You probably know about free radicals and the damage they cause your body’s cells. These by-products of ultraviolet radiation and chemical processes inside your body have a nasty tendency to set off chain reactions that can lead to visible skin damage.
The good news is that free radicals can be ‘quenched’, i.e. put out of action, when they meet antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E.
The even better news is that ferulic acid can add to this protective effect, by making Vitamins C and E work even harder. It also bolster’s the skin’s ability to absorb UV light and inhibits UV-induced skin damage.
It’s well worth looking at the science behind this multi-tasking marvel. Just what is it that makes ferulic acid such a potent protector of skin?
What is ferulic acid?
It’s not some obscure and hard-to-source substance – quite the opposite, in fact. Ferulic acid is commonly found in grains such as rice, wheat and maize, as well as coffee beans, apples, tomatoes and many other plants.
If eating plenty of apples and rice was enough to deliver the protective effects of ferulic acid, life would be simple. Unfortunately, ferulic acid is not easily absorbed from dietary sources. Despite this, dermatologists have found that it can be isolated and used as an ingredient in skincare products.
When ferulic acid is used in this way, its full antioxidant powers are unleashed.
Teaming up with vitamins for much stronger protection - Ferulic Acid + Vitamins C & E.
Studies have shown that ferulic acid enhances the efficacy of other antioxidants – specifically Vitamins C and E:
The combination of 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% α-tocopherol, 0.5% ferulic acid provided approximately 8-fold protection and was statistically different than ferulic acid alone or the combination of vitamins C and E.
Ferulic acid not only provides increased stability to a solution of vitamins C+E, but also adds a substantial synergistic photoprotection, essentially doubling its efficacy [Source].
Note that last sentence above – how ferulic acid “adds a substantial synergistic photoprotection.” In plain English, it means that in addition to multiplying the beneficial antioxidant effects of Vitamins C and E, ferulic acid also gives you the benefit of protection against UV damage.
Is ferulic acid safe for sensitive skin?
As a general rule, antioxidants are deemed safe for most skin types. However, there’s always the possibility of an adverse reaction, especially with Vitamin C.
If you’re concerned about possible side-effects of a skincare product containing ferulic acid, a simple safeguard is to apply a little bit of the product to an inconspicuous area such as behind your ear. Wait a day, and then see if there’s any irritation. If not, you can probably use that product with confidence.
Target wrinkles, brown spots and other signs of aging with a ferulic acid rich serum.
In common with other dermatologists, Dr Mark Gray recommends using serums that contain a combination of antioxidants – in particular vitamins C and E in combination with ferulic acid. This is a proven combination for reversing the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. It can also stimulate the production of collagen.
Opting for a variety of proven antioxidants in a single application often delivers far greater benefits than using one active substance in isolation.
Free radicals may be destructive foes but a multi-talented team of antioxidants (including ferulic acid) is more than a match for them.
Peak Strength AM Serum Shot
This EWG Verified (and recent Clean Beauty Awards finalist) is a vitamin-rich nutrient shot that hydrates, firms and improves skin tone, reducing the appearance of pores and wrinkles. Antioxidants (like ferulic acid) and anti-inflammatories help restore cellular function. Learn more.