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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Idebenone: What Is It and Where Can You Find It In Skincare Products?

 Idebenone: What Is It and Where Can You Find It In Skincare Products?

The other day I was on the phone with my friend and we were searching around Amazon looking at skincare products, as we are prone to doing. I came across an ingredient I was not overly familiar with. Idebenone. I thought, this is interesting. What is idebenone and what exactly does it do? Where can one find it in the skincare world? So I thought I would do a little bit of research and write up an article on the topic, for you to have some knowledge on the subject. 

Idebenonepronounced eye- deb- eh-known, is an antioxidant that was originally developed for the use of Alzheimer's disease and other ailments related to aging. It is a synthetic for Coenzyme Q10. Some do not like that it is a synthetic agent and is not natural, although many natural ingredients are derived from their plant sources and can interact with other products, causing irritation. Idebenone produces the same effects as Coenzyme Q10 with the only difference being that idebenone has lower water solubility and a slightly higher affinity for lipids. It was originally created by a Japanese pharmaceutical company to treat the deterioration of the memory in Alzheimer's patients. However, its effects were limited. Skincare companies have turned their attention to its effectiveness as a free radical fighting agent, as it might be safer than other synthetic skincare ingredients.1 

It can be used by all skin types and works well with most ingredients. Idebenone is believed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As an antioxidant, it works by reducing the free radicals in the skin. Free radicals are molecules that have a positive electron charge and damage the skin, collagen, and reduce skin's elasticity. The process is called oxidative stress, where the body is exposed to UV rays, pollution and other environmental factors causing aging of the body. Idebenone is thought to reduce oxidative stress. It is also thought to reduce irritation and soothe the appearance of redness. This is why it is in skincare products for sensitive skin.1

Idebenone is new on the skincare scene and it has not been fully researched and explored. Apparently recent studies found that it does not dissolve fully in water-based formulations and it may have trouble being absorbed when taken orally. Although it is relatively new, the ingredient is generally considered safe for use. Few people have experienced redness, irritation and stinging when using an idebenone-based product. If you would like to use idebenone and have sensitive skin, run a small patch test first. Note too that its effectiveness decreases when exposed to UV rays. So make sure to keep the product away from sunlight and wear a SPF30+ daily.1

Where can you find products with idebenone in them? Since it is so new there are not as many products on the market with this antioxidant in them...yet. The ingredient has been around since 1986 but has just recently caught the eye of skincare enthusiasts. There are a few nice products in the marketplace though and all you have to do is do a little bit of digging to find them. I feel as if I did some of the work for you though!

Vasseur Skincare Idebenone Cream ($40.00) for 0.50 oz. is one cream that exists. When used before sun exposure it claims to reduce the number of sun-damaged cells by 38%! I am not sure if they have anything to back up these claims, I would like to see data on this. They also claim that idebenone is being called the most potent and effective antioxidant known and tested in skincare today. This is based on tests comparing it to Vitamins C and E.

Amazon has a couple of items with idebenone too. One of which is MIXX LAB Idebenone Serum 1% for face ($16.99). This serum defends skin from UV rays and smooths skin texture. It defends all skin types from free radicals, boosts radiance, diminishes pigmentation, and encourages skin cell recovery after each application. Also, it calms and soothes the skin. Snow Mushroom Extract, which rivals the hydration properties of hyaluronic acid, is included. It is loaded with Vitamin D and and antioxidants. Sunflower Seed Oil, Squalene, and Vitamin E are also in this formula to keep skin hydrated and protected from sun damage and free radicals. Easy to use, just apply after cleansing and toning mornings and evenings. Massage the serum until absorbed.3

There are some products available from Amazon & other places online that have idebenone in them. However, they are basically the same: products that focus on defending the skin against free radicals and UV rays. They also have the added protection of soothing some irritation and calming skin. Amazon has an Idebenone Face Cream for $38.00 that looks okay. It seems as if the ingredient is so new that there are very few products on the market yet and the few that do have the ingredient are quite expensive. I imagine the market will open up soon. Hopefully this has been an interesting learning experience for you. Please feel free to email me with notes or questions. 

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis


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