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In the world of skin care, two components that often come up in dialogues are ferulic acid and alpha arbutin. They are both known for their skin benefits, but they work in different ways.
Read on to understand these two ingredients before choosing one.
|Factors||Alpha Arbutin||Ferulic Acid|
|Main purpose||Targets hyperpigmentation||Targets protection from sun or free radical damage|
|Suitability for skin type||Suitable for all skin types||Suitable for all skin types, may be better for dry and sensitive skin|
|Mechanism of action||Inhibits tyrosinase enzyme to reduce melanin production||As an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals|
|Added benefits||Skin brightening and even skin tone||Antiaging and soothing properties for the skin|
|Availability||Used in serums, creams, and spot treatments||Used in serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens|
|Side effects||Generally well tolerated||Generally well tolerated|
Evaluate the following aspects to discern which ingredient may be best suited for your skin care needs.
Alpha arbutin is commonly handled well by different skin types, including oily and combination skin.
Alpha arbutin should be your choice for hyperpigmentation as it has been extensively studied for this condition.
It has been shown to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase, which controls melanin production. By doing so, it can reduce the formation of pigmented spots and discoloration. (5)
In a study with 102 women who had skin discoloration called melasma, a cream containing arbutin was found to effectively reduce dark pigmentation in the skin, indicating its potential to improve skin discoloration, when used twice daily for 8 weeks. (5)
Research has found that ferulic acid is beneficial for sun-damaged skin. It can reduce redness caused by UVB radiation and improve the efficacy of sunscreen.
A study showed that a sunscreen formulation containing 1% ferulic acid increased its sun protection factor (SPF) from 19.7 to 26.
Ferulic acid also helps prevent the formation of dark spots by sun damage by inhibiting the production of melanin. It behaves as a strong antioxidant, safeguarding the skin from damage caused by UV radiation and visible light. (6)
If you’re targeting skin inflammation, then it is best to opt for ferulic acid as it has soothing properties that may calm inflammatory responses on the skin.
Ferulic acid is also known for its anti-inflammatory action, which means it can assist in calming painful or inflamed skin.
Ferulic acid might take the win over alpha arbutin when it comes to promoting wound healing. A study revealed that applying ferulic acid ointment to wounds in rats resulted in faster healing.
After 4 days, the wound compaction was 27% in the ferulic acid group. After 16 days, the rats cared for with ferulic acid were nearly entirely healed (96%).
If you have sensitive skin, ferulic acid may be a better choice. It has a soothing action and is nonirritating, (3) making it a safer option for individuals with sensitive skin.
Alpha arbutin works well for sensitive skin too. So, here the choice is yours based on your skin tolerance of both ingredients.
Both ferulic acid and alpha arbutin can be beneficial for aged skin, but ferulic acid is generally considered a better option because it provides more benefits for aged skin. (2)
In a study, it was found that after 4 weeks of administering a cream containing encapsulated ferulic acid, skin elasticity increased by 11.29%-14.46%.
Both ingredients have a low probability of resulting in any adverse responses. In rare cases, they may cause skin irritation or allergic response.
Ferulic acid is a natural compound found in the food you eat such as tomatoes, sweet corn, and rice bran. It has multiple useful impacts on well-being.
Ferulic acid has been associated with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties. It can also help repair damaged cells and reduce nerve cell damage.
One of its key roles is protecting your skin cells from harm caused by toxic molecules called free radicals through its antioxidant properties.
It can also delay skin aging processes and reduce signs of aging. (3)
Note: One limitation of ferulic acid is its tendency to rapidly oxidize when exposed to air, reducing its effectiveness. To address this, skin care products often combine ferulic acid with other antioxidants to enhance its stability and maximize its benefits. (1)(2)
Alpha arbutin is a derivative of arbutin, a natural compound found in plants such as bearberry, blueberry, and pear trees. It is considered 10x more effective than regular arbutin in skin applications. (8)(9)
Alpha arbutin is known for its power to lighten the skin and decrease dark spots. By hampering the production of melanin, the pigment accountable for skin color, alpha arbutin helps to even out skin tone and improve hyperpigmentation.
Can Alpha Arbutin and Ferulic Acid Be Used Together?
Yes, you can use alpha arbutin and ferulic acid together in your skin care routine.
Alpha arbutin can help with hyperpigmentation, while ferulic acid provides antioxidant and antiaging benefits. Using them together can target multiple skin concerns.
Does ferulic acid protect against UV damage?
Yes, ferulic acid has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen and protect the skin against UV rays.
Does alpha arbutin have any side effects?
Alpha arbutin is generally considered safe with minimal to no side effects.
Is alpha arbutin suitable for all skin kinds?
Yes, alpha arbutin is suitable for all skin varieties
Is ferulic acid a natural ingredient?
Yes, ferulic acid is a biologically available compound found in various plant sources.
Ferulic acid provides antioxidant protection and antiaging properties, while alpha arbutin helps reduces hyperpigmentation and causes skin lightening.
Consider adding either ingredient or both into your routine based on your skin concerns.