19 Ferulic Acid Products in 2023 to Brighten Skin


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Apr 03, 2024

19 Ferulic Acid Products in 2023 to Brighten Skin

By Jennifer Hussein In the wonderful world of skin care, there are nearly countless acids to utilize for a variety of concerns. There are quite a few popular ones, but you're probably most familiar

By Jennifer Hussein

In the wonderful world of skin care, there are nearly countless acids to utilize for a variety of concerns. There are quite a few popular ones, but you're probably most familiar with these two: exfoliating glycolic and hydrating hyaluronic. However, we think ferulic acid products are highly underrated, as this antioxidant is known for its proven ability to make other ingredients in your regimen work better, faster, and more efficiently.

According to New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, ferulic acid is an antioxidant found naturally in the walls of plant cells. She says to think of this ingredient as a helping hand to the rest of the actives and antioxidants in your skin-care products. Research, such as this 2005 study published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, has proven that one of the biggest benefits of ferulic acid is its ability to stabilize multiple ingredients, such as vitamins C and E, so they can last longer without losing their potency. "The stability of antioxidants may be increased by adding other antioxidants," says King.

"Ferulic acid is a strong antioxidant and so is vitamin C," adds cosmetic chemist Ginger King. "But vitamin C is not stable on its own, so when they work together, they have a synergistic effect for maximum performance."

Dr. King also suggests pairing ferulic acid with another skin-care staple: sunscreen, specifically with the American Academy of Dermatology's recommended broad-spectrum SPF rating of 30 or higher. "Sunscreens, either mineral or chemical, help to protect the skin from UV radiation," says the dermatologist. "But if these ingredients are combined with antioxidants like ferulic acid, then the protection has been shown to be greater because the antioxidants help to neutralize the free radicals from UV rays."

You also won't have to worry about having any irritation or sensitivity issues with this ingredient, because Dr. King says all skin types can enjoy ferulic acid, including sensitive skin types and acne-prone skin. However, its brightening benefits make it especially great for anyone dealing with dullness, dark circles, and hyperpigmentation — which explains why it's usually paired with vitamin C, another radiance-boosting antioxidant.

If you're ready to elevate most of the ingredients in your skin-care routine to perform their best (while having a pigmentation-targeting treatment in the process), grab some of these ferulic acid-infused favorites, below.

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SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is the mother of all vitamin C and ferulic acid serums. The name itself says it all: this high-potency antioxidant serum will brighten your complexion, reduce discoloration and the appearance of fine lines, and improve firmness. How? Through a trio of ferulic acid and vitamins C and E. "It's my personal go-to because it contains a potent triple combination of antioxidants," New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD, previously told Allure.

It may be pricey, but it's a dermatologist-beloved skin-care investment that will definitely leave you satisfied. "This simple step helps dramatically with the improvement of fine lines, skin firmness, and overall brightening," Dr. Idriss adds.

Belif may be known for its hydration-boosting lineup, but the Aqua Bomb Hyalucid 11% Serum goes above and beyond water replenishment. This lightweight serum combines the hydrating powers of hyaluronic acid with the powerful antioxidant ferulic acid. This hyaluronic acid serum also contains moisture-sealing ceramides, hydrating glycerin, and soothing aloe vera extract.

We'll never stop preaching the importance of sunscreen application and reapplication, so if you're on the market for an SPF topical that you can use to reapply without messing up your makeup, Vacation's Super Spritz SPF 50 Face Mist is your answer. As it guards your skin against harmful sunrays, an antioxidant-rich combination of ferulic acid, vitamin E, green tea, and algae extracts protects your skin against environmental aggressors and free radical damage.

The True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster contains one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C on the market, and the antioxidant's glow-inducing powers are only amped up with the addition of ferulic acid in the formula. The beauty of this powder formula is that you can add it to just about any of your serums or creams for an added dose of brightening antioxidants.

Dark spots? We haven't heard of those in a while, thanks to Farmacy's 10% Waterless Vitamin C Serum. This waterless formula contains a high concentration of vitamin C, ferulic acid, and alpha arbutin (another brightening active ingredient) to even skin tone and diminish the look of hyperpigmentation.

Nava Greenfield, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, says the Ghost Democracy Lightbulb Vitamin C Serum is one of her favorite brightening serums. Along with antioxidant vitamins C, E, and ferulic acid, this impressive formulation also contains bakuchiol, a gentler alternative to retinol that'll reduce the look of signs of aging like fine lines and skin sagging.

