In addition to its ability to help even out skin tone, it helps reduce dullness and tightens up the skin.

Summing Up CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) for Your Skin

Now you're up to snuff on everything CoQ10, from what it is and what it does to how to incorporate it into your daily routine. This nifty little compound can pop up in a host of products, is great for all skin types, and works hard to ensure your skin is protected and looks healthy and bright. Now go forth and impress your skincare obsessed friends with your new know-how.