Ellagic acid

ellagic acid, antioxidant

Ellagic acid, a member of the polyphenol family, has gained attention for its exceptional antioxidant properties. It is found in abundance in several fruits and can also be extracted from the leaves and seeds of corresponding plants. Fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, and pomegranates are particularly rich sources of this valuable compound. The healing potential of pomegranates, with their ellagic acid content comprising about 40 percent, has been recognized in the Orient for millennia, but it took until 1993 for Dr. Daniel Nixon, a renowned oncologist and hematologist, to conduct groundbreaking research on the acid.


The Powerful Antioxidant Properties

Studies have indicated that ellagic acid might hinder the proliferation of cancer cells, making it a promising candidate for cancer prevention and treatment. It is believed to be particularly effective in safeguarding against lung cancer, skin cancer, and esophageal cancer. The acid’s potential to combat cervical cancer has already been demonstrated. This is attributed to its ability to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver, purging the bloodstream of carcinogenic substances. Additionally, the acid prevents the degradation of genes responsible for shielding uterine cells from mutations. By forming a protective barrier around DNA and fortifying connection sites, it further safeguards against attacks by cancer cells. Furthermore, ellagic acid acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing harmful oxygen free radicals and boosting the immune system’s ability to target and destroy cancer cells.


Ellagic Acid in Cosmetics and Dermatological Products

Beyond its significant role in cancer research, the acid has found its way into the realms of cosmetics and dermatological products, thanks to its potent antioxidant properties. Primarily extracted from the delicate membranes of pomegranates, the acid has become an essential ingredient in skincare formulations.

Cosmetic manufacturers capitalize on ellagic acid’s ability to counteract free radicals, thus mitigating skin damage caused by environmental factors and aging. By incorporating ellagic acid into various skincare products, they aim to promote healthier, more youthful-looking skin.

The pomegranate tree (Punica granatum), originally from Central Asia but now cultivated in the Mediterranean region, serves as the primary source for ellagic acid extraction. This tree can reach a maximum height of 15 meters and, under ideal climatic conditions, live for several centuries. Its long, blunt glossy leaves, approximately ten centimeters in size, add to its distinctive appearance. The pomegranate fruit is considered ripe when its outer skin turns orange-red and cracks. Harvesting takes place between September and December, with no postharvest ripening possible.


Fact Sheet:

CAS number: 476-66-4

INCI: Ellagic Acid

Definition: polyphenol, antioxidant

Brief description: light colored solid, forms creamy colored to light yellow crystals

Molecular Formula: C14H6O8

Solubility: poor in water


The Versatile Benefits: From Cosmetics to Cellular Protection

Ellagic acid, a versatile compound found in various forms such as powder, capsules, or liquid, has been widely used as a dietary supplement. However, its significance extends beyond nutrition, as it also plays a crucial role in cosmetics. Its potent effect against harmful radicals enables effective protection of the skin against oxidative stress, thereby preventing premature aging. Additionally, the acid inhibits skin lipid peroxidation, a process triggered by oxidative stress, and positively influences skin pigmentation by limiting melanin formation.

Extensive in vivo studies involving more than 15 volunteers aged between 19 and 45 have demonstrated that even a treatment of 0.5 percent ellagic acid has a bleaching effect on the skin. Pomegranate extract, known for its high ellagic acid content, is particularly effective in stimulating dermis and epidermis regeneration. As a result, it proves excellent in treating rapidly aging, tired, and thin (smoker’s) skin with a pale dull complexion. The acid is particularly well-suited for highly stressed skin with specific detoxification needs, making it a vital polyphenol in protecting against Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).

In the dermis, the acid blocks the degradation of fibroblasts, which are essential for collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin, in turn, contribute to the long-term elasticity and firmness of the skin. Additionally, the acid promotes blood circulation, leading to improved oxygen transport to skin cells.

Studies conducted on human tissue samples over a period of 10 days have shown that ellagic acid significantly increases elastogenesis, the formation of new elastic fibers. It also provides protection to elastin fibers against enzyme degradation, enhancing their stability and longevity. Furthermore, the presence of ellagic has been shown to reduce harmful DNA changes significantly.

Interestingly, the unusual name of ellagic acid has its roots in the French chemist Henri Braconnot’s work. He simply reversed the word “gall,” which referred to gallic acid, to name the compound. Chemically, ellagic acid is a dimeric gallic acid. Its somewhat astringent taste, reminiscent of tannins, classifies ellagic acid as a tannin. Its polymers are known as ellagitannins.


We like to work with these raw materials:

Trade NameCompany NameINCI Comment
Ellagic Acid 90%Sabinsa Europe GmbHEllagic Acid
Pomegranate Extract (Ellagic Acid 40%)Sabinsa Europe GmbHPunica Granatum Fruit Extract
iWHITE EAKimiKa, LLC (Formerly Cosphatech)Ellagic Acid
Blackberry Seed PowderBotanic InnovationsRubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) SeedBlackberry Seed Powder is a defatted, natural fruit seed powder with antioxidant properties and nutritional components that include ellagic acid
Pomegranate E40MMP EuropePunica Granatum Juice Extract
Red Raspberry Seed PowderBotanic InnovationsRubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Powder has exceptional antioxidant properties, primarily from polyphenol ellagic tannins
Organic Red Raspberry Seed PowderBotanic InnovationsRubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Powderhas exceptional antioxidant properties, primarily from polyphenol ellagic tannins
Organic Pumpkin Seed PowderBotanic InnovationsCucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin)contains fiber, protein, amino acids, and antioxidants like proanthocyanidins, ellagic acid, and quercetin.
Natori Camu Camu Leaf Water HDEcooriMyrciaria Dubia Fruit Extract, 1,2-HexanediolCamu camu contains various antioxidants such as ellagic acid and polyphenol, which can help remove free radicals and prevent aging
ARCTIC SUNACTYLISGlycerin, Aqua, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Extract contains polyphenols such as ellagic acid, coumaric acid, and cinnamic acid. 


Conclusion: Ellagic acid is a valuable skin protection from nature

Blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, pomegranates, walnuts, and strawberries: Eating these foods is healthy and good for the skin. However, if ellagic acid is used specifically in cosmetic products, the positive effect on the skin is even greater. In simple terms, the substance protects the skin from harmful UV rays, allergies, and other irritants, slows down the aging process and, in appropriate products, even makes hair shiny and full. Pomegranates in particular are therefore a very effective and popular ingredient in skin care products. Ask us: we will be happy to support you in planning, development and implementation!



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Chestnut Wood Mud as a Source of Ellagic Acid for Dermo-Cosmetic Applications.;Moccia F, Liberti D, Giovando S, Caddeo C, Monti DM, Panzella L, Napolitano A.Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Aug 28;11(9):1681. 

Ellagic and ferulic acids alleviate gamma radiation and aluminium chloride-induced oxidative damage.; Salem AM, Mohammaden TF, Ali MAM, Mohamed EA, Hasan HF.Life Sci. 2016 Sep 1;160:2-11.

Ellagic Acid and Its Anti-Aging Effects on Central Nervous System.; Zhu H, Yan Y, Jiang Y, Meng X.Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 19;23(18):10937