Antioxidants for Skin: How Does Phenolic Acid Help Your Skin?

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Phenolic acid, one of the most potent plant-based compounds, is a natural source of antioxidants for skin. They have become famous and widely recommended by dermatologists for their pivotal role in skin care. But, what exactly is phenolic acid and what benefits does it bring to the skin? Let’s discuss. 

What is Phenolic Acid?

Phenolic acid is a naturally occurring compound in plants. It is slightly aromatic and mostly found in the skins of fruits, seeds, and the leaves of vegetables. Some common antioxidants yielded by this acid are: 

  • Carotenoids
  • Polyphenols
  • Tocopherols

Some other antioxidants available in phenolic acid are – gallic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and ellagic acid. These are so potent that even a micro dose can offer a wide range of skin benefits.

Why are Phenolic Acids Potent?

Phenolic acid is highly synergistic component which means phenol acid interacts with other antioxidants for skin quickly to boost their benefits. For example, both Vitamins C and E are natural skin antioxidants that often get depleted due to various reasons, like pollution, but when you add phenolic acid to Vitamins C and E, the acidic nature of phenol boosts their efficacy. So, the antioxidant benefits are doubled and help improve skin tone, reduce fine lines, boost skin elasticity, and much more!

What Benefits Does Phenolic Acid Have for the Skin?

Other than having high antioxidant content, phenolic acid also has an enormous radical scavenging property meaning it will automatically look for active compounds to reduce the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin.

Some studies have suggested that  phenol acid or base may reduce the risk of skin damage and possibly, skin cancer. But, the best part of phenolic acid is that it is highly active and even micro doses can benefit your skin’s elasticity and offer resistance to UV rays.

Some of the  benefits of the acidic nature of phenols are:

  • Skin Brightening – Phenolic acid is highly potent and can remove dead skin cells, enhancing skin brightness.
  • Fine Line Reduction – The acidic nature of phenols helps protect the skin from damage caused due to the oxidation of free radicals.
  • Collagen Protection – Collagen is the key to tight and youthful skin, and phenolic acid can protect and boost one’s collagen production.
  • Photo Protection Benefits – Phenolic acid protects the skin against UV rays (the largest contributor to aging) and its harmful effects.
  • Skin Firming – Phenolic acid helps boost the production of collagen which keeps the skin tight and boosts its elasticity.


Phenolic acid offers a host of antioxidants for skin that can boost the production and functioning of other naturally occurring skin antioxidants. This is why more and more skincare products are using a phenol acid or base. Ultimately, this helps protect overall skin integrity by boosting skin tightness, reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles, and brightening the skin. Interested to include a product containing phenolic acid in your skincare routine? Get in touch with your dermatologist before starting any skin care regimen or modifying the same.

HK Vitals


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