Idebenone description

Idebenone is a synthetic antioxidant similar to coenzyme Q10. Research for idebenone has not compared its effects to many of the hundreds of other potent antioxidants that commonly appear in other skincare products, nor did it compare the effects of idebenone with the effects of a combination of antioxidants. Perhaps a cocktail of antioxidants would far surpass idebenone - we don’t know. Other published studies compared the red grape antioxidant compound reseveratrol and L-ergothioneine to idebenone and found both superior to idebenone. To date, there are still no published, peer-reviewed studies that support idebenone’s alleged superiority. This does not mean idebenone is not a valid antioxidant for skin. Given what we know about how ubiquinone performs in the body, it is definitely not a throwaway ingredient. What is fairly certain, however, is that it is neither the best nor most potent antioxidant around.

Idebenone references

  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 2-7
  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2007, pages 183-188
  • The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, May 2006, pages 1185-1187

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not Rated