For many of us, bakuchiol seems like a brand new trendy ingredient, but in reality, bakuchiol is practically nothing new. Discovered in 1966, bakuchiol is a unique compound derived