Ferulic acid: the unsung antioxidant that helps bolster other skincare products

Posted by for Skincare

From how it fights free radicals to the best products available, here’s everything you need to know about ferulic acid…

Antioxidants in skincare garner a lot of attention. You’ve probably heard of (if not already use) ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide and retinol but what about ferulic acid? 

Whether you’ve heard of ferulic acid or not, we’re guessing that the lesser-known antioxidant is already found within some of your most efficacious serums.

It’s a powerful antioxidant that’s not only great at helping fight signs of premature ageing, but can also bolster the effectiveness of your other skincare products.

Here, Stylist reveals everything you need to know about the wonder ingredient…

What is ferulic acid?

“Ferulic acid or hydroxycinnamic acid is found in the cell wall of plants such as oats, rice and wheat” reveals consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto

“Its main function is as an antioxidant where it acts to neutralise free radicals or harmful molecules that are produced by UV light, pollution and the body’s own metabolic processes”. 

What are the skincare benefits of ferulic acid?

When applied topically, ferulic acid can help premature skin ageing concerns. “Ferulic acid is an excellent antioxidant”, says Dr Mahto. “It can reduce fine lines and pigmentation issues and fight inflammation. Plus, anyone interested in an anti-ageing skin regimen can use it in their skincare routine.”

With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, ferulic acid is a potent scavenger of free radicals, which protects the cells from DNA damage. “Ferulic acid, in combination with other antioxidants, is excellent for sun damaged skin and preventing the breakdown of collagen in all skin types,” says Dr Jonquille Chantrey

What products can ferulic acid be used with?

One of the major benefits of ferulic acid is that it not only works well alongside other ingredients, it can actually bolster their effectiveness.

“Ferulic acid pairs very well with L-ascorbic acid and vitamin E” says Dr Chantrey.

It enhances the effectiveness and stability of other antioxidants, making them work harder and last longer. Therefore you often find it alongside other unstable ingredients like vitamin C, E and resveratrol. 

Whilst ferulic acid isn’t thought to cause any sensitivity or irritation, Dr Mahto advises caution when using other skincare acids as they may render it inactive. 

What to look out for when buying ferulic acid

Like other antioxidants, ferulic acid is unstable and can break down quickly when exposed to light or air. Look for vacuumed packaging (that prevents air from entering the product) dark glass bottles (that stop light oxidizing the formula) and remember to store the product in a cool, dry place (not your bathroom!).   

  • SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic

    skinceuticals C E Ferulic

    This cult serum blends 15% pure vitamin C, 1% vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid to envelop skin in a protective veil, boosting radiance and fighting signs of premature ageing. Yes it’s an expensive one, but it really works. 

    SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, £140 

  • The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% and Ferulic acid 3%

    The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% and Ferulic acid 3%

    This seriously accessible serum marries high percentages of resveratrol and ferulic acid to protect, nourish and hydrate skin in one plant-powered punch.

    The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% and Ferulic acid 3%, £5.50 

  • Medik8 Super C30 Intense

    Concentrated vitamin C and E are blended with ferulic acid to protect against free-radical damage, stimulate collagen and boost luminosity.

    Medik8 Super C30 Intense, £59 

  • Murad Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum

    Murad Spot Treatment

    Ferulic acid is used to bolster the effectiveness of Murad’s patented NHP-3 Complex which helps to diminish the appearance of age spots in as little as one-week. Impressive.

    Murad Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum, £75

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Main image: Getty

Share this article