Co-enzyme Q10 – Anti-ageing avengers assemble!

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Co-enzyme Q10 is a staple in many beauty products – from high end to drugstore, but is its fancy name really worth such widespread use, or is it another placebo ingredient, boosted by some clever marketing? We looked a little closer….

What is co-enzyme Q10?

Co-enzyme Q10 is an oil soluble, vitamin like substance otherwise known as ubiquinone or ubidecarenone. It is found throughout the body and takes part in cellular respiration (energy generation!). Co-enzyme Q10 is found in highest concentration in the heart, liver and kidneys, as they require most energy to carry out their essential bodily functions. Here’s an interesting fact….in 1972, scientists found a link between heart disease and co-enzyme Q10 deficiency.

Wow…co-enzyme Q10 sounds pretty important for my insides….but I don’t fancy spreading moisturiser on my bread….

Co-enzyme Q10 is found in lots of different foods, but fear not, we’ve put together a handy list of food that’s rich in co-enzyme Q10,  so your ticker will be back in tip top condition in no time!

Beef, pork and chicken liver, heart and kidneys
Fish
Soybean and olive oil

Note: Frying will reduce the amount of co-enzyme q10 in these ingredients.

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If you’re vegetarian or don’t fancy beef heart for lunch,  you can buy co-enzyme Q10 supplements from your local vitamin store.

That’s interesting…but why is it in my moisturiser?

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Co-enzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant and protects against ‘oxidative damage’ which is more commonly known as ‘ageing’. Oxidative damage is caused by a variety of factors which include UV rays, air pollution, stress, and toxins.

This little wonder nutrient also promotes the production of collagen, which plumps the skin and prevents wrinkles and laughter lines.

Finally, co-enzyme Q10 also rejuvenates the skin by stimulating skin cell reproduction.

So, all in all, co-enzyme Q10 gets a huge thumbs up, and the best part is, you won’t need to break the bank to feel the effects of CoQ10 because of its presence in so many food types and many skin products which are highly affordable and readily available.

Do you use co-enzyme Q10? Or will you now be rushing out to stockpile beef heart and soybean oil? Let us know in the comments below!

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Silicone….a silly con?

From 2008 to 2010, here at WITS we refused to deviate from Pantene….we’d have put it above sliced bread. It made us swoosh our hair about as though we were starring in….well…a Pantene advert. We could almost hear Natasha Bedingfield serenading us as we sashayed along the high street.

Until we told our hairdresser.

The P word was uttered, her jaw was on the floor, and she was giving us the kind of look that we thought was only found on death row.

After hearing that we might as well be coating our locks in strychnine because of the high level of silicone in Pantene, we forlornly turned our backs upon it….but recently we’ve been beginning to wonder if the rest was still unwritten.

Silicone is a much maligned hair ingredient…but why? Let’s find out!

What is silicone?

Silicones are synthetic compounds made from silicon, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and other elements. Silicones are not waterproof, but repel water and make excellent water tight seals, which is why they have such diverse uses. You can find silicones being used in practically every industry from dry cleaning to contact lenses to aquarium joints and cookware.

…so why does everyone hate using hair products that contain silicones?

Here’s where things get a little complicated, but don’t worry…just like MC Hammer, we’ll break it down.

Firstly, silicone is an umbrella term for lots of different compounds with varying characteristics. There are two types of silicones used in hair products water soluble and non water soluble. Both types coat the hair and give it that much longed for L’Oréal swoosh, whilst preventing moisture loss. Water soluble silicones can simply be washed away with water; however non water solubles need to be washed away with sulphates, which also strip the hair of moisture. So if you’re looking to retain moisture we’d advise using a water soluble silicone.

but how do I know which one is which?!

Well, we like to look after you…so here’s a quick reference guide (you’re welcome!)

Water Soluble Silicones
Dimethicone Copolyol
Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
Hydrolyzed wheat protein (Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane)
Any Silicone with PEG as a prefix

Non Soluble (not water soluble)
Trimethylsilylamodimetheicone
Dimethicone
Phenyl Trimethicone
Cetearyl Methicone
Dimethiconol
Amodimethicon
Stearyl Dimethicone
Cyclomethicone
Cetyl Dimethicone
Cyclopentasiloxane
Behenoxy Dimethicone
Stearoxy Dimethicone

So, after a bit of scratching our heads, and reading lots of complicated words that we can’t even begin to pronounce, we think that silicones aren’t as deserving of the bad name they’ve been given thus far. We think that with a good clarifying shampoo and sporadic use, water soluble silicones aren’t the worst thing we could put on our hair.

What do you think? Will you be reconsidering the S word for a one off swoosh?

If you want anymore info on silicone or any other posts, you can tweet us @weareWITS or email us at whatsinthatstuff@gmail.com

Finally, happy mothers day to all you lovely WITS Mums out there!