About Idebenone in DIY Skin Care
This analog of Coenzyme Q10 is not just an antioxidant but it can help with mitochondrial function and, therefore, with energy production by the skin cells. This is why idebenone is advertised as anti-aging: mitochondria age faster than the rest of the cells and idebenone would aid mitochondrial function. Idebenone, a chemical very similar to Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) is synthetic and can substitute for Coenzyme Q10 in the electron transport chain. The idea is that mitochondrial function can be limited by Coenzyme Q10 and idebenone will help older mitochondria work better. Taking into account that electron transport is a crucial part of respiration and energy production, idebenone makes sense. .
Idebenone and your skin
"Idebenone is closely related to CoQ10 in its structure. It can replace CoQ10 in the process of cellular energy production and, just as CoQ10, idebenone is also an antioxidant. There are some important distinctions though. Idebenone is more water-soluble than CoQ10; its cellular distribution and antioxidant profile are somewhat different too. This makes idebenone superior to CoQ10 in neutralizing some types of free radicals and inferior in fighting other types. Notably, idebnone is more effective than CoQ10 in protecting cells from the free radical damage resulting from reduced blood flow. On the other hand, idebenone appears more conducive than CoQ10 to certain types of noxious free-radical leakage in the cell's mitochondria. Unfortunately, there have been very few studies directly comparing CoQ10 and idebenone in the treatment of various conditions."
debenone: a powerful wrinkle-fighter, a copy-cat or both?
Dr. G. Todorov,.Idebenone: a powerful wrinkle-fighter, a copy-cat or both? smartskincare.com
"It is likely, however, that the increased energy production facilitated by CoQ10 will benefit the skin as well."
Dr. G. Todorov.Conditionally essential nutrients in skin rejuvenation. smartskincare.com
"Idebenone has been shown to produce clinically visible improvements in photodamaged skin. In a study of 41 female subjects aged 30-65, applying idebenone to the face in the morning and evening for six weeks reduced skin roughness and dryness by 26%, and decreased fine lines and wrinkles by 29%. The subjects also exhibited a 37% increase in skin hydration and a 33% overall improvement in assessment for photodamaged skin. These improvements were primarily seen in the epidermis, though there was some increase in dermal collagen as well. Skin biopsies revealed decreased levels of an inflammatory protein, a change associated with the stimulation of collagen production. Topically applied idebenone thus improves numerous markers of skin health while reducing the visible signs of aging.Idebenone may protect the skin through its potent antioxidant effects. One research team studied various antioxidants to gauge their protective effects against oxidative stress. They found that idebenone was the most effective antioxidant studied, providing more protection than CoQ10, vitamin E, kinetin, vitamin C, or lipoic acid. This antioxidant quality allows idebenone to inhibit lipid peroxidation, thus protecting skin cell lipids and membranes.
Topical use of idebenone represents an important step forward in scientifically based skin care. Through its antioxidant effects, idebenone helps protect skin from the effects of oxidative stress and photoaging, restoring moisture, refining texture, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting a more youthful appearance."
Idebenone Fights Photoaging, Improves Skin Health Dave Tuttle, 'Scientifically Advanced Skin Care', LE Magazine January 2007.
Note that Pinnell et al. claim that Idebenone is NOT as effective for sun protection as Pinnell's Vitamin C+E+Ferulic.
A t BulkActives we are not a big fan of Idebenone or CoQ10 for topical sunprotection, as neither are very soluble and bio available.
We strongly suggest that Vitamin C be the main weapon in your fight against sun damage, and that CoQ10 or Idebenone are used at night to help increase cellular energy production.
Topically applied Idebenone may:
- prevent or reduce UVA and UVB sun damage: 
- act as an anti- oxidant: 
- increase cellular energy production: as a synthetic analog of Co-Q10
3: Tournas JA, Lin FH, Burch JA, Selim MA, Monteiro-Riviere NA, Zielinski JE, Pinnell SR. Ubiquinone, idebenone, and kinetin provide ineffective photoprotection to skin when compared to a topical antioxidant combination of vitamins C and E with ferulic acid. J Invest Dermatol. 2006 May;126(5):1185-7. PubMed PMID: 16528359.
2: McDaniel DH, Neudecker BA, DiNardo JC, Lewis JA 2nd, Maibach HI. Clinical efficacy assessment in photodamaged skin of 0.5% and 1.0% idebenone. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2005 Sep;4(3):167-73. PubMed PMID: 17129261.
1: McDaniel DH, Neudecker BA, DiNardo JC, Lewis JA 2nd, Maibach HI. Idebenone: a new antioxidant - Part I. Relative assessment of oxidative stress protection capacity compared to commonly known antioxidants. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2005 Jan;4(1):10-7. PubMed PMID: 17134415.