The Skincare Alphabet: F Is For Ferulic Acid
Ferulic acid is an antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants such as rice and oats, as well as the seeds of apples and oranges. It plays a key role in the plants' protection and self-preservation.
When applied topically, ferulic acid acts like other antioxidants in that it helps to slow the aging process by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals on the skin. It's thought to protect against sun damage, as well as assisting in regeneration to tackle skin that's already been over-exposed. It also has the benefit of working well alongside other antioxidants, enhancing the stability and the efficacy of vitamins C and E.
If the effects of aging 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 because it stabilizes 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 ferulic acid, but overall it is a safe ingredient for most skin types.
Ferulic acid is best applied directly to the skin, and is usually at its most effective in serums or other leave-on products.