Gentle on the skin, buffs away dead skin cells and leaves you with a brighter complexion – why haven’t we heard much about fulvic acid before?
Over the last year, we’ve seen lots of ingredients come into the spotlight in skincare products. From polyglutamic acid, an ingredient praised for being more hydrating than hyaluronic acid, to copper peptides, a powerful antioxidant that is often overlooked, there’s a lot to discover. The newest ingredient being bandied about is fulvic acid, but what exactly is it?
“Fulvic acid is an organic acid, occurring naturally from soil,” explains Dr Shaaira Nasir, consulting dermatologist at sk:n clinics. “It is formed from decaying substances, such as plants and animals, in soil.”
Most recently, the ingredient has cropped up as the star of The Inkey List’s latest skincare innovation: Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser, £10.99. It utilises 0.5% Nordic peat, which is high in fulvic acid, and is making waves for its ability to boost dull skin.
“Fulvic acid helps with exfoliation and can be used to help brighten the skin’s complexion,” explains Dr Nasir. “It has antioxidant benefits, as well as anti-inflammatory properties, and some small studies have shown it to improve inflammatory conditions like eczema.
“Studies have found that it is also antimicrobial with properties that work against some bacteria, fungi and viruses.”
While this may be your first time hearing about fulvic acid, it’s something that has been around for a while – it just hasn’t been paid much attention to in the past, says Mark Curry, founder of The Inkey List. “Those who want a more luminous, bright and healthy complexion, or for those that can suffer with sensitive skin or the likes of eczema, is that this formula could certainly be a staple in your skincare toolbox.”
The revelation may comes as a relief to those with sensitive skin types. Despite vitamin C being one of the buzziest ingredients within the skincare industry at the moment, some people may find that it causes irritation. But fulvic acid delivers similar benefits. “All skin types can use fulvic acid because of its gentle nature,” says Dr Nasir. “Some may find it less irritating to the skin than vitamin C.”
Interest piqued? Here, we round up the best skincare products that contain fulvic acid.
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Best skincare products with fulvic acid
The Inkey List Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser
The product that has shoved fulvic acid into the limelight, this cleanser gently exfoliates skin. It also contains 1.5% kakadu plum to brighten your complexion and 1% liquorice root extract to treat hyperpigmentation.
Elemis Peptide4 Thousand Flower Mask
Nordic peat, yeast peptide and Brazillian black clay combine to boost radiance and leave skin looking refreshed. Leave it on skin once a week for 15 minutes and wash it away with lukewarm water.
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Mask
Packed full of cleansing ingredients, this black mask works hard to decongest pores and prevent blackheads without leaving your skin feeling dry or stripped.
Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser
Another gentle yet effective cleanser, this formula purges grime and dirt but also contains zinc oxide and lavender and eucalyptus oils to keep skin soothed.
Glossybox Purifying Charcoal Cleanser
Massage this cleanser onto damp skin in circular motions and it’ll buff away dead skin cells to give skin a boost. Plus, bamboo charcoal gets rid of micro-pollutants sitting on skin and helps to prevent blemishes.
Main image: courtesy of brands