What Is Ellagic Acid? The Essential Skincare Alphabet

You may not have heard about ellagic acid but it’s commonly added to skincare products.

It’s a naturally occurring polyphenol (which basically means it has a lot of the aromatic compound, phenol in it), that can be found in a variety of foods.

What is ellagic acid?

Okay, lets get to the crux of article. What is it?

It’s most potent property is its antioxidant nature and that’s exactly why its used in skincare. It’s known as a natural UV protector and helps to defend the skin by absorbing ultraviolet radiation.

A 2018 study which reviewed clinical studies to evaluate the use of different natural products in treating hyperpigmentation, including ellagic acid, found it showed promise. However, the long term efficacy is still questioned.

What are ellagic acid sources?

It mostly comes from nature and that includes berries and pomegranates.

Ellagic acid can also be found in plants, where it provides defence against bacterial and fungal pathogens.

Is it vegan?

Given that most of its sources come from plants and fruit, it is safe to say most formulation will contain a a version of the acid that is vegan.

What are it’s uses and potential side effects?

Ellagic acid is such a powerful antioxidant it has been studied to understand the extent of its anti-cancer benefits.

In fact this 2014 study found that ellagic acid has multiple pathways and can be used as a dietary agent for preventing and treating many common forms of cancer. So, we know why it’s used in supplements.

The question is can it do the same as a topical skincare ingredient? While we can’t be 100% sure it prevents skin cancer, this 2010 study, showed that it can prevent collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV‐B.

That is nothing too scoff at.

In terms of side effects, it doesn’t seem to have many. It’s only major misfortune, is that is is easily eliminated from the body, when consumed.

Product recommendations

Repair Food Dr Barbara Sturm

Ellagic acid can be found in Dr Barbara Strum’s Repair Food supplement.
  • alcohol-free
  • silicon-free
  • sulfate-free
  • paraben-free
  • oil-free
  • EU-allergen-free
  • reef-safe
  • fungal-acne safe
References

Ishida, K., Sato, Y., Egawa, M., & Takeuchi, K. (1992). U.S. Patent No. 5,141,741. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Hollinger, J. C., Angra, K., & Halder, R. M. (2018). Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology11(2), 28–37.

Zhang, H. M., Zhao, L., Li, H., Xu, H., Chen, W. W., & Tao, L. (2014). Research progress on the anticarcinogenic actions and mechanisms of ellagic acid. Cancer biology & medicine11(2), 92–100. https://doi.org/10.7497/j.issn.2095-3941.2014.02.004

Bae, J. Y., Choi, J. S., Kang, S. W., Lee, Y. J., Park, J., & Kang, Y. H. (2010). Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV‐B irradiation. Experimental dermatology19(8), e182-e190.

  • The Kiehls Quiz, Moisturiser Edition
    The Kiehls quiz is here! Since I created the quiz section of my site, the requests have been poring through. After The Ordinary, Kiehls has been the most requested. I’m assuming because they have a huge catalogue of products to choose from. It’s so big in fact, the quiz has to be broken down into…
  • Best Black Friday Skincare Deals
    Last years Black Friday post went down a treat. So, this year I knew I had to do it again but this time it’s all about skincare. Here are the best black Friday skincare deals I could find! Honestly, this list came together through just hours of me trawling the web. I wasn’t sure of…
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide Vs Hyaluronic Acid Quiz
    The Ordinary Niacinamide Vs Hyaluronic Acid quiz is a much need post. You may be coming hot off the heels of my last post Niacinamide vs Hyaluronic Acid, looking for an easy way to compare your skin needs. Well, this is it. This quiz directly compares your skincare needs to decipher which of these active…
  • Niacinamide Vs Hyaluronic Acid
    If you’ve followed Science and Skincare for any amount of time, you’ll be aware of my posts on acids. Niacinamide vs Hyaluronic Acid will be the highly requested addition to the category that made this site popular. Depending on your skincare knowledge, choosing between the two will either be easy or incredibly difficult. However, one…
  • Lilly Ghalichi Opens Up About Botched Filler But What Is Vascular Occlusion?
    It’s only been a few days since Lilly Ghalichi showed us pictures of her botched filler job and now we can finally ask the question ‘what is vascular occlusion?’. Over the last ten years the use of dermal fillers has risen exponentially. They have been regarded as a relatively safe way to alter your face.…

Leave a Reply