The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% review

Does your Vitamin C serum lack ferulic acid?

If so, my smart friend, you’re doing your skin a disservice. It’s no secret that Vitamin C + Vitamin Em + Ferulic Acid is the most powerful combination in the skincare world. And yet, very few brands use all 3 in one skincare product!

But if you don’t feel like giving your fave Vitamin C serum the boot, don’t. Just supplement it with a ferulic acid serum, like The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%. Don’t you love having options?

This serum has the highest concentration of both ferulic acid and resveratrol on the market, so on paper, it’s a great supplement for your skin. What about in practice? Here’s all you need to know about these two antioxidants and how they supercharge Vitamin C:

About The Brand: The Ordinary

Who said effective skincare need to cost an arm and a leg? Not Brandon Truaxe, the founder of The Ordinary. Tired of all the marketing hype and nonsense making the rounds in the skincare world, Truaxe set out to create a science-based, affordable skincare brand that brings you powerful actives once reserved for derm’s offices to the masses. Whether you’re looking to fight wrinkles, fade away dark spots, or treat acne, The Ordinary got you covered.

How do they keep the prices so low? While most brands cut corners on ingredients and amp up marketing costs (they need it to sell you average products!), The Ordinary has take the opposite approach. They cut corners on marketing so they can deliver effective products that don’t break the bank. Oh, and they cut corners on texture too. Not all the products are pleasant to use, but hey, they work (which is the most important thing, I guess).

Key Ingredients In The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%: What Makes It Work?


Resveratrol is the reason why wine (in moderation) is good for you. It’s a natural antioxidant red grapes and dark berries naturally produce to protect themselves from UV radiation and other natural enemies.

It does the same for your skin too. A 2008 study found that resveratrol prevents UVB-induced damage – even when topically applied to the skin.

How? Easy: it works by reducing inflammation and fighting free radicals. That means it helps prevent wrinkles, dark spots, and cancer.

Just a warning: animal studies show that ingesting 0.37% resveratrol a day can cause birth defects. Sure, we’re not animals so resveratrol may be harmless to us. But as this serum has a whopping 3% of resveratrol (much higher than what you usually find in skincare products), if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using it.

Related: Resveratrol In Skincare Products: What Does It Do?

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Ferulic acid is an antioxidant on steroids.

While most antioxidants destroy only one or two types of free radicals (that’s why you need to use a dozen in your skincare routine), ferulic acid neutralises THREE: superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide.

Ferulic acid kicks ass on its own. But, it’s even more powerful when used together with vitamins C and E. This trio boosts one another’s effectiveness and the protection of your sunscreen.

A study conducted by Duke University has found that “its [ferulic acid] incorporation into a topical solution of 15%l-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and 1%alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) improved chemical stability of the vitamins (C+E) and doubled photoprotection. This combination provides meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress in skin and should be useful for protection against photoaging and skin cancer.”

The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% has no vitamin C or E. But if you’re using them in your skincare routine (and you should), supplementing with this serum can help you reap maximum benefits.

Just one thing: if you’re allergic to grains such as wheat, corn or barley, consult a doctor before adding ferulic acid to your skincare routine. Just in case.

Related: Why You Should Add Ferulic Acid To Your Skincare Routine

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!

The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% has a super simple formula with only 3 ingredients: Resveratrol, Ferulic Acid, and Propanediol. It really doesn’t get more simple than this, does it? You already know what the antioxidants do. Now, let’s see what Propanediol is and what it does for your skin.

Propanediol: Derived from corn sugar, it’s a solvent that dissolve other ingredients in the formula (like Ferulic Acid). It also reduces the viscosity of skincare products, giving them a smoother texture so they’re more pleasant to use. Finally, propanediol has water-retaining properties that help keep skin soft and hydrated for longer. But, like I always say, it’s the dose that determines how effective, moisturising, and potentially irritating, an ingredient is. While it is generally considered to be safe, there’s so much of it in this serum that it can cause irritations in sensitive skin. If this serum upset your skin and you didn’t know why, this is the reason.


Yellow-coloured, this serum has an oily texture that takes a minute or so to absorb into the skin. Once it does, it leaves no greasy residue behind. Still, if you have sensitive skin, you probably won’t like this.


It’s fragrance-free. I know that not everyone likes that. A serum that smells like a bouquet of flowers is more pleasant to use than one that smells like… nothing. And yet, fragrance is the most irritating ingredients in skincare. Each active in this formula, albeit safe in general, could cause irritations in the high doses used here. Leaving the fragrance out was a good choice.

How To Use It

I recommend you use this serum in the morning after your Vitamin C serum to boost its anti-aging and sun-protection properties. Follow it up with sunscreen to keep those pesky premature wrinkles at bay.


The serum comes in a a dark bottle with a dropper applicator that releases the amount of product you need. It’s pretty and practical. More importantly, it keeps the antioxidants inside safe. Light and air degrade antioxidants, making them ineffective overtime. This type of packaging minimises exposure to light and air, helping the serum last longer.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I like to apply The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% alone in the morning after my Vitamin C serum to give that one a boost.

But if you have oily skin, either use it (and your Vitamin C) at night or mix a couple of drops with your fave vitamin C serum. Even so, if you live in a very hot climate, it may make your skin too oily in the torrid heat.

I use it after water-based serums but before moisturisers and oils and, so far, I’ve had no problems with pilling.

I admit I didn’t see dramatic results after introducing this serum to my skincare routine but that’s to be expected: antioxidants are preventative.

Science tells me that if I use these two antioxidants regularly, my skin will get less sun damage, fewer wrinkles and will stay younger for longer. And those all are things you notice in the long run, not after a month of use.