Those looking for a hyperpigmentation-reducing treatment should try Community Sixty-Six's Retinol Resurfacing Night Cream, one of Dr. Greenfield's favorite overnight creams. "This product combines emollients and antioxidants with caffeine, niacinamide, and reservatrol to create an effective and soothing formulation that helps to smooth, brighten, and even out skin tone," she says.

Those targeting fine lines and wrinkles will reap all of the benefits of retinol, an ingredient Dr. Greenfield says will boost collagen production. Meanwhile, dry skin types will be treated with the benefits of moisturizing squalane and hydrating hyaluronic acid.

The Lancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum has such an impressive, antioxidant-fueled formula that we had to give it an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2022. This intensive serum boosts radiance and balances oil production (perfect for oily skin types) with a combination of niacinamide, ferulic acid, and vitamin C. Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid binds water to the skin so it feels soft and supple to the touch.

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Radiant skin is just a few pumps of Drunk Elephant's Bouncy Brightfacial Brightening Mask away. This leave-on mask can be used day or night to treat your skin with radiance-inducing azelaic acid (which is also known as an acne-reducing, antibacterial ingredient) and antioxidants like ferulic acid to even tone while preventing free radical damage. Salicylic acid, an exfoliating beta hydroxy acid, also makes an appearance in this formula to unclog pores and smooth texture.

You may have heard that L-ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) is the gold-standard ingredient of antioxidant-powered serums, but the Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum swaps this additive for another powerful and more stable derivative, THD ascorbate. This form of vitamin C is further stabilized with ferulic acid and vitamin E to provide optimal brightening results while improving texture and tone.

The Ordinary's Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% subs out ferulic acid's usual best friend, vitamin C, for another trending ingredient you should know about: resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine. This unique pairing works hand-in-hand to target any skin texture issues — including acne, sagging, and fine lines — while protecting your skin from damaging environmental stressors.

If you're in need of exfoliation, the Kiehl's Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment Essence will do the trick. It's made from a blend of ferulic and lactic acids, the latter being a popular active in skin care for its gentle exfoliating properties. This mix provides antioxidant protection to visibly smooth and even your skin's texture and tone, reduce fine lines, and leave skin with a healthy-looking glow.

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This cocktail of antioxidants is especially impressive for its high potency of vitamin C. Paula's Choice Resist C15 Super Booster contains a maximum-strength formula filled with vitamin E, ferulic acid, and an impressive 15 percent vitamin C to brighten, firm, and correct uneven skin tones. This booster can be mixed into your favorite moisturizers and serums for an added dose of the antioxidants, or you can apply it on its own.

Peach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment stands out for its ability to address dark spots and hyperpigmentation without irritating or dehydrating your skin. It makes this possible by combining a high percentage of vitamin C (20 percent, to be exact) with stabilizing ferulic acid, healing vitamin E, and brightening licorice extract. This highly active blend also looks to a lightweight base of sunflower, macadamia seed, camellia, and meadowfoam seed oils for added moisture.

If you're looking for a more intensive ferulic acid treatment, grab a jar of the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Plus Retinol Moisturizer. This high-potency cream contains a blend of the antioxidant, along with retinol, another popular skin-care ingredient known for firming skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Another bonus about this moisturizer is that it's suitable for nightly and morning use. Just make sure you slather on sunscreen after applying it in the AM.

This serum pairs ferulic acid with a more stable form of vitamin C, called vitamin C ester, to create a high-performing brightening treatment. Perricone MD's Vitamin C Ester CCC+ Ferulic Brightening Complex is formulated with a stabilized version of the antioxidant to provide the same brightening and smoothing results from the first pump to the last drop.

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This intensive mask is like hitting a restart button on your skin. It works more like an exfoliating peel with ferulic acid, which heightens the properties of active exfoliants glycolic and lactic acids in the formula. You'll also find hyaluronic acid and shea butter, which work in tandem to hydrate and comfort your skin. This mask tackles a whole slew of skin concerns like dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of firmness.

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ferulic acid productsSkinCeuticals C E FerulicBelif Aqua Bomb Hyalucid 11% SerumVacation Super Spritz SPF 50 Face MistTrue Botanicals Vitamin C BoosterFarmacy 10% Waterless Vitamin C SerumGhost Democracy Lightbulb Vitamin C SerumCommunity Sixty-Six Retinol Resurfacing Night CreamLancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple SerumDrunk Elephant Bouncy Brightfacial Brightening MaskPeter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power SerumThe Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%Kiehl's Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment EssencePaula's Choice Resist C15 Super BoosterPeach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot TreatmentDr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Plus Retinol MoisturizerPerricone MD Vitamin C Ester CCC+ Ferulic Brightening ComplexAlpha-H Liquid Gold Ultimate Perfecting Mask