CoQ10 may improve facial wrinkles: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock / shironosov
© iStock / shironosov

Related tags: Dietary supplement, Coenzyme q10

High dose co-enzyme Q10 supplementation may improve wrinkles around the eyes and other parts of the face, says a new study.

Scientists from the Institute of Cosmetics in Ljubljana, Slovenia report that 150 mg per day of CoQ10 (Q10Vital) for 12 weeks were associated with reduced wrinkles around the eyes, and around the mouth and lips, compared with placebo.

On the other hand, no photoprotection or effects on skin hydration or thickness were observed, according to findings published in Biofactors​.

“In the present study, the administration of a dietary supplement containing CoQ10 over a 12-week period showed several anti-ageing effects as it reduced wrinkles, improved skin smoothness and microrelief as well as skin firmness. It also helped the skin combat seasonal changes since it prevented negative viscoelasticity seasonal changes during winter,” ​they wrote.


CoQ10, a substance similar to a vitamin, is found in every cell in the body and is a key part of cells’ energy production machinery.  Levels of CoQ10 have been shown to decline with age and in particular with statin use, which can account for some of the muscular pain and weakness that some users experience as a side effect of the drugs.  CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant, and while it is used in many dietary supplement, functional food ans cosmetic products, evidence to support its benefits for the skin is “scarce”, said the Slovenian researchers.

To test this, they recruited 32 healthy people with an average age of 53 to participate in their randomized, placebo-controlled intervention study. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Placebo, low dose CoQ10 (50 mg per day), or high dose CoQ10 (150 mg per day), for 12 weeks.

Results showed that, while the anti-wrinkle benefits around the eyes were observed for both CoQ10 groups, the high dose produced additional reductions in wrinkles around the mouth, nose and lips (nasolabial folds, corner of the mouth lines and upper radial lip lines).

“It should be noted that some baseline skin parameters are quite variable and it would therefore be beneficial to perform a study on a higher number of subjects to allow clearer conclusions regarding some parameters,” ​wrote the researchers. “For example, the study was under-powered for dermis parameters (intensity, thickness). Supplementation over a longer period and several seasons would also be worth testing as this study was conducted during winter, and also, 12 weeks is quite a short time to detect nutritional effects on skin, considering the length of the skin regeneration cycle.

“Considering this, a longer study period would also provide valuable insights into dose-response relationships. While we were unable to show such a relationship in our study, such an effect might (or might not) be observed if supplementation were to be done over more skin cycles.”

Source: Biofactors
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/biof.1316
“The effect of dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 on skin parameters and condition: Results of a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study”
Authors: K. Zmitek et al.

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