- An antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and offests oxidative stress
- It teams up greatly with vitamins C and E, boosting their effectiveness
- Ferulic acid protects fibroblasts, collagen, and elastin
- It’s added as a preservation agent to inhibit the autooxidation of oils
- Drawback: It oxidizes fast when exposed to oxygen
Ferulic acid belongs to the phenolic acid group commonly found in plants such as spinach, bamboo, and bran. In skincare, ferulic acid is used as a potent antioxidant to offset free radical damage, helping prevent premature aging signs. Despite its sensitivity to oxygen exposure, ferulic acid is widely added to skincare formulations, having the role of defending the skin against external aggressors and photoaging.
Ferulic acid benefits for skin
But the benefits of ferulic acid in skincare don’t stop with its antioxidant power. In fact, ferulic acid protects skin structure (think keratinocytes, fibroblasts, collagen, elastin) and accelerates wound healing. Besides, as a free radical inhibitor, it aids in preventing dark spots caused by the sun from forming. According to research, ferulic acid also brightens the existing hyperpigmentation thanks to its ability to inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme, the one responsible for melanin production.
Due to its multitude of benefits, ferulic acid is used in all sorts of products, mainly addressing photoaging and hyperpigmentation. Although ferulic acid is suitable for all skin types, those with sensitive skin should do a patch test to avoid possible irritations.
While the concentration of ferulic acid can go higher to 12% for in-office treatments, the recommended strength in OTC products is 0.5 to 1%.
To reap most of ferulic acid benefits, use it in a serum formulated with other antioxidants, especially vitamins C and E, as ferulic acid stabilizes these two doubling their photoprotection effects.
In a nutshell, these are the skin benefits of ferulic acid:
- Fights free radicals
- Reduces inflammations
- Prevents dark spots
- Evens skin tone
- Stabilizes vitamins C and E benefits
- Zduńska K, Dana A, Kolodziejczak A, Rotsztejn H: Antioxidant Properties of Ferulic Acid and Its Possible Application. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2018;31:332-336. doi: 10.1159/000491755
- Lin FH, Lin JY, Gupta RD, Tournas JA, Burch JA, Selim MA, Monteiro-Riviere NA, Grichnik JM, Zielinski J, Pinnell SR. Ferulic acid stabilizes a solution of vitamins C and E and doubles its photoprotection of skin. J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Oct;125(4):826-32. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-202X.2005.23768.x. PMID: 16185284.