There are alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids, or maybe you’re more familiar with hyaluronic acid?
But ferulic acid is not really an acid at all. You may not be familiar with the anti-aging skincare ingredient, but it’s certainly one worth knowing.
We’ve answered all your questions about ferulic acid, its benefits, how to apply it to your skincare routine, and the best Korean skincare products on the market.
What is ferulic acid?
Ferulic acid - sometimes known as hydroxycinnamic acid - is a powerful antioxidant found in the cell wall of plants. Although it is typically botanically derived from apples, you can also find ferulic acid in oats, brown rice, peanuts, and oranges. However, it can also be created in a lab for consistency and consumer safety.
You will often get ferulic acid in serums, but it is also available as a cream when packaged with a pump. You’ll often find it alongside ingredients like niacinamide and resveratrol. As well as vitamins C and E. The skincare ingredient usually comes in a dark bottle as it has to be protected from light and air to stop it from becoming ineffective.
Studies have found that ferulic acid doesn’t need high concentrations as it can discolor skincare formulas. However, concentrations of 0.5% or higher are enough to feel the benefits.
What are the benefits of ferulic acid for skin?
Free radicals like pollution, UV rays, or infrared radiation can accelerate fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, and more. Ferulic acid decreases these signs of premature aging by protecting the skin from the formation of free radicals. As well as its anti-aging benefits, ferulic acid targets hyperpigmentation and calms inflammation.
Fine lines and wrinkles
Ferulic acid is mainly used in anti-aging skincare routines as it has the power to reduce the potential for sagging skin. It protects the skin from the formation of wrinkles caused by pollution and radiation.
These damaging factors also cause a loss of firmness in the skin. So ferulic acid acts as a shield to stop the free radicals from harming skin cells.
While ferulic acid can’t repair the damage that has already been done. Instead, it targets the free radical molecules in the skin by shutting off their harmful effects. If they were left alone, they would continue to prematurely age the skin.
Free radicals also cause brown spots to appear on the skin. You can also get dark patches from pimples and melasma, which leave you with an uneven complexion.
Ferulic acid also shields the skin from pigmentation caused by free radicals. Its antioxidant properties are also a powerful tool for protecting the skin from infrared radiation.
A study found that using ferulic acid for three months helped clear the appearance of melasma. Its anti-inflammation effects were able to minimize the damage and lighten skin.
As well as premature aging and pigmentation, free radicals can cause inflammation of the skin. This leads to blocked pores and breakouts as pollution and radiation overwhelm the skin.
Blood vessels are also impacted by free radicals. Pollution and radiation increase the formation of blood vessels, causing redness.
The anti-inflammatory properties found in antioxidants can help soothe the response to damaged cells and redness. It leaves you with a clear complexion, depending on your skin type.
Are there any side effects to using ferulic acid?
Although there are no known side effects of ferulic acid. Any antioxidant can cause irritation and acne breakouts on sensitive skin. The product can be too activating for certain skin types as it is usually combined with other antioxidants. Ferulic acid often comes with other ingredients or fragrances that can be irritating. So, it’s difficult to determine the root of the reaction.
If you have sensitive skin or suffer from a skin condition like rosacea or eczema. You should apply a little bit of ferulic acid to the skin behind your ear to see how you react. If you notice any reaction after a day, the product may not be for you.
How to use ferulic acid in your skincare routine
Experts recommend lightly applying two to three drops of ferulic acid serum to your face after cleansing. You should spread a few drops to the neck and chest too. Then follow with moisturizer and sunscreen.
Although most products suggest using ferulic acid twice a day. It’s best to use it once in the morning to tackle free radical damage and use a more repairing ingredient at night. You should also avoid using exfoliating acids with ferulic acid. Layering exfoliants, like glycolic acid and salicylic acid, with ferulic acid can change your pH balance and counteract its effects.
What are the best serums with ferulic acid?
Here is a list of some of the most popular Korean serums that contain ferulic acid on Amazon. Click more to find out which products below fit your skin the best.
VITAMIN C 15 SERUM
A vitamin C serum called Day Glow Serum from Seoul Ceuticals has the same active ingredients as the Skinceuticals CE ferulic facial serum. This topical vitamin C serum is infused with ingredients like ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, 20% vitamin C and etc. which are proven to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and help to fade dark spots to provide you with a radiant complexion. This lightweight and quick-absorbing serum is not sticky like some of the serums in the market.
PURE VITAMIN C 15% WITH FERULIC ACID
A vitamin C serum called Pure Vitamin C 15% with Ferulic Acid from Wishtrend includes 43% of Vitamin Tree water, 15% Vitamin C, ferulic acid, and etc. Ferulic Acid was added to maximize the antioxidant effect of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to improve the tone of the skin and prevent acne scars. The 15% concentration of L-Ascorbic Vitamin C will also reduce dark spots and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles due to its collagen production capabilities.