Coenzymes are molecules that work alongside the enzymes (or proteins) in your body that are involved in metabolism. CoQ10, also known as Ubiquinone, is the only coenzyme involved in the production and use of energy in our cells.
It is found in greatest amounts in our cell’s mitochondria – the little powerhouses that convert energy from food and supplements to use for cellular rejuvenation and renewal. CoQ10 generates ATP energy, which is the form of energy used for all body functions (including cellular renewal and repair.) The cell’s mitochondria get hit pretty hard by free radical attacks, so CoQ10 also plays an important role in keeping them protected.
Because CoQ10 is naturally found in the body, it is easily absorbed and welcomed into the skin and used effectively to benefit cell function. Simply put, it aids in the natural processes of the body instead of trying to control them.
For more information on this ingredient, read Ingredient To Love: Co Q10
Idebenone has been touted as the chemical (synthetic) cousin to the nutrient Coenzyme Q10, which as mentioned above is a powerful antioxidant and energy booster for the skin’s cells. Let’s put the emphasis on the word “cousin” here. They are not identical in their properties or functions in the body, but they do have similarities.
One study published in the Journal of Dermatology, reported that doctors found a 29% decrease in facial wrinkles after 6 weeks of repeated use. Most of the results found Idebenone to be a skin protector. As we know, free radicals are overproduced after trauma or stress, especially from sun overexposure. Idebenone has shown to aid in antioxidant protection from the sun. Because of this and other factors, this man-made ingredient was rushed to the production line for many cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies.
It is important to note that while Idebenone could offer the same or better results than CoQ10, research is still very young. Anytime we find a synthetic version of a natural ingredient, we run the risk of side effects or long term issues. It’s my professional opinion that man has never made a nutrient for the skin or body that was found to be ultimately superior to nature’s.