What is it?
Ferulic acid is an antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants such as rice and oats and the seeds of apples and oranges, where it plays a key role in the plants' protection and self-preservation.
What is it used for?
When applied topically, ferulic acid acts like other antioxidants in that it helps to slow the ageing process by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals on the skin. It is also thought to protect against sun damage, as well as assisting in skin's regeneration functions to tackle skin that has already been over-exposed. In addition it has the benefit of working well alongside other antioxidants, enhancing the stability and the efficacy of vitamins C and E.
What are the pros and cons of using it?
If the effects of ageing are a concern for you then ferulic acid is a good way to slow the signs thanks to its ability to fight free radicals and slow down the ageing process caused by oxidation. Because it stabilises more problematic antioxidants such as the highly-oxidative vitamin C, it actually makes other skincare ingredients work even harder and last longer. If you have very sensitive skin you may have a negative reaction to with ferulic acid, but overall it is a safe ingredient for most skin types.
Which products can I find it in?
Ferulic acid is best applied directly to the skin, so is usually at its most effective in serums or other leave-on products. Three products with a healthy dose of ferulic acid are Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid and Retinol Brightening Solution, and Paula's Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.