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We are increasingly more aware of what goes into our beauty products, so it comes as no surprise that brands are increasingly highlighting the star ingredients used in each product. We’ve gone through the phase where we wanted everything formulated with hyaluronic acid, then ceramides and cica.

For those who have done their rounds with these skincare ingredients and are looking for the next big thing, you’ll be surprised to know that just like fashion trends, we’re going back to the ’90s for the newest skincare ingredient fad: Q10.

What is Q10, and what does it do for your skin?

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Many of us may not be very familiar with this ingredient – it could even be the first time you’ve heard of it!

Simply put, Q10 or Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant coenzyme that is naturally produced in your body to zap free radicals in your cells. It is required for the proper function of many organs and chemical reactions in the body.

As you age, your body starts making less Q10 naturally, just like how your collagen and ceramide levels tend to deplete over time. That being said, you don’t necessarily have to wait until you are older in order to benefit from using products that contain Q10.

According to Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe, founder of SKNDOCTOR, using skincare products formulated with Q10 not only helps to replenish its levels in the top layers of our skin, but also counteract the damage of free radicals caused by UV radiation and pollution, which can include skin irritation, hyperpigmentation, and clogged pores.

In addition, dermatologists also share that the key to achieving plump, juicy, fresh skin lies in the skin’s essential building blocks, one of which is coenzyme Q10. Hence, making sure that your body’s Q10 is maintained at sufficient levels is very important if you want young and healthy-looking skin.

So, why is Q10 coming back as a hero ingredient in skincare?

As mentioned earlier, Co-enzyme Q10 is not a new ingredient that; in fact, it has been a staple in Japanese beauty products. It enjoyed a boom in the late ’90s and ’00s, but has been overshadowed by other hero ingredients in recent years.

However, one common characteristic among recently popular ingredients (think hyaluronic acid and ceramides) is that they are naturally produced by the body.

In light of the clean beauty trend, consumers are turning to brands that use skin-loving ingredients, especially if they are natural – what could possibly be more natural than an ingredient produced by your own cells, right? The key is to add back and replenish what was lost, rather than add on other chemicals that are not naturally-occurring and possibly not good for your health.

Although many ingredients claim to increase cell turnover rate and improve skin’s elasticity, Q10 has recently become the natural ingredient that brands are turning to in order to increase skin plumpness.

The Taiwanese beauty industry, in particular, has been actively pushing this key ingredient in recent years because it marries the two principles that Taiwanese beauty stands for: clean beauty and clinically-proven results.

According to a representative from Annie’s Way, a Taiwanese brand most noted for its masks, Q10 is a star ingredient in the Taiwanese beauty scene and is likely to be found in even more products in the near future.

It is also no coincidence that Q10’s reemergence comes at a time where sensitive skin caused by environmental aggressors is one of the top skincare concerns. As an antioxidant, Q10 neutralises free radicals and reduces the effects of external stress factors on your skin.

What are some of the best Q10 skincare products?

While Japanese beauty brands are early pioneers of using Q10 in their beauty products, brands from neighbouring countries such as Taiwan and South Korea have also started picking up on the coenzyme’s multitude of benefits and formulating products with Q10.

If you are planning to incorporate Q10 into your skincare routine for the first time, here are some highly-rated old favourites and new innovations that you can start with!

DHC CoQ10 Washing Cream

Dhc Coq10 Washing Cream

When it comes to Japanese beauty, DHC is a fan-favourite with products that you can definitely count on.

The CoQ10 Washing Cream is a creamy cleanser infused with antioxidant-rich Q10. Its luxurious, high-volume lather that leaves skin feeling soft and free from impurities – all without stripping moisture from your skin. Besides our star ingredient, this cleanser is also formulated with olive oil and squalane to moisturise dry skin and protect your skin’s moisture barrier.

DHC CoQ10 Washing Cream retails at SGD75.90 on Qoo10.

Skin Inc Coenzyme Q10 Serum

Skin Inc Coenzyme Q10 Serum

Been getting comments these days on how your skin looks tired and aged? It’s time to boost your complexion with Skin Inc’s famous Coenzyme Q10 Serum.

This is one of the brand’s most popular variants of serums because it has been proven to be extremely effective at reviving tired and ageing skin and boosting skin renewal. By activating the production of energy in cells, it also increases the absorption of nutrients in your other skincare products while slowing down the ageing process.

It takes just two to three drops of this serum twice every day for you to sport more youthful skin in no time!

Skin Inc Coenzyme Q10 Serum retails at SGD68 in Sephora.

Annie’s Way Q10 + Peony Anti-Aging Jelly Mask

Annie’s Way Q10 Peony Anti Aging Jelly Mask

Doing a jelly mask is definitely fun, and what makes this even better is the fact that it is extremely good for your skin.

Infused with peony and Q10, this anti-aging jelly mask from Annie’s Way promises to give you a youthful, toned, luminous and flawlessly radiant look. Due to the addition of the coenzyme in the product, you will also find that your pores look cleaner and less clogged with consistent usage.

This is suitable for all skin types, even if you have sensitive skin: all their products have passed the SGS tests, meaning that they have been certified as free from allergens and will not give you an allergic reaction upon application.

Annie’s Way Q10 + Peony Anti-Ageing Jelly Mask retails at SGD28 in Watsons.

ERH Ultra Brightening Whitening Lotion

Erh Ultra Brightening Whitening Lotion

Taiwanese brand ERH makes use of the fact that Q10 is an all-in-one ingredient, and has formulated it to provide its full range of benefits in this customer-favourite Whitening Lotion.

It is meant to be a quick and easy treatment for those who have these five major skin needs: hydrating, whitening, anti-ageing, elasticity, and soothing. All it takes is 30 seconds after application on the skin for you to see results – we’re impressed!

ERH products are currently unavailable in Singapore, but can be purchased in Malaysia.

The Inkey List Q10 Serum

The Inkey List Q10 Serum

Many skincare products formulated with Q10 can be rather pricey, so British brand The Inkey List has also jumped on the Q10 trend and released a more affordable option.

This serum focuses on Q10’s ability as a powerful antioxidant to repair cells, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and hydrate the skin. Some users have commented that the texture of this is slightly thicker than what you may be used to, but it is definitely not oily – in fact, fans love this for being a gentle and effective product!

The Inkey List Q10 Serum retails at SGD11 only on Sephora’s website.

Viviene’s Secret Q10 Moisture Replenishing Multi-Clay Mask

Viviene’s Secret Q10 Moisture Replenishing Multi Clay Mask

Most clay masks are made to draw out gunk from clogged pores and absorb excess sebum. While this clay mask from Viviene’s Secret can do all of the above, it also has extra functions such as improving skin elasticity and stimulating the absorption of active ingredients, thanks to its secret ingredient, Q10!

You’ll also love that it comes in a convenient sheet mask packaging – perfect for those on the go, and also more hygienic than scooping the product out from a tub.

Viviene’s Secret products are currently unavailable in Singapore, but can be purchased in Indonesia.