Sun, 08 Apr 2001

Natural coenzyme helps reduce wrinkles

JAKARTA (JP): A coenzyme naturally produced by the body called ubiquinone, or Q10, helps reduce wrinkles, caused by premature aging, a scientist says.

"Human skin cells naturally produce this energizing coenzyme, a substance which is also found in all body cells. This CoQ10 improves and accelerates the natural rejuvenation processes," said Beiersdorf's department manager for skincare and dermatological formulations Gerhard Benner during the launching of Nivea Anti Aging Q10 day and night cream recently.

He said that the coenzyme was discovered in 1957 and was proven to help boost energy generation in human cells. The discovery also revealed that high concentrations of CoQ10 are found in organs that require the most energy output -- the heart, liver and kidney -- which also often fail as a person ages.

This coenzyme has also been used in heart failure treatment and in other ailments as it will energize cells, reduce damage and help increase the body's immune system. Not only that, the coenzyme also protects cells against free radicals which lead to impaired cell function.

"This fact has prompted scientists to think that what gives power to body cells must have a tremendous effect on skin cells. Then they started to conduct research on the coenzyme," Benner said.

Beiersdorf has conducted nine years of research on CoQ10 to formulate it into a range of antiwrinkle cosmetics, suitable for men and women living in different parts of the globe.

He identified ultra violet rays as responsible for prematurely aging skin, leading to the creation of deep wrinkles, while other factors like pollution, disease, drugs, stress, smoking and bad diets also made the skin prone to fine lines, especially around the eyes, mouth and neck line.

He explained that human skin cells naturally produce CoQ10 that helps convert food into energy, which is necessary for proper skin function.

"It will energize cells and rejuvenate damaged ones, contributing to a healthier skin look by smoothening wrinkles and making it more elastic," Benner said.

However, naturally produced CoQ10 will decrease as a person enters his or her mid 20's, while supply from food does little to improve the skin condition mainly because too little of this coenzyme reaches the skin layers.

"That's why facial skin needs to be replenished by external application of CoQ10 to supports its natural ability to repair itself and delay new wrinkles from developing," he said.

Research using a cutometer, a device to measure skin elasticity, showed that the treatment will increase firmness within 10 days and smoothen wrinkles within six weeks.

While emphasizing that good living -- no smoking, no drinking, avoiding direct sun exposure and trying to slow down to avoid stress -- will help contribute to healthy skin, Benner said Q10 application will give the skin a youthful boost and protection against free radicals. (Maria Endah Hulupi)