You know what they say. Prevention is better than cure. 😉

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How Does The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% Compares To The Other The Ordinary Antioxidant Serums?

The more antioxidants you use in your skincare routine, the better. This is why I adore Paula’s Choice: their antioxidants serums give you every antioxidant under the sun. The Ordinary takes the opposite approach: to keep the prices low, every bottle includes one or two antioxidants.

While I wouldn’t recommend using only one of The Ordinary antioxidant product (you’re missing out on so much!) or using all of them (you’re just overwhelming your skin and your wallet), some of the brand antioxidant serums use antioxidants you normally wouldn’t find in skincare products. Think of them as supplements to enrich the rest of your skincare routine.

  • The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (£5.00): All you get here is L-Ascorbic Acid (the pure form of Vitamin C) powder. I don’t recommend it because it’s hard to formula with. Do it wrong and it becomes useless. Unless you’re a pro at DIY, this is better left on the shelf.
  • The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% (£10.00): Both Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and Alpha Arbutin are two powerful skin-lighteners that can fade away dark spots. This is the serum I recommend the most to clients who want to lighten hyperpigmentation. It lacks both Ferulic Acid (supplement it with this serum) and Vitamin E (you can usually find it in most serums and moisturisers, so no need to spend extra). Available at Cult Beauty, Sephora, The Ordinary, and Ulta
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% (£11.00): I’m not a huge fan of this serum. Ascorbyl Glucoside is a Vitamin C derivative that’s less effective than Ascorbic Acid. If you want to lighten darks spots, The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% is a much better option.
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F (£15.20): Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is a derivative of Vitamin C that fights wrinkles and brightens skin and is gentler than the pure form, L-Ascorbic Acid. The oily base makes this serum moisturising and ideal for dry, sensitive skin. Unfortunately, it lacks both Vitamin E and ferulic acid. Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, The Ordinary, and Ulta
  • The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution (£18.00): A derivative of Vitamin C that fights premature wrinkles and brightens skin. However, these are claims the manufacturer makes. Until independent research backs them up, I don’t recommend this serum.
  • The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1% (£8.60): It mimics mimics two antioxidant skin enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase. It fights free radicals, protects skin from UV damage, and is well-tolerated even by sensitive skin. If your skincare routine doesn’t contain SOD, this is a good way to supplement it. Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, and The Ordinary
  • The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% (£9.00): A derivative of Vitamin C, it can brighten skin and fight free radicals. It’s gentler and suitable for sensitive skin. Plus, the serum also contains Vitamin E, so you’ll only need to supplement with ferulic acid. At this time of this writing, this serum is out of stock while it’s being updated.
  • The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5% (£8.60): Derived from maritime pine, this active has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Although most studies are done in- vitro (not real skin) or when taken orally, there’s a small amount of research that shows that, used at 0.05-0.2%, it has the potential to provide photoprotection for humans, thus enhancing the sun protection you get from your sunscreen. Try it if you’re curious, but it’s by no means a must in your routine. Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, The Ordinary, and Ulta
  • The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (£6.00): I personally don’t recommend this serum. The concentration of Vitamin C is too high and irritating, it has neither ferulic acid and Vitamin E, and the texture is super unpleasant.
  • The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone (£6.40): Not my fave Vitamin C serum. 30% fights wrinkles and fades away dark spots, but it’s so high, it can irritate skin. Plus, it lacks both Vitamin E and ferulic acid. Instead, it has a silicone base. If you like this type of formula, go for it. But there are much better Vitamin C serums around. Just saying. Available at Sephora and The Ordinary

What I Like About The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

  • Smooth texture.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Highest concentrations of Ferulic Acid and Resveratrol I’ve seen in a product to fight premature aging.
  • It soothes UV-induced damage.
  • No pilling.

What I DON’T Like About The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

  • Oily texture takes a few minutes to absorb.
  • The high concentrations of actives can cause irritations in some people.
  • I prefer Vitamin C serums that already have Ferulic Acid, so I can cut a step from my skincare routine.

Who Should Use This?

If your Vitamin C serum does NOT have ferulic acid, use this to supplement it and get the full anti-aging power of L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) + Vitamin E + Ferulic Acid. On the other hand, if your Vitamin C serum has ferulic acid already, don’t be tempted to add another dose to your skincare routine. Remember, in skincare more is often synonymous with irritating. Just saying…

Does The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% Live Up To Its Claims?

This formula combines very high concentrations of two of the most powerful and important antioxidants in skincare: Resveratrol and Ferulic Acid. True, but I wish they explained why.
Skincare formulations generally incorporate Resveratrol at 1% or less and Ferulic Acid at 0.5% or less. This formula contains each at 3%, an exceptionally high concentration. True.

Is The Ordinary Cruelty-Free?

Yes, The Ordinary is truly cruelty-free. They don’t test on animals and they don’t outsource the process to anyone else either.

Price & Availability

£5.50 at Beauty Bay, Boots, Cult Beauty, Sephora, The Ordinary, and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If your Vitamin C serum lacks ferulic acid, you need this in your skincare routine, so that you can get the full anti-aging benefits of Vitamin C + Vitamin E + Ferulic Acid. If your serum has all three, you’re set. No need to add this too to your routine.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Typology Antioxidant Serum 3% Ferulic Acid + 3% Resveratrol (£25.90): It has the same actives as The Ordinary, but it’s a richer formula that also contains Vitamin E and Glycerin to hydrate skin. Available at Typology.


Propanediol, Resveratrol, Ferulic Acid.