Welcome to another post in my The Ordinary series! It looks like I am determined to go through the whole range, reviewing each and every product. What can I say? I just quite enjoy trying them all so, please, bear with me! Hopefully, this will be at least somewhat useful for you. This week’s chosen product is the Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% serum.
Resveratrol and Ferulic Acid are both incredibly powerful antioxidants often used in high-end products like Dennis Gross, Caudelie or Paula’s Choice. The Ordinary brought us the affordable version and turned it up a notch by using an exceptionally high, 3% strength of both instead of the usual 1% of Resveratrol and 0.5% of Ferulic Acid in traditional formulations to maximize its effects without added water, silicones, oils or alcohol.
Before we dig deep into the effects of the serum, let me take you back to the basics a little bit.
The word ‘antioxidant’ is often thrown around in the beauty industry but what does it mean and why do our skin need it?
Oxidation is basically a chemical reaction that produces free radicals which later on contribute to cell damage. Antioxidants are powerful substances that prevent or delay cell damage by free radicals. Just as we need antioxidants internally (fruits, vegetables) to keep our bodies healthy we need them externally too to keep our skin healthy. Antioxidants neutralize elements that cause oxidative stress accelerating the ageing process, protect from environmental damage and help to strengthen the skin barrier that can be lost over time.
The build-up of this serum from The Ordinary is very simple: it contains Propanediol (a skin conditioning agent, humectant, viscosity decreasing agent), Resveratrol (derived from Japanese knotweed), Ferulic Acid (derived from the cell wall of plants). According to the Deciem website:”The key benefit of these two potent ingredients is their ability to neutralise free radicals, therefore preventing the production of collagen and elastin from being inhibited (which will keep skin plumper and more youthful).” This sounds great, right? The skin care geek in me would like to know a bit more so let’s dig a little bit deeper, shall we?
Reservatrol is a substance that is created by plants as a stress response to environmental impacts like infection or UV radiation. This substance will kill certain microorganisms or stops their growth if they endanger the plant. Dietary Reservatrol is a potent antioxidant for our bodies (found in red grapes, dark berries, peanuts, pistachios raw cacao) that boosts our cardiovascular and brain function.
Reservatrol in skin care hasn’t been around for that long, so there aren’t many studies out there but it has been demonstrated to boost our skin’s antioxidant defence against environmental damage and help to prevent infections (by inhibiting the growth of bacteria), photoaging, wrinkles and even cancer. It reduces inflammation and decreases skin cells’ production of damaging hydrogen peroxide. Less inflammation means less damage accrued in the cells.
All in all, Resveratrol is a fantastic tool against premature ageing, just remember to use your SPF with it and try to resist using it while pregnant.
Ferulic acid is a phytochemical found in the cell walls of a wide variety of plants (rice, oats, apple seeds, orange seeds, pineapple, beans, artichoke, spinach, beetroot) that plays a big part in the plant’s protection against environmental stressors. Apart from it being a great antioxidant, it is also anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiallergic, anticarcinogenic, antithrombotic and helps to keep blood vessels wide and clean.
Similarly to Resveratrol, dietary Ferulic Acid plays an important role in keeping our bodies healthy, applied topically on the skin, it helps to prevent premature ageing and gives considerable protection from UV induced skin damage by absorbing UV and inhibiting melanin formation. You can give it an extra boost by mixing it with Vitamin E and Vitamin C and the protection will grow 4-8 fold.
Remember, while this helps you to prevent sun damage, you still have to use SPF during the day when out and about. Formulations containing FA under 2% should be safe during pregnancy, if unsure, consult a professional.
How to use it
Apply enough to cover the face AM and PM alone or after water-based serums, before oils or moisturizers. You can mix it with other treatments to enhance its effects, it works really well with Vitamin C.
This serum has been created for all skin types but, of course, stop using it if you feel irritation. You might find it to have a slight warming (not hot) effect for a few seconds as you apply but that’s normal so don’t worry about it. After a good few uses, I didn’t feel it at all.
How it worked for me
I have been using this serum after cleansing (2-3 drops is all that it takes) and my HA serum, followed by Marula Oil in the evening or mixed in with my moisturizer in the morning. It’s not a product that you see instant visible results with but it’s very pleasant to use. It has a lovely soft texture, it feels silky on the skin. Put it in the right environment at it will thrive. As I said before, it works brilliantly with Vitamin C and I think I have discovered another way to boost it by accident. I made an IG story about how much my skin improved recently since starting Retinol 1% twice a week and this serum daily back in February but I was kicking myself for starting to use them at the same time and not knowing which one caused the improvement. I was checking the Dr Dennis Gross website the other day and found a video about the benefits of using Retinol and Ferulic Acid together. Turns out Ferulic Acid, apart from a brilliant protective antioxidant that helps your collagen production, it makes Retinol less irritating, drying and more gentle for all skin types. Who knew?
I am so pleased with finding this combination that seems to work so brilliantly. All I need is a potent Vitamin C serum, start mixing the two to take this to the next level. That would give me a perfect antioxidant routine.
The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% is really worth checking out, especially given the budget price (30ml for £5.50). It is also water-free, alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, cruelty-free and vegan It is available at the Deciem website here.