Ferulic acid and Skin Care

What is Ferulic acid?

Ferulic acid is an organic compound that is a hydroxycinnamic acid. It’s a common phenolic phytochemical found in plant cell walls, covalently bonded to molecules like arabinoxylans as side chains. Ferulic acid is a precursor in the production of other aromatic compounds since it is a part of lignin. The name comes from the genus Ferula, which refers to the giant fennel plant (Ferula communis) (Wikipedia, 2021). The chemical name of Ferulic Acid is 4 hydroxy 3 methoxy cinnamic acid, which is one of the derivatives of cinnamic acid (also known as cinnamic acid, 3 phenyl 2 acrylic acid, molecular structure). Ferulic acid is a kind of phenolic acid that is commonly used in nature and is found in all plants. Since ferulic acid is derived primarily from Angelica sinensis, many medicines, including, Equisetum, Cimicifuga, and other typical medicines, contain ferulic acid, which is one of the cinnamic acid derivatives. Ferulic acid is rarely found in plants in a free state. It is found in plants mostly in the presence of oligosaccharides, polyamines, lipids, and polysaccharides. These two derivatives, sodium ferulic acid and ferulic acid ester, literally embody and preserve the biological properties of ferulic acid.

In medical area, Ferulic acid (sodium ferulate) has anti-platelet aggregation, inhibits the release of platelet serotonin, inhibits the production of platelet thromboxane a2 (txa2), enhances prostaglandin activity, analgesia, and relieves vasospasm. It is the basic raw material for the production of drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and leukopenia.

Source: Wikipedia

According to Ou and Kwok (2004), Ferulic acid, a pervasive phenolic acid found in plants such as Angelica sinensis, Cimicifuga heracleifolia, and Lignsticum, is an important part of Chinese medicine herbs. In seeds, it is often conjugated with mono and oligosaccharides, polyamines, lipids, and polysaccharides, and it is only found free. Ferulic acid is a low-toxicity phenolic acid that is readily ingested and metabolized in the human body. Ferulic acid has been shown to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, antithrombosis, and anticancer properties. It also helps to prevent coronary artery disease, reduce cholesterol, and improve sperm viability. Ferulic acid is still commonly used in the food and cosmetic industry due to its properties and low toxicity. It is used as a raw material in the manufacture of vanillin and preservatives, as a crosslinking agent in the preparation of food gels and edible films, and as a component in athletic foods and skin care products. Chemical synthesis and biological transformation can also be used to make ferulic acid. The preparation of ferulic acid from plant cell wall materials would be a promising route since polysaccharide ferulate is a normal and plentiful source of ferulic acid.

Effect of Ferulic acid in skincare products

Ferulic acid is a strong antioxidant. Most oxidants can only resist one kind of free radicals (free radicals are the main cause of premature aging). Ferulic acid can destroy three kinds of free radicals: superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. , Nitric oxide (nitric oxide). Although ferulic acid itself is very effective, it works better with vitamins C and E. Ferulic acid can help maintain the stability of vitamins C and E and enhance their antioxidant properties. “

Ferulic acid is a potential brightening ingredient. When used with vitamin E, ferulic acid can be used as a brightening ingredient to treat pigmentation, inhibit the production of melanin, and indirectly inhibit the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase. Products containing ferulic acid. There are not many products containing ferulic acid on the market and the content is low. Generally, the amount of ferulic acid added in cosmetics is between 0.1% and 1.0%. In some European and American products, it is even added to 3%. Of course, it is accompanied by irritation. The degree is not low. The reason is also very simple. On the one hand, ferulic acid is expensive, and on the other hand, it is difficult to preserve the activity and has high technical requirements.

LA ROCHE-POSAY SENSI WHITE INTENSE BRIGHTENING ESSENCE) used nicotinamide, phenethyl resorcinol, caprylyl salicylic acid and sodium hyaluronate, and finally put a little ferulic acid. Other companies did not release more ferulic acid. For example, SkinCeuticals, a family of strong medicines, used a large amount of vitamin C with a small amount in the SKINCEUTICALS CE FERULIC, which he is famous for. Vitamin E and a smaller amount of ferulic acid and sodium hyaluronate.

Ferulic acid can inhibit or reduce the proliferation activity of melanocytes. Using 0.1-0.5% ferulic acid solution can reduce the number of melanocytes from 117±23/mm2 to 39±7/mm2; at the same time, ferulic acid can also Inhibit the activity of tyrosinase, the ferulic acid solution with a concentration of 5mmol/L can inhibit the activity of tyrosinase as high as 86%. Even if the concentration of ferulic acid solution is only 0.5mmol/L, its inhibition rate of tyrosinase activity can reach about 35%.

In addition, ferulic acid also has the effect of scavenging oxygen free radicals and good anti-oxidation. It is also reported that ferulic acid has sunscreen ability. Ferulic acid can effectively absorb ultraviolet rays in the wavelength range of 290-330nm to prevent or reduce damage to the skin.

Ferulic acid is a powerful antioxidant found in many plants. Its addition to a topical solution of 15% L-ascorbic acid and 1% -tocopherol increased the chemical stability of the vitamins (C+E) and doubled photoprotection to solar-simulated irradiation of skin, as determined by erythema and sunburn cell development, from 4-fold to approximately 8-fold. Apoptosis inhibition was linked to a decrease in caspase-3 and caspase-7 induction. This antioxidant composition effectively decreased the aggregation of thymine dimers. This mixture of pure natural low molecular weight antioxidants offers significant synergistic defense against oxidative stress in the skin, which can be useful for photoaging and skin cancer prevention. (Lin et al., 2005)

In general, ferulic acid is a powerful, plant-based antioxidant that can help fight aging, prevent light damage and even treat pigmentation. Although it is also very effective on its own, it can enhance their stability and effectiveness when mixed with vitamin C and E. However, it should be noted that when choosing this type of brightening product, you should choose products containing ferulic acid, rather than choosing its sodium or ferulic acid ingredients. Because that affects the activity and efficiency of ferulic acid.

Reference List:

Lin, F., Lin, J., Gupta, R., Tournas, J., Burch, J., Angelica Selim, M., Monteiro-Riviere, N., Grichnik, J., Zielinski, J. and Pinnell, S., 2005. Ferulic Acid Stabilizes a Solution of Vitamins C and E and Doubles its Photoprotection of Skin. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 125(4), pp.826-832.

Ou, S. and Kwok, K., 2004. Ferulic acid: pharmaceutical functions, preparation and applications in foods. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 84(11), pp.1261-1269.

Wikipedia 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferulic_acid (Accessed 4th May 2021)

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