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What is Ferulic Acid and How is it Used in Skincare?


Ferulic acid is a plant-based antioxidant naturally found in the cell wall of plants including bran and certain fruit seeds.

Here at Kiehl's we're super excited to be introducing a bestseller from the US, now available in the UK: Ferulic Brew Antioxidant Facial Treatment with Lactic Acid. This gently exfoliating, toning essence is rich in naturally derived ferulic acid which helps the skin's natural recovery process to target visible damage.

The Ultimate Antioxidant

Ferulic acid is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that works to protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals such as pollution, UV rays and other toxins. Free radicals attack the skin, leading to dull skin, rough skin and dry skin, plus increased sensitivity, and signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. Including antioxidant protection in your skincare routine is key to preventing further damage and for improving these visible signs. Ferulic acid also helps to improve the efficiency of other antioxidants such as vitamin C and niacinamide, meaning it's the boost that most skincare routines can benefit from.

The Miracle Brew

This antioxidant facial treatment fortified with Ferulic & Lactic Acids (AHA) works to visibly boost skin radiance, smooth skin's texture and reduce fine lines in just seven days.* With ingredients brewed for 120 hours, this 99%** natural formula with ferulic acid, lactic acid and squalane provides powerful antioxidant protection to visibly smooth and even skin’s texture and tone, reduce fine lines and leave skin with a healthy-looking glow. The formula includes:

  • Brassica Seeds With Ferulic Acid - Helps to Support The Skin’s Natural Recovery Process
  • Lactic Acid - Stimulates The Skins Natural Cell Regeneration
  • Squalane - Helps Maintain Healthy Skin Barrier

Similar to a toner in texture, apply your Ferulic Brew Antioxidant Facial Treatment with Lactic Acid morning and evening after cleansing. Shake out five drops into the palm of your hand before pressing onto skin five times, focusing on the cheeks, forehead and chin areas.

* Results based on expert grading in a 4-week consumer test on 60 subjects.
** We consider ingredients to be naturally derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.

What's Lactic Acid?

An exfoliating acid, part of the AHA family, derived from milk and able to break down the bonds between dead skin cells, lactic acid helps skin to remove the dull older skin cells and reveal brighter skin. It's ideal for helping to tackle dark spots, uneven skin tone, and its gentle nature means even sensitive skin types can benefit from a daily dose. It can be combined with many other skincare ingredients including hyaluronic acid, and works particularly well in a daily treatment, which is why it's a key ingredient in our new Ferulic Brew Antioxidant Facial Treatment with Lactic Acid. 

Ferulic Acid & Ferulic Brew FAQs

What are the Benefits of Ferulic Brew?

Our 99% natural formula promises to deliver visibly radiant, rejuvenated looking skin. Plus, daily antioxidant protection. In a 4-week test, our consumers said:

  • 88% agreed skin texture looks refined*
  • 92% agreed skin looked rejuvenated*
  • 87% agreed skin looks healthier*
  • 83% agreed skin looks more radiant
*Results Based Consumer Perception in A 4-week Test On 60 Subjects

Can I use Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid Together?

Yes. However, since both are AHAs, consider one in the AM and the other in PM out of concern for possible sensitivity and barrier disruption. Additionally, we recommend avoiding sun exposure and always finishing your routine with SPF.

Can I use Vitamin C and Lactic Acid Together?

Yes. In fact, applying Vitamin C after using Lactic Acid will ensure protection of newly exposed skin cells from free radical and oxidative damage.

Is Lactic Acid an AHA?

Yes. Lactic Acid is a unique AHA because of its affinity to skin and its strengthening, hydrating and pH balancing qualities. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of natural acids found in sugar, milk, fruit, and other sources that work by exfoliating dead skin cells on skin’s surface. Within our formula, AHAs can help smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin texture and tone over time. Common AHAs found in skincare can include glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), citric acid (found in citrus fruits), lactic acid (found in milk), malic acid (found in apples), tartaric acid (found in grapes), and others.

Is Ferulic Brew Antioxidant Facial Treatment with Lactic Acid Safe to Use While Pregnant?

While every ingredient we use in our products is evaluated for safety, we do not specifically test our products on women who are pregnant or nursing. Kiehl's ensures there is substantial information supporting the safety of our products when used as directed by consumers. However, as there could be certain ingredients that physicians may not recommend for use during pregnancy and nursing, we always recommend that you discuss this with your physician and follow their advice.

Is Ferulic Brew Paraben-free?

Yes, this product is paraben-free.

Is Ferulic Brew Vegan?

This product is formulated without animal-derived ingredients.

Is Ferulic Brew Fragrance-free?

Yes, this product is synthetic-fragrance-free. There are natural fragrances within the formula, including Peppermint Oil.

What is the Difference Between Milk Peel and Ferulic Brew?

Milk Peel is a toner used with a cotton pad that hydrates with emollients while exfoliating with LHA. Ferulic Brew is a leave-on treatment applied with palms of hands that can be used as either a liquid serum or pre-serum treatment to enhance a routine. Both Milk Peel Toner and Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment are for all skin types, even sensitive skin. However, Milk Peel is ideal for more dry or compromised skin types.

Is Ferulic Brew Suitable for Dry Skin?

Yes, Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment is suitable for all skin types, even dry skin. However, we recommend Milk Peel Toner for drier skin types given its particularly hydrating and gentle formula.

Is Ferulic Brew Suitable for Sensitive Skin?

Yes, Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.

Where Should I Place Ferulic Brew in my Routine?

We recommend using Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment after cleansing and before applying your serum and/or moisturiser.

How Often Can I Use Ferulic Brew? Can I Use Ferulic Brew Morning and Night?

You may use Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment morning and night.

Can I use Ferulic Brew With a Toner?

Yes, however we recommend that you use your toner first and that this toner targets a different concern than Ferulic Brew Facial Treatment.

What Is Ferulic Brew What Does it do for the Skin?

Ferulic Acid is a powerful, plant-derived antioxidant. When used topically, Ferulic Acid can help protect skin against stressors and free radicals, which lead to visible signs of ageing, as well as support skin’s natural recovery process. Within our formula, this ingredient helps skin to maintain a supple, radiant complexion by replenishing skin’s antioxidant reserves.

Where Does Ferulic Acid come from?

Ferulic Acid is naturally found in the cell walls of plants, including bran and certain fruit seeds. Enriched through a 120-hour brewing process of Brassica Seeds, our formula uses 99% naturally derived* Ferulic Acid, Lactic Acid and Squalane to correct visible signs of aging and rejuvenate skin’s healthy glow.
*We consider ingredients to be naturally derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.

Why Use a Formula With Ferulic Acid?

Environmental stressors, as well as internal stressors, can generate skin-damaging free radicals. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals in the skin, protecting against stress induced damage, which contributes to early signs aging. Using antioxidant-rich Ferulic Acid can help to protect, strengthen and visibly revitalize skin, helping it to become more visibly radiant and supple.

Is Ferulic Acid Good for Skin?

In addition to its antioxidant benefits, Ferulic Acid can make skin feel more resilient while rejuvenating the appearance of skin to visibly diminish early signs of ageing. Our Ferulic Acid is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

What are the Benefits of Lactic Acid?

Lactic Acid is a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps promote the skin’s natural exfoliation process while strengthening, hydrating and balancing skin. For personalised advice on adding Ferulic Brew to your skincare routine and advice about your skin type and needs, book a complimentary virtual consultation with one of our skin pros.

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