Coenzyme Q10 (Q10) loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) were prepared by the high speed homogenization method and incorporated into Carbopol 974P hydrogels. Compritol 888 ATO (C888) was employed as the lipid base; Poloxamer 188 (P188) and Tween 80 (Tw80) were used as surfactant and co-surfactant. Optimum particle size with narrow distribution was obtained as 152.2 nm for blank and 142.4 nm for Q10 loaded SLNs. The overall charge of loaded SLNs was -13.7 +/- 1.3 mV. Q10 entrapment efficiency was 89 % and the production yield was 94 A, Transmission electron microscopy analysis provided evidence of colloidal size, spherical shape while differential scanning calorimetry analysis confirmed recrystallization of the lipid after the preparation of SLNs. Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) analysis has shown that antioxidant potential of Q10 can be protected in SLNs. Rheological characteristics demonstrated that the SLN incorporating gels were shear thinning and the mechanical strength of the gels was suitable for topical application. Diffusion studies from rat abdominal skin revealed that the delivery of Q10 was doubled in SLN incorporating gels, approximately 40 mu g cm(-2), in comparison with gels prepared with only Q10 (not incorporated in SLNs). As a result, it can be stated that Q10-SLN loaded gels can be successful delivery systems for carrying Q10 efficiently into the skin without losing its antioxidant properties.