Are you on the hunt for natural and powerful ways to combat signs of aging and brighten and enhance your skin? If yes, ferulic acid might be your answer as it helps brighten the skin. (1)(2)(3) It is an organic compound present in corn, tomato, carrot, broccoli, rice bran, orange, and spinach.
Ferulic acid has multiple benefits for the skin, including antiwrinkle, antipigmentation or skin whitening/lightening, antiaging (photoaging/photoprotection included), anti-inflammatory, antityrosinase, anticollagenase, and antimicrobial.
In addition, sunscreen and antiaging products can contain ferulic acid. (3)
Read further to learn more about ferulic acid and its effectiveness.
How Does Ferulic Acid Help in Skin Brightening?
Ferulic acid helps brighten the skin in the following ways.
1. Ferulic acid is a natural skin brightening and hyperpigmentation-reducing agent
Ferulic acid hinders the production of melanin. (4)(5) Melanin is the color-giving pigment to the skin, and its production is regulated by tyrosinase (an enzyme), which converts tyrosine into melanin. (6)
Ferulic acid reduces the activity of tyrosinase by binding directly with it. It slows down the construction of melanin. It can also reduce hyperpigmentation caused by inflammation, aging, or sun exposure and brighten the skin. (7)(8)
2. Ferulic acid is a natural antiaging solution
Ferulic acid possesses antiaging properties. (3) It stimulates collagen production and reduces the signs of aging. Collagen is essential for skin elasticity and firmness and inhibits melanin synthesis and oxidative stress, thus reducing age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.
Ferulic acid makes your skin more radiant and youthful and improves skin tone and texture. (9)
3. Ferulic acid is a natural collagen booster for the skin
Ferulic acid inhibits collagenase’s activity and prevents collagen degradation. Collagen supports and provides structure to the skin. The absence of collagen makes the skin dull, wrinkled, and saggy.
Ferulic acid maintains skin firmness and elasticity by preserving the levels of collagen. (10)
4. Ferulic acid is a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent for the skin
Ferulic acid possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. (3) Thus, it can treat fungal, bacterial, and viral infections and alleviate skin redness and inflammation by modulating inflammatory mediator expression. (11)
Inflammation also causes psoriasis, rosacea, acne, and eczema and can worsen scars and dark spots. (12) Using ferulic acid can calm and soothe your skin and boost recovery. (13)
5. Ferulic acid is a natural sunscreen and sun damage repairer
Ferulic acid absorbs UV rays and stops their contact with your skin cells, thus protecting your skin from harm. It reduces redness and inflammation and repairs any DNA damage induced by UV exposure.
Ferulic acid blocks UV radiation and prevents hyperpigmentation, premature aging, skin cancer, wrinkles, and dark spots. (8)(3)
6. Ferulic acid is a natural exfoliator and skin enhancer
Ferulic acid peels the dead pigment and dead skin cells off your skin and exfoliates it, giving you smoother, brighter skin with improved texture and clarity.
When your skin is exfoliated correctly, skin care products (serums, moisturizers, etc.) penetrate your skin effectively. (9)
DIY Ferulic Acid Serum for Skin Brightening
How to make:
- Mix ¼ teaspoon of ferulic acid powder and ½ teaspoon of vitamin E oil in a glass bowl until fully dissolved.
- Add ½ teaspoon of aloe vera gel, ½ teaspoon of glycerin, 1 tablespoon of witch hazel, and 1 tablespoon of distilled water. Stir until properly blended. You can also add 10 drops of your preferred essential oil for scent.
- Put the mixture in a dark glass bottle with a dropper.
- Always keep it in a cool and dark place.
How to use:
- Gently cleanse your face using your usual mild cleanser.
- Apply a small amount of ferulic acid serum to your neck and face.
- Follow it up with your regular moisturizer or a pure hyaluronic acid serum.
- Finish it off with sunscreen whether or not you are going out in the sun.
You can use this serum every morning or every other day based on your skin type and sensitivity. You can also use this serum during nighttime, but do not use it with any exfoliating product or retinol as it can cause irritation and diminish its efficacy.
Note: Do a patch test before using ferulic acid serum and wait at least 24 hours for the result.
How often should I use ferulic acid on my face for skin brightening?
• After cleaning and toning your face, use a moisturizer or serum with ferulic acid once daily, preferably in the morning.
• Use products with high ferulic acid concentrations, such as masks or a peel, only once a week or every 2 weeks to prevent overexfoliation.
• You can take 250 milligrams of ferulic acid supplements once a day with or without food. There are no established guidelines on its consumption and whether higher doses provide better results in humans.
Is ferulic acid safe for all skin types?
Generally, ferulic acid creams and serums are safe for most skin types except if you have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate ferulic acid-containing products, leading to irritation and mild redness.
Always perform a patch test if you are applying ferulic acid to your skin for the first time to see if it reacts.
Does ferulic acid cause allergic reactions on the skin?
Ferulic acid serums containing oats or bran may cause an allergic reaction on the skin if you are allergic to oatmeal or bran. The symptoms are mild, including peeling, itching, redness, rash, and swelling. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop its usage.
When used in products for skin care, ferulic acid is a magical antioxidant that protects the integrity of your skin and gets rid of wrinkles, signs of aging, dark spots, and many other skin problems. So, go and revamp your skin care ritual with ferulic acid.
- Pueknang J, Saewan N. Stability and anti-aging of encapsulated ferulic acid in phosphorylated rice starch. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). May 27, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9182070/.
- US6632444B1 – stabilization of ferulic acid in cosmetic compositions. Google Patents. https://patents.google.com/patent/US6632444B1/en.
- Das S, Wong ABH. Stabilization of ferulic acid in topical gel formulation via nanoencapsulation and ph optimization. Nature News. July 23, 2020. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-68732-6.
- Ferulic acid. Ferulic Acid – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/ferulic-acid.
- (PDF) whitening and anti-wrinkle activities of ferulic acid isolated … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319558906/.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459156/.
- Maruyama H, Kawakami F, Lwin T-T, Imai M, Shamsa F. Biochemical characterization of ferulic acid and caffeic acid which effectively inhibit melanin synthesis via different mechanisms in B16 Melanoma Cells. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. May 1, 2018. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/41/5/41_b17-00892/_article.
- Oxidative stress in the skin: Impact and related protection. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ics.12728.
- Ferulic acid – a novel topical agent in reducing signs of photoaging. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/360276682/.
- Comparison of antiaging and antioxidant activities of protocatechuic … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342607440/.
- Liu Y, Shi L, Qiu W, Shi Y. Ferulic acid exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by inducing autophagy and blocking NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Molecular & cellular toxicology. 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8744019/.
- Schwingen J, Kaplan M, Kurschus FC. Review-current concepts in inflammatory skin diseases evolved by transcriptome analysis: In-depth analysis of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. International journal of molecular sciences. January 21, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037913/.
- H; ZKAA. Antioxidant properties of ferulic acid and its possible application. Skin pharmacology and physiology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30235459/.