Scientist in laboratory

Skin ageing is an inevitable part of growing older caused by a combination of different external and internal factors that affect the rate and way in which skin ages. In people with sensitive skin the symptoms of premature ageing may appear more prevalent as the skin’s ability to protect and regenerate itself is compromised.

In sensitive ageing skin, cells can show an energy deficit and as a result, become less able to regulate moisture, renew and protect themselves. This process can occur when the skin’s barrier function is compromised and is worsened by naturally depleting levels of substances like Hyaluronic Acid, which hydrate the skin’s layers, and Coenzyme Q10, which help energises skin cells.

Sensitive skin and wrinkles? Eucerin searches for a solution

As well as the visible signs of premature ageing, such as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, people with sensitive ageing skin may also experience a higher degree of skin dryness, redness, a rough surface texture and uncomfortable taut sensation as compared to normal skin. With this particular condition in mind, Eucerin set about developing a skin care line to care for and strengthen sensitive ageing skin against the multiple signs of premature ageing.

The story behind our anti-ageing range for sensitive skin

Many people report having sensitive skin. We wanted to create a specific formula that would work not only to soothe and strengthen sensitive skin, but one that would act on the signs of premature ageing, such as lines and wrinkles, often exacerbated by the symptoms of sensitive skin.

Our main challenge was to identify effective anti-ageing ingredients that could also be tolerated by the most sensitive skin types,

said Andrea Schölermann, MD, Clinical Advisor Eucerin.

“From all the potential ingredients we explored, one active, Coenzyme Q10, stood out for it’s dual capabilities to reenergize cells and also provide outstanding antioxidant protection. It’s a substance already present in skin,” explained Schölermann.

Beiersdorf Research Centre Hamburg
Beiersdorf Research Centre Hamburg, Germany.
Female scientist looking into microscope
To find solutions that work it can take our researchers several years.

Q10 – a natural choice for sensitive skin

To fully understand how sensitive ageing skin could benefit from Coenzyme Q10 we looked at its known functions within the body. In skin cells the presence of Coenzyme Q10 helps convert nutrients into energy, recharging cells’ regenerative potential to make them function more efficiently. However, as skin ages levels of Coenzyme Q10 naturally decrease resulting in an energy deficit within the cells so they become less able to regenerate and defend themselves naturally. Over time skin begins to lose firmness, lacks radiance and elasticity and becomes more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.

Skin Cell Energy

Like all tissue in the body, skin cells need energy to maintain their vital functions, their ability to regenerate and repair themselves and to grow. Energy is created as the cells metabolise various nutrients – fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

In addition, Coenzyme Q10 has potent antioxidant qualities, which give it the ability to help neutralise free radicals triggered by external environmental factors, like UV rays and pollution that can contribute to collagen and elastin breakdown.

Young cell with healthy mitochondria versus aged cell with damaged mitochondria
Mitochondria (also known as the „powerhouse“ of a cell) produce energy by continuously converting nutrients and oxygen into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Due to the ageing process, the amount of free radicals increases leading to incremental damages in the mitochondria.

How we tested Coenzyme Q10 on sensitive ageing skin

After extensive laboratory trials, we tested the effects of Coenzyme Q10 in different study settings on volunteers with sensitive skin.

“We used a process known as microtopography to measure the depth of wrinkles in the crow’s feet area,” Schölermann explained. After completing the five week trial, participants displayed a significant reduction in the appearance of wrinkle depth as well as a significant reduction in oxidative stress upon the skin as indicated by ultraweak photon emission (UPE), an in vivo method designed to measure the amount of chemical or UV-induced oxidative stress on skin.*

*Source: “CoQ10, a Topical Energizer for Ageing Skin” 2004

In another study, a group of 21 volunteers took part in a single-blinded, dermatologically controlled study to assess the effects of Eucerin Q10 ACTIVE Day Cream applied twice-daily for four weeks. At the end of the trial, dermatologists reported for 86% of study participants a ‘good tolerability’ on their sensitive skin, while for 60% an improvement in skin redness and scaling could be shown.

Deep wrinkle
Before treatment with Coenzyme Q10-containing formula.
Reduced appearance in wrinkle depth
5 weeks topical application of Q10-containing formula reduces the appearance of facial wrinkles in the crow's feet region.
For 86% of study participants a ‘good tolerability’ on their sensitive skin was reported

“For us, the true test was to assess the products on real women living and dealing with sensitive skin conditions every day. The results proved to us conclusively that Eucerin Q10 ACTIVE is effective and tolerable, not only for sensitive skin but against the signs of premature ageing too,” Schölermann concluded.