It seems like every other month, there's a new superstar skin-care ingredient taking over our timelines. Vitamin C has long been praised for its ability to brighten the skin and reduce signs of aging; niacinamide (or vitamin B3) was last summer's do-it-all ingredient that helps treat inflammation, redness, and excess oil production; and ferulic acid is one that, even though it's not the subject of quite as many conversations as the aforementioned these days, is still worth adding to your regimen, depending on your skin's needs.
— Additional reporting by Tori Crowther
What Is Ferulic Acid?
According to Amélie Seghers, consultant dermatologist at London's Cadogan Clinic, ferulic acid is an antioxidant that is "botanically derived from the cell walls of plants like oats, apples, brown rice, and oranges, but is often created in the lab as it is cheaper and more consistent." It can be added to your skin-care routine as a product that protects the skin against pollution and UV rays while slowing the signs of premature aging.
What Are the Benefits of Ferulic Acid?
Since ferulic acid is an antioxidant, it can be used to prevent or slow damage to the cells caused by free radicals. "Antioxidants help to neutralize free-radical damage from pollution (which causes a loss of elasticity, dryness, and dark spots, to name a few) and ultraviolet light (which causes premature aging and increased chances of skin cancer), which, in turn, helps to slow down the process of skin aging," Dr. Seghers said. Additionally, it's also good for increasing the skin's firmness and elasticity, reducing inflammation, and brightening dark spots.
What Are the Side Effects of Ferulic Acid?
This ingredient is generally safe to use on all skin types, though it's possible for it to cause irritation for those with more sensitive skin. Dr. Seghers recommends testing out a small amount behind your ear first to avoid potentially causing irritation to your entire face.
How Can I Use Ferulic Acid?
You'll often find ferulic acid bottled up in combination with other ingredients like vitamin C or E or resveratrol since it can boost their effects. "[It's] often used to help stabilize less-stable antioxidants and potentiate their effects," consultant dermatologist Mary Sommerlad told POPSUGAR. "It is oftentimes combined with L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to boost the effects and prolong shelf life."
For best results, you should incorporate a ferulic acid product — some of our favorites are the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166) and The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% ($8) — into your morning routine daily after cleansing, following it with a moisturizer and/or SPF.