• The American scientist Frederick L. Crane discovered and first described the coenzyme Q10 in 1957. Scientifically fascinated by this molecule, the British researcher Peter Mitchell revealed the importance of the body’s own substance a few years later and received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for it in 1978. Since then, new findings about how the coenzyme Q10 works and its efficacy have been obtained.

    Beiersdorf scientists were among the first to investigate the effects of Q10 on the skin in the 1990s. In their intensive research on skin aging, they discovered the important role of coenzyme Q10 and deciphered its essential importance for the energy metabolism of human skin. Beiersdorf was the first to make the skin’s own Q10 available to the skin with skin care products. 

  • Q10 is essential for life. Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance that is also called ubiquinol or ubiquinone, depending on the molecular state. These names are derived from the Latin “ubique” – which means “everywhere”. And the body’s own molecule really is everywhere: it is found in every single human cell and helps to generate about 95% of our total cellular energy, which is necessary for growth, protection and regeneration. 

    Without Q10, not much would function in the body – no cell can survive without it. As a coenzyme, Q10 is involved in many biochemical reactions in the body and plays a central role in the mitochondrial conversion of nutrients and oxygen into energy for the body’s cells. Therefore, it is very important for cell types that require energy to fuel high-performance organs such as the heart, kidneys, lungs, and also the skin, our largest organ.

    Q10 also functions as an antioxidant. This means that it protects our body from harmful free radicals, which can significantly accelerate skin aging, for example. 

  • Our body itself is the most important producer of this essential coenzyme. Through modern fermentation processes the very same Q10 that occurs in the body can be industrially produced today. Additionally, certain food can also supply our body with Q10, e.g. meat, eggs, fish, nuts, potatoes, broccoli or spinach. 

  • Beyond its role in energy balance, Q10’s antioxidant activity is particularly important for the skin. Our skin is our body’s outermost barrier and fends off everything imaginable, from harmful microorganisms to air pollution and UV radiation. In the process, free radicals can be created, which can massively impair the structure and functionality of skin cells. Q10 can neutralize these free radicals and protect the skin from damage.  

    In cell culture experiments, our research has scientifically proven that Q10 addresses five hallmarks of skin aging and acts as:

    • Energy booster
    • Antioxidant
    • Cell renewal enhancerElastin and collagen booster
    • And rejuvenator of biologically aged skin cells (in vitro).

    Its multifaceted anti-aging power represents a holistic approach instead of addressing single skin aging targets. This makes Q10 unique and particularly valuable for skin care. 

  • When we are young, the body’s Q10 level provides all cells with sufficient energy. Unfortunately, the Q10 level decreases with age. This gradual process already starts as early as at the age of 20 and is strongly influenced by our lifestyle habits, such as exposure to sunlight (UV radiation), stress etc. The skin is particularly affected by this: sunlight can namely drive the loss of Q10 even further and thus intensify the effect in the skin.

    To keep the skin young and active, it is important that it can constantly regenerate – for this it needs sufficient energy. This is where Q10 care products come in: they sustainably improve the energy supply, replenish the lost Q10 in skin cells and at the same time strengthen the skin’s antioxidant protective shield. The skin regains its physiological balance, can regenerate itself, and is more resistant overall. 

  • Based on the pioneering groundwork by Beiersdorf scientists, NIVEA was the first brand to introduce Q10 skin care cream in 1998. This launch paved the way for active ingredient cosmetics.

    Since then, Beiersdorf has continuously optimized the Q10 products of its brands. Deeper understanding about cellular regulations in skin aging – also gained in exchange with scientists from other research areas – led to constant improvements in our Q10 active ingredient formulas.  

  • With Beiersdorf’s long-standing cooperation partner Professor Luca Tiano and his research group from the University of Ancona, our scientists took anti-aging research another step forward. We were able to demonstrate for the first time, using a model, that the age-related depletion of Q10 in skin cells causally contributes to aging and also weakens connective tissue structures. And the study also shows that a Q10 deficit can actually be replenished and cells be biologically rejuvenated as a result (in vitro). We have thus been able to confirm Q10 as a key building block in the cellular skin aging process, understand the process of skin aging even better, and can thus influence the vitality of skin cells in a more targeted manner. (source)

    In another research collaboration, together with the DESY research center, the University of Hamburg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP), we provided visual evidence that Q10 actually arrives at its destination. Using the principle of X-ray fluorescence imaging, we succeeded for the first time in making the cellular uptake of added Q10 in skin cells visible and mapping the path of the coenzyme. Something, that had been scientifically unprecedented. (source