Ferulic Acid Activity in Topical Formulations: Technological and Scientific Prospecting

Curr Pharm Des. 2021;27(19):2289-2298. doi: 10.2174/1381612826666201020163331.


Introduction: Ferulic acid is a phenolic compound widely distributed in monocotyledons, with several applications, especially in pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetic industries. It has proven antioxidant and anti- inflammatory activities, among others, which are mainly ascribed to its molecular structure. The main factor that can lead to serious skin damages like inflammation, dryness, wrinkles, and cancer is the exposure to UV radiation that is responsible for an increased level of radical oxygen species.

Objective: This review aims to evaluate the application of ferulic acid in topical formulations and the technologies used to enhance its bioavailability and stability, as well as to get a clearer picture of its effects by in vivo and in vitro studies.

Methods: It covers technological publications in the WIPO, EPO, INPI, and USPTO databases and scientific publications in the PubMed, Web of Sciences, and Science Direct databases, exploring the trend and application of this compound by country and year of publication.

Results: Both the scientific and technological analyses showed the importance and tendency in the association of the Ferulic Acid and other vitamins and actives. The synergic effect certainly provides a better result, performance, and stability of the compounds, which cleared the great spectrum and applicability of the Ferulic Acid in topical formulations.

Conclusion: The present literature survey revealed that ferulic acid exerts an important activity in several formulations for topical application and improved the stability and bioavailability when combined with new technologies and methods, showing an open path to target the treatment of skin disorders.

Keywords: Ferulic acid; patents.; pharmaceutical; skin disorders; therapeutic activity; topical application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants* / pharmacology
  • Coumaric Acids*
  • Humans
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Coumaric Acids
  • ferulic acid