Ferulic Acid is one of the most exciting ingredients in skincare. This plant-based antioxidant, which naturally occurs in the cell walls of whole grains, coffee, spinach, orange, apples, parsley, grapes and other vegs and fruits, can keep skin healthy, improving its texture and tone. Unfortunately, it is also quite expensive which is why it’s not widely used in cosmetic products, but if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth checking out. So, what does Ferulic Acid does exactly?
Ferulic Acid is a powerful antioxidant
Ferulic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent wrinkles and sun damage. Unlike most antioxidants that can fight only one type of free radicals (free radicals are the main cause of premature aging), Ferulic Acid can destroy three: superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide. As such, it is even more effective than Vitamins C and E and Beta-carotene.
Ferulic Acid enhances the effectiveness of other antioxidants
Although effective on its own, Ferulic Acid works even better when used together with Vitamins C and E as it helps stabilize them and enhance their antioxidant properties. A study conducted by Duke University has found that “its incorporation into a topical solution of 15%l-ascorbic acid and 1%alpha-tocopherol improved chemical stability of the vitamins (C+E) and doubled photoprotection to solar-simulated irradiation of skin from 4-fold to approximately 8-fold as measured by both erythema and sunburn cell formation. This combination of pure natural low molecular weight antioxidants provides meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress in skin and should be useful for protection against photoaging and skin cancer.”
Ferulic Acid has potential as a whitening agent
But that’s not all. A 1999 study has suggested that, when used with Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid has potential as a whitening agent to treat hyperpigmentation because it “suppresses melanogenesis, possibly by inhibiting tyrosine hydroxylase activity in an indirect manner.”
Although Ferulic Acid is generally considered to be safe, if you’re allergic to grains such as wheat, corn or barley, you should consult a doctor before using a product with this ingredient to avoid any negative reactions. In addition, while it is true that Ferulic Acid enhances the stability of other antioxidants thus helping preventing them from losing their effectiveness, some degradation still occurs, so make sure you store the product away from light and close it tightly once you’ve finished using it.
Products with Ferulic Acid
Unfortunately, there aren’t many products with Ferulic Acid on the market yet, and those available are all quite pricey. The most famous is Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($146.00!), whose formula contains 15% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 1% alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E), and 0.5% ferulic acid. Dr. Michelle Copeland Rewind Reparative Night Serum ($139.00), Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution ($85.00), Your Best Face Antioxidants Concentrate ($55.00) and Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum ($24.95) are also good, cheaper, options.
Ferulic Acid is a powerful, plant-based antioxidant that helps fight premature aging, prevent sun damage and could even work to treat hyperpigmentation. Although effective on its own, when combined with Vitamins C and E, it enhances their stability and effectiveness. Because of this, I’m optimistic that more companies will add Ferulic Acid to their products in their future (and hopefully at more affordable prices!)
Do you use products with Ferulic Acid?