Beauty Editors Are Obsessed With Ferulic Acid – But What Even Is It?


Creating an effective skin care routine is a personal process that varies for each individual. As such, our ingredient choices often depend on our skin type and the complexion goal we’re trying to achieve.

But one skin hero that’s universal and should be included in every skin regimen, is antioxidants. “Antioxidants protect our skin by reducing the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells,” says Dr Naomi, Cosmetic Physician and founder of the Manse Clinic in Sydney. “They are anti-inflammatory, skin firming, they repair sun damage, and can help scars and wrinkles.”

And one of the best antioxidants available in skin care? Ferulic acid.

You may have heard of it before, or more specifically as SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid Serum – a cult-favourite product with many A-list fans, including Hailey Bieber and Ashley Graham. 

So just what it is that makes this ingredient so good (and how on earth do we say it)?

What is ferulic acid?

Pronounced fe-roo-lic acid (phew, now we get it), ferulic acid isn’t just an antioxidant itself, but it actually works to boost the effects of other antioxidants. “Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals,” explains Dr Naomi. “And free radicals are compounds that can contribute to illnesses in the body when their levels are too high.”

In terms of the skin, free radicals from environmental factors such as the sun, smoking and air pollution can all contribute to skin ageing, especially without any antioxidant protection, like ferulic acid. 

What are the benefits of ferulic acid?

“Ferulic acid helps to improve the overall integrity and health of the skin by reducing wrinkles, fine lines and spots,” says Dr Naomi. If you were to compare the skin of someone who wasn’t using antioxidants (like ferulic acid) to someone who was over five years, “the person who was sensible and used antioxidants would look more youthful, there would be better light reflection from their skin and the skin would be firmer with less fine lines and less pigmentation.” 

And in the case of SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid Serum, ferulic acid is partnered with two other well known antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E, to boost their effectiveness too. The result? A serum that, according to Dr Naomi, is “ simple, effective and based on science.”

How to use ferulic acid

In terms of your routine, this product can be applied just like any other serum step. “C E Ferulic should be used after cleansing and toning and before other anti-ageing products and moisturiser and/or sunscreen,” says Dr Naomi.

What’s unlike other serums though is that C E Ferulic protects the skin for up to four days after application. “Once the C E Ferulic is absorbed, it can’t be washed or rubbed off and is effective for days,” explains Dr Naomi. 

However, despite the seriously impressive longevity of one application, it’s still recommended to apply once daily for maximum effectiveness.

Main image credit: @ashleygraham

Have you heard of ferulic acid before? Have you ever tried the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid Serum?

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Comments 61

  1. Thank You BH for such an informative article I knew nothing about Ferulic Acid before, will need to try this Serum will put it on my Christmas Wish List, for SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid Serum.

  2. TO ones are so concentrated : ferulic 3% aaaand resveratrol 3%, so less is more. I use tiny bit on damp skin or mix with another serum that benefits these antioxidants (whatever serum or moisturizer I use atm pop a drop in there and voila). No worries Misfortune! It works without vitC to brighten skin and that was an interesting find!

  3. I was thinking, ‘yeah, let’s have a look’. Then I went and had a look at the product. $214!

    A bit too much for me and if I did buy it and its effects are supposed to last up to 4 days, I would not be applying it daily, probably every second or third day.

  4. OMG another acid for our skin. I do like the comment ‘it can’t be washed or rubbed off and is effective for days’. Then I read Elunia comment of $214 for a 30mL bottle. Waaaay too much for me. Perhaps I’ll have to come a super model to be able to pay for this. lol.

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