Collagen plays a big role in keeping our skin firm, tight, and smooth. But, we naturally begin to produce less of it once we hit 30. This is in part due to slowed production of coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, an antioxidant that helps with collagen production. To help boost your skin's natural collagen production, you can use Coq10 topically with the Exponent Beauty Firming Filter CoQ10 System ($166).
Exponent is known for delivering potent actives, and this formula is no different. The brand's hero ingredients come in powdered form, which allows you to mix up a fresh batch of serum before each application. The Exponent system is based around an apparatus that has a refillable base (which holds hyaluronic acid) and a refillable powder dispenser (which holds active ingredients in powdered form). Simply place the powder dispenser on the base, and twist it counterclockwise until you hear a few small clicks and then a thunk. This sound means you've released a precise dose of powdered Coq10 into a precise dose of HA. Then, you use a finger to mix for about five seconds and apply this fresh batch to your face and neck.
"CoQ10 is becoming a bit of a buzzy ingredient in supplements these days, it's found less frequently in American skin care although more widely in Japanese skin care," says Liz Whitman, founder and CEO of Exponent Beauty.
A 2022 study on cultured human skin fibroblasts (the cells within the middle layer of skin that are responsible for generating connective tissue), found that CoQ10 treatment increased the mRNA expression (aka creation) of three types of collagen and elastin. This supports the idea that CoQ10 in skin-care products leads to firmer, tighter skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
To further prove the benefits of CoQ10, Exponent conducted its own research on the ingredient. The brand had 30 women use the serum for four weeks, and monitored changes in fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, skin tone, and firmness using the Visia Image Analysis Pro Cutometer, which uses live images to document progress over time. 100 percent of subjects showered a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles and 83 percent showed improvement in skin discoloration. Across all subjects, there was a 36 percent average increase in skin firmness.
Exponent's CoQ10 system delivers a .05 percent dose of the powerful antioxidant and can be used morning or night. However, Whitman recommends applying it at night since "it's got a creamier feel to it" and may feel too heavy for use during the day. If this is your first Exponent Beauty serum, you'll need the full system to get started, which provides the dispensing and mixing apparatus that allows you to get a fresh and precise dose every time. Once you have that, you can simply get the Firming Filter CoQ10 Refill ($88) and the Hydrator Refill ($68)
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