Ferulic Acid (FA) is a goodie that can be found naturally in plant cell walls. There is a lot of it especially in the bran of grasses such as rice, wheat and oats.
FA - whose main job is to be an antioxidant - owes its fame to a 2005 research that discovered that adding in 0.5% FA to a 15% Vitamin C + 1% Vitamin E solution not only stabilizes the highly unstable, divaish Vit C, but it also doubles the photoprotection abilities of the formula.
Couple of other studies show that FA just by itself is also a nice addition to cosmetic formulations: it can penetrate the skin (which is kind of important to do the job) and it has protecting properties against UV caused skin damage.
So if you spot it on the ingredient list be happy about it. :)
- Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Volume 79 (3) – Mar 1, 1999, Ferulic and caffeic acids as potential protective agents against photooxidative skin damage
- The Journal of investigative dermatology., 2005 Oct;125(4):826-32., Ferulic acid stabilizes a solution of vitamins C and E and doubles its photoprotection of skin.
- International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 79 (3) – Mar 1, 1999, A comparison of skin delivery of ferulic acid and its derivatives: Evaluation of their efficacy and safety