Ask a Dermatologist: What is Ferulic Acid?

Ask a Dermatologist: What is Ferulic Acid?

Dr. Courtney Rubin, our Chief Medical Officer, weighs in on your most pressing skincare questions. 

Ferulic acid is an antioxidant, so using it will lead to the typical benefits of using any antioxidant, which is centered around mitigating environmental stressors and oxidative damage. Because there are more powerful antioxidants out there, like vitamin C, I don't typically recommend using ferulic acid alone.

It's normally paired with oxidation-sensitive actives to keep them "fresh" and unused before they meet your skin. It's usually paired with vitamin C for that reason.

Ferulic acid performs best as a supporting player: an antioxidant as part of the formula preservative system, not an antioxidant for anti-aging benefits. 

Does ferulic acid have the same issues as vitamin C, like photosensitivity and oxidation? 

All antioxidants are by definition photosensitive. Ferulic acid is usually stored in an airtight bottle, out of direct sunlight, for precaution. But ferulic acid isn’t as  sensitive as L-ascorbic acid.