How Does Ferulic Acid Work

Ferulic Acid: How Does It Work


Ferulic Acid treats a range of skincare concerns and it’s a fab ingredient amplifier. It is also stabilising and prevents sun damage. Great. But what we want to know is … .

How Does Ferulic Acid Work?

Ferulic acid is a phenolic compound which is a potent antioxidant. It is known to scavenge free radicals and neutralize them. Free radicals are responsible for inflammation and skin ageing. Ferulic acid also stops free radicals from forming and enhances other ingredients to work better.

Let’s talk more about how ferulic acid works

Ferulic acid is an antioxidant and it has a number of benefits to your skin. Many foods contain ferulic acid acid. It’s found in apples, tomato, eggplant, citrus, and oats.

In plants, it protects them from environmental damage and oxidative stress. In skincare, it does pretty much the same thing.

It protectss your skin from ultraviolet light and pollution. It also diminishes hyperpigmentation, stops cell walls from deflating and slows down the skins ageing process. It’s quite the skin hero.

What are the benefits of ferulic acid?

Provides UV protection

Ferulic acid naturally provides protection from UV light and sun damage. It also enhances the effect of other ingredients in sunscreen formulations to make them more effective at protecting your skin.

Ferulic acids bind with other ingredients very easily. This stabilises both the ferulic acid and the compound that it binds to. When compounds are stable they are able to work more effectively.

Minimizes Wrinkle Formation

Ferulic acid plays a role in stabilising cell walls. It stops cell walls from collapsing and keeps the skin cells round and plump, rather than letting them deflate. Keeping cells infalted and full delays fine lines and wrinkles from forming.

Because ferulic acid also decreases the harmful effects of ultraviolet light and infrared radiation it is anti-ageing. Using skin care products that contain this acid will lower your chances of developing fine lines and wrinkles.

Improves Acne Scarring and Hyperpigmentation

Untreated or active acne can cause scarring which can lead to hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the dark spots and patches that are left on your skin once acne has healed.

Hyperpigmentation can be as much of a blow to your confidence as acne was. Stopping hyperpigmentation from forming or making it less noticeable can have dramatic effects on your confidence levels.

Ferulic acid stops an enzyme called tyrosinase from forming and this can stop your skin from overproducing melanin which is the main culprit in hyperpigmentation.

Because ferulic acid also has antioxidant effects it can help fade the dark spots made by melanin being overproduced.

Enhances the Benefits of Other Antioxidants

If you have been into skincare for a while you no doubt have heard or tried this cult skin care ferulic acid product.

When Ferulic acid is combined with other antioxidants it can help them to stabilise.

Active skincare ingredients are amazing for your skin, the problem with some of them is they are unstable when added to products.

Ferlic acid is particularly great at stabilising vitamin C which is notoriously unstable. Although vitamin C has many skincare benefits, it degrades when it comes into contact with sunlight, air or water.

Damaged or oxidized vitamin C is bad for your skin so it’s important you get a vitamin C that is stable. Fortunately, that is exactly what ferulic acid does. This is why you will find ferulic acid in many serums that contain vitamin C.

Ferulic acid passes The Klingmans Standard. This means that is able to penetrate the top layer of skin and interact in a beneficial way the skins metabolic processes. Because it binds to other ingredients it is able to take them with it when it penetrates the skin.

So you get the benefits of ferulic acid and other actives going deeper into your skin.

What Are The Side Effects Of Ferulic Acid?

Ferulic acid is considered to be very safe for most people and has no known side effects.

However, if your skin is very sensitive, or you have reacted to products in the past, you should always proceed with caution.  Testing a small amount of any new skincare product on the inside of your wrist early in the day is best to test for a reaction.

You want to test a new product early in the day so if you do get a reaction you have time to go to a pharmacy or doctor for help.

There is nothing worse than developing a reaction in the small hours of the morning when your new product had a delayed reaction.

So always test new products in the morning.

Negative reactions include itchy sensations, peeling skin, redness, and rashes. As with any new product that causes this type of reaction, stop using it immediately and see a dermatologist for advice.

If your skin does not develop any issues, and with ferulic acid, it’s rare to develop a reaction – your all good to add it to your skincare routine.

How often should I use Ferulic Acid?

Since everyone’s skin is different, people will have varying responses to products that contain this acid. As a result, there is no skincare routine or dosage that will work for everyone.

Due to its stabilising and enhancing abilities, it is added to many skincare products so you are possibly already using ferulic acid in some form in your skincare routine. Ferulic acid is in three of the skincare product I use every day. 

If your using a serum, moisturizer and sunscreen chances are your already using ferulic acid.

If you’re not and would like to add it into your skincare routine then it can go in with your serum, cleanser, moisturizer or sunscreen. It’s recommended by lots of dermatologists to use ferulic acid in the morning as it’s in serums and sunscreens.

When it comes to ferulic acid it’s not so much about where to add it into your skincare routine but rather where not to add it.

How Does Ferulic Acid Interact With Other Skincare Products?

You should not use this ingredient with skincare products that contain glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or other exfoliating acids also known as AHA’s and BHA’s Mixing these acids can change the pH of your skin and make your skincare products less effective.

If you are going to use AHA’s and BHA’s then use them at night before you apply your serums or moisturizers that don’t contain ferulic acid.

Where Does Ferulic Acid Go In A Skincare Routine

Ferulic acid is best used in your morning skincare routine. If you are using a Vitamin C serum use one that contains ferulic acid. If your sunscreen also contains ferulic acid that’s fine.

As Ferulic Acid is not really good friends with AHA’s and BHA’s use those in the evening before you apply serums and moisturizer.

Ferulic Acid Morning Routine

The Bottom Line on Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid is an amazing ingredient that has science backing up its use in skincare products.

It’s the ability of ferulic acid to prevent and protect your skin from sun damage is great. It stabilises other actives and helps keep your skin plump and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re not using ferulic acid then you should consider adding it into your daily routine.

It can diminish your chances of developing ageing skin and improve a variety of cosmetic issues and problems. It is typically safe to use every day, and it can easily mix with exfoliating agents. As with any new product, be sure to spot-test it in a small area first, and talk with your doctor if you notice any reactions.

I love ferulic acid and use it in my skincare routine daily, in multiple products. I obviously have some favourites.  Ferulic acid is such a good ingredient that you will find it in lots of skincare formulations particularly those that contain vitamin C.