With the arrival of spring and summer, the active sun returns to our lives. This means that many people again remember about sunscreen cosmetics, because it is well known that ultraviolet radiation accelerates skin aging, pigmented spots and wrinkles appear on it. What should be in a cream with UV protection in order for it to be really effective? Sometimes you can hear that ferulic acid creates maximum protection for the skin. Manufacturers and advertising say that this substance is almost a panacea for all skin problems, especially aging. Today we will carefully analyze what ferulic acid is, how it affects the skin and whether it affects at all.
Ferulic acid: what is it
Ferulic acid is an antioxidant substance of plant origin, which can often be seen in the list of ingredients of anti-aging cosmetics for the skin. It is also known to chemists as 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic acid. This polyphenolic compound is a derivative of cinnamic acid, it dissolves well in water and alcohol. This substance got its name due to the ferula plant, which actually contains. In addition, it is present in many cereals, especially wheat, amaranth, brown rice and oats, nuts, coffee, beets, eggplants, citrus fruits, apple seeds, pineapples, as well as in the bark, seeds and green part of coniferous trees. By the way, ferulic acid is a very important component for plants, since it is responsible for the strength of the cell membrane, protects against overly active sun and pathogenic microorganisms.
Ferulic acid has an anti-inflammatory effect, and as an antioxidant is able to protect against ultraviolet radiation. It inhibits the production of melanin in the skin, thereby slowing down the appearance of pigmentation, and also creates a depigmenting effect of medium intensity. In cosmetology, it is known as a substance that can prolong youth. For cosmetic purposes, it is usually used in the form of a yellowish powder. By the way, this substance can be found on product labels under several names, most often – natural or natural ferulic acid, or trans-ferulic acid. Both names indicate the same ingredient, the difference between them is only in the scope of application of this substance. Trans-ferulic substance can most often be seen in the list of ingredients of dietary supplements designed to improve the condition of the skin, and natural ferulic acid – in cosmetic products, usually with a rejuvenating effect.
Properties of Ferulic Acid
According to a 2002 Japanese study, this substance is able to find and destroy several types of free radicals in the body, including superoxides, hydroxyl radicals, nitrogen oxides. In 2004, Italian experts, based on the results of several studies, came to the conclusion that this ferulic acid is a more powerful antioxidant than alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). And researchers from Duke University (North Carolina, USA) found that it acts synergistically (enhances the effect) on other antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. It is believed that ferulic acid is able to improve health and prevent certain diseases. In addition, it is used as a skin care product
How it affects the skin
Ferulic acid is an active component of many anti-aging serums. This substance is able to resist free radicals, thereby slowing down the aging process of the body.
Free radicals are particles that were formed, for example, due to a violation of the structure of molecules. They are able to damage other molecules in the body, thereby creating a kind of chain reaction. Collagen can become part of such a reaction, and its destruction is the main cause of wrinkles. In addition, free radicals can cause hyperpigmentation and skin irritation. A ferulic substance, on the contrary, prevents these processes.
In cosmetics, the ferule compound is usually present together with vitamin C, which is also often added to anti-aging cosmetics. But ascorbic acid itself is a very unstable substance that is rapidly destroyed, especially under the influence of the sun. By the way, that is why products containing vitamin C are usually produced in opaque containers or in dark glass. Ferulic acid stabilizes vitamin C, making it less sensitive to oxygen, high temperature and UV radiation.
Studies conducted in 2005 showed that ferulic acid in combination with vitamins C and E creates a double degree of photoprotection for the skin, so this combination of components is often added to sunscreen creams. The authors of the study also noted that this combination of chemicals slows down photoaging – age-related changes in the skin caused by regular exposure to the sun. In addition, ferulic acid is believed to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
In 2008, scientists conducted an experiment with the participation of 10 volunteers. It turned out that a mixture of antioxidants consisting of vitamin C, ferulic acid and phloretin (a flavonoid contained in the bark and fruits of apple trees) effectively protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation. By the way, some experts have suggested that exposure to ultraviolet light only increases the antioxidant properties of the ferule substance.
As you know, the aging process of the skin is influenced by many factors, including poor ecology, chronic stress, poor nutrition. In such cases, ferulic acid will also help slow down aging. It is useful for the skin of people who suffer from insomnia or chronic inflammatory processes. These factors contribute to the formation of free radicals in the body and DNA damage, which eventually leads to too early wrinkles and rapid withering. And ferulic acid helps slow down these processes.
It is worth adding that it moisturizes the skin well and stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers, thereby restoring the tissue. This substance is also useful for redness of the skin. In this case, it acts as a sedative and anti-inflammatory agent.
Ferulic acid gives the most noticeable effect when applied topically. In cosmetology, it is usually added to sunscreen products, anti-wrinkle creams, lotions, face masks, body scrubs, acne, acne and seborrhea remedies. Antiperspirants may contain a synthetic form of this acid. As a rule, its concentration in cosmetic products ranges from 0.5 to 1%.
To enhance the effect of cosmetics based on ferulic acid, it is also useful to use products containing this substance. Although it is unlikely to achieve drastic improvements in the condition of the skin exclusively by diet, but the body will certainly feel certain benefits from such food.
Professional use of ferulic acid in cosmetology
Due to the wide range of effects on the skin, ferulic acid is often used during professional cosmetic procedures. Cosmetologists usually use this acid in a concentration of 12% (sometimes 30%), as well as in combination with florentine, hyaluronic acid, vitamins E and C. By the way, if earlier this substance was introduced into cosmetics in a combination of alcohol or other solvents, then modern biotechnologies allow you to create cosmetics without additional solvents.
One of the most popular procedures using ferulic substances is acid peeling. It is intended for skin with signs of photoaging (age spots, wrinkles), which has lost elasticity, elasticity, natural color, as well as in the presence of acne, acne, melasma, freckles and seborrhea. But a few days before the ferule peeling, you can not use self-tanning, visit a solarium or do hair removal. And after the procedure, it is necessary to apply creams with increased UV protection.
Peeling is done as follows: first, the skin should be thoroughly degreased, then apply a layer of ferulic acid to it with massage movements and leave until a white mask-film appears. It can stay on the body from 1 to 10 hours (depending on the condition of the skin). After that, the product is washed off.
Peeling using ferulic acid is contraindicated in the presence of skin irritations, as well as for people taking vitamin A-based medications. It is better not to perform the procedure for pregnant and lactating women.
In addition, ferulic acid is used in mesotherapy, where this substance activates skin regeneration processes, strengthens elastin and collagen fibers.
Other beneficial properties for the body
Although ferulic acid is mainly used for skin care, scientists still remind that it has other properties useful for the human body.
It is believed that ferulic acid in the form of a dietary supplement can be useful for people with osteoporosis and women during menopause (reduces hot flashes), as well as for the prevention of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to studies conducted by Americans in 2002, ferulic acid helps to reduce blood pressure. Laboratory experience conducted on mice has shown that this compound causes the expansion of blood vessels, which is why the pressure in them decreases. And in 2013, experts found confirmation that ferulic acid improves the structure and functionality of the heart, blood vessels, liver and kidneys, especially if there is a history of high blood pressure. These experiments were also carried out on rodents, however, experts suggest that this substance has a similar effect in the human body.
After conducting experiments on mice, scientists also hypothesized that ferulic acid may be useful in the treatment of diabetes. It turned out that this compound helps regulate blood sugar levels. Later, another interesting pattern was discovered. Ferulic acid in combination with resveratrol reduces damage to the liver, kidneys and pancreas in mice with diabetes. Experts explain this effect by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of these substances.
In addition, the ferulic compound is used as a preservative in the food industry and as a component of some medicines. It is also used by athletes who want to increase muscle mass. However, due to the lack of sufficient information about the effect of ferulic acid on the human body, experts warn against prolonged or regular use of dietary supplements containing it. In order to avoid complications or undesirable side effects, this substance should not be used for self-treatment of diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disorders.
Harm and side properties of ferulic acid
In general, ferulic acid is safe for most skin types. However, people with very sensitive skin are advised to try out a small amount of the product containing this compound first. Some people may have an allergic reaction after contact with this substance. As a rule, the culprit of allergies is a natural source of ferulic acid. For example, if a person is allergic to bran, then he may also have an adverse reaction to the acid obtained from this vegetable source. The use of cosmetics containing ferulic acid in some may cause side effects in the form of:
- redness of the skin;
Ferulic acid has found wide application in the field of cosmetology. Given its beneficial properties, this is not surprising. Nevertheless, scientists warn against the uncontrolled use of dietary supplements containing this component.