Retinol, one of the constituents of vitamin A, has been used as an acne and anti-ageing cream for several decades. More recently, creams containing not only retinol but also coenzyme Q10 and copper peptides have appeared on the market. These exotically named ingredients are actually very common in human diets and human bodies. Their inclusion in skin renewal products is based on solid science.
This is one of the compounds that makes up vitamin A. It stimulates skin growth and increases collagen formation. It may reduce fine lines, uneven pigmentation and roughness. Referred to as topical retinoids, retinol creams may redden the skin and make it more susceptible to sunburn, dryness, itching or a burning sensation. Use a good sunscreen while using prescription-strength preparations. When combined with other ingredients, it may not be as effective. Avoid using any retinol compounds while pregnant
Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient involved in the energy production of body cells. While it does help protect against sun damage, Q10 appears to be of less use in removing fine lines around the eyes. Found in the mitochondria, a cell's "power plant," Q10 is important in the body's production of adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the cell's main source of fuel and is important in many biological processes.
Copper is sometimes touted for its ability to prevent and repair sun damage. This is especially so when the copper is incorporated into simple proteins that make up skin collagen and elastin. Copper is thought to cancel the effects of free radicals in the skin. Copper peptides are also associated with enhanced wound healing and scar fading because these proteins appear to accelerate cell turnover, replacing damaged tissue with healthier cells.
Retinol, copper peptides, and coenzyme Q10 are often found together in face and body creams intended for the renewal of damaged skin cells. Retinol by itself is often used as the basis of skin-renewal serums and creams. Creams containing copper peptides are also available and are intended for uses as diverse as fading scars and fading age spots. The nutrient coenzyme Q10 is found in a range of skincare products as well as dietary supplements because of its association with cellular energy transport.
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- Nutrition Articles and Diet Articles; When and Why to Use Wrinkle Creams; May 2011
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Alternative Medicine: Coenzyme Q10
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- Mayo Clinic: Wrinkle Creams: Your Guide to Younger-Looking Skin
- Cleveland Clinic: Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products: Copper Peptide