Spotlight On Ferulic Acid

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.”

Side effects

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.

Bottom Line

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?

Source: Venex_jpb
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  1. Janessa says

    I recently ordered the Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum from trusty Amazon. It should arrive this week! I didn’t know ferulic acid did THAT much and wow, the ingredient seems like a super hero!
    Now I have to learn about free radicals, not just antioxidants. :] Hooray! Really fun ingredients post.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, it’s a wonderful ingredient indeed. I’m sure you will love the serum, it’s loaded with lots of beneficial ingredients. :)

      • Janessa says

        I’m so excited to try it! I told my English teacher about your blog (I have her for women’s literature) and she’s going to check it out! :] I told her your desert island books and she loves you already!

  2. says

    I love these articles! Not only do I love makeup but I’m also a huge science nerd and I’m working on my bachelor’s in nutrition so these articles are very interesting to me.

    I also think it’s wonderful that you are educating the public about whats in our products.
    Amanda Elisabeth´s last blog post ..Indie Eyeshadow SamplesMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Amanda, aww thank you. I’m glad you enjoy this type of posts. It is so important to know what’s in our products and it’s a shame there is so much misinformation out there.

  3. ozana says

    There is also another option from Cosmetic Skin Solutions called CE Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment – 1 oz / 30 ml – Super Combination Antioxidant Formula – 15% Vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E, and 0.5% Ferulic acid. I bought it from Amazon or directly from their web site. It is 39 USD andit is almost identical to Skinceuticals, but much cheaper.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Ozana, thanks for sharing. It sounds like a wonderful product and quite affordable too, which is always a plus. :)

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