One of my predictions for 2014 was that anti-aging potion makers would tout ingredients that target mitochondria. So, I was excited when a TIA community member wrote to tell me about MitoQ Moisturizing Anti-Aging Serum ($119 in the shop), a New Zealand anti-aging serum and oral supplement with just one active ingredient and a claim of being 1,000 times more powerful than any other.
At the end of 2013, scientists made the news with the discovery that they could turn the clock back for mice. They did this by getting cellular DNA and mitochondria to communicate properly. Mitochondria are responsible for providing the necessary energy for cell activity. Without mitochondria, most cells couldn’t function; and if cells couldn’t function, we wouldn’t exist. In an experiment with mice, scientists were able to reverse the aging process by using a protein called NAD.
The active antioxidant component of MitoQ, mitoquinone mesylate, is in fact ubiquinone, the active antioxidant in Coenzyme Q10. But unlike other antioxidants, MitoQ was developed to target mitochondria. It is accumulated selectively and extensively by mitochondria, in contrast to other antioxidants, which distribute evenly throughout the cell. This accumulation — or concentration — is where MitoQ bases its claims of being 1,000 times stronger than other antioxidants.
It was actually developed in the 1990s at the University of Otago in New Zealand, but there isn’t a ton of research. Medical trials on liver protection and Parkinson’s seem to be mixed. Furthermore, I’ve never found a standout anti-aging serum that relied solely on ubiquinone. It would be up to the mitochondria targeting of MitoQ to make its Moisturizing Anti-Aging Serum a winner. Well, winner it is.
MitoQ is supposed to support healthy skin cell function. And my skin does look healthier — it appears more radiant and rejuvenated. The lines on my forehead are smoother, and MitoQ has made more difference on my neck than anything ever before. The serum is a medium-weight cream, is easily absorbed and has almost zero scent.
I was surprised to see behentrimonium methosulfate listed as an ingredient. It rang a bell to me, as it’s commonly found in hair conditioners. And it is true that behentrimonium methosulfate is used as a common detangler. I was relieved to find that this rapeseed oil derivative also acts as an emulsifying agent and is gentle enough to be used in baby products that are left on the skin. When used in lotions and creams, it gives a soft and powdery after-touch to the skin. Also benign are the emollients, dicaprylyl carbonate and glycerin. There are two preservatives, the relatively mild potassium sorbate and the more controversial phenoxyethanol, a possible neurotoxin.
As a side note, I have also been taking the MitoQ 5mg Targeted Anti-oxidant Supplements ($69.95 in the shop) and am not really sure how I feel about them. Let it be known that I am a supplement skeptic. For the first two weeks, the promised dopamine high never came. In fact, I felt decidedly under the weather — along with tout le New York as we suffer an endless winter. But during these past two weeks, I’ve been feeling decidedly perkier. Who knows?
What I do know is that I will be buying the MitoQ serum again.