We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
Ferulic acid is a plant-based antioxidant primarily used in anti-aging skin care products. It’s naturally found in a variety of foods, including:
- apple seeds
Ferulic acid has garnered a lot of interest due to its ability to fight free radicals while also boosting the effectiveness of other antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E.
While it’s primarily used in skin care, experts are currently working to see if ferulic acid has other benefits, too.
Does ferulic acid really live up to the anti-aging hype? Read on to learn more.
Ferulic acid is available in both supplemental form and as part of anti-aging serums. It’s primarily used to fight off free radicals, which play a role in age-related skin issues, including age spots and wrinkles.
It’s also available as a supplement intended for daily use. Some studies suggest that ferulic acid may be helpful for people with diabetes and pulmonary hypertension.
But ferulic acid supplements don’t appear to have the same potency for skin health as serums containing ferulic acid do.
Ferulic acid is also used for food preservation. Additionally, it’s sometimes used by the pharmaceutical industry in some medications. More research is being done on other potential uses for this widely available antioxidant, including for Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.
In skin serums, ferulic acid tends to work well with other antioxidant ingredients, especially vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a common ingredient in many anti-aging skin care products. But vitamin C isn’t very shelf-stable on its own. It degrades quickly, especially when exposed to sunlight. That’s why vitamin C serums usually come in opaque or amber-colored bottles.
Ferulic acid is thought to help stabilize vitamin C while also increasing its photoprotection. Photoprotection refers to something’s ability to minimize sun damage.
A 2005 study suggests that ferulic acid has the potential to offer twice the amount of photoprotection when combined with vitamins C and E.
The study’s authors also note that such antioxidant combinations could reduce someone’s risk of future photoaging and, possibly, skin cancer. But these effects aren’t fully understood yet.
Overall, ferulic acid is safe for most skin types. If you have sensitive skin, though, it’s a good idea to test a small amount of the product ahead of time, just as you would with any new skin care product.
There’s also a possibility of developing an allergic reaction to ferulic acid. This is due to the ingredient it’s derived from. For example, if you have an allergy to bran, then you might be sensitive to ferulic acid derived from this plant source.
You should stop using any product containing ferulic acid if you develop any of the following side effects:
- skin peeling
If you want to try out ferulic acid’s potential skin benefits, look for a serum that contains both ferulic acid and vitamin C.
Some popular options include:
- DermaDoctor Kakadu C 20% Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E. This all-in-one serum helps smooth out fine lines and wrinkles while also improving overall skin texture, elasticity, and hydration. Use every morning for best results.
- DermaDoctor Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad with Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E. The touted serum above also comes in an at-home peel version for daily use. You may be more interested in the peel if you’re looking to get rid of dead skin cells for smoother skin.
- Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum. This twice-a-day serum is said to contain vitamin C levels at over 50 times higher than traditional serums. Ferulic acid then amps up the efficacy of this potent vitamin C for extra anti-aging results.
- PetraDerma C Serum with Vitamins C, E, B, Ferulic Acid, and Hyaluronic Acid. This high-rated serum packs an antioxidant-rich punch. It also contains hyaluronic acid to promote collagen production.
Ferulic acid tends to work most effectively when applied topically via a serum or a peel.
But if you’re interested in supplements with ferulic acid, you can check out Source Naturals Trans-Ferulic Acid. This seems to be the only supplemental form of ferulic acid available on the market at this time.
If you have an underlying health condition or take any prescription or over-the-counter medications, check in with your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement.
Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that works to boost the effects of other antioxidants. When used in skin care products, it helps to protect overall skin integrity by reducing the development of fine lines, spots, and wrinkles.
If you’re interested in giving ferulic acid a try, consider getting it in a topical serum formula that also contains other antioxidants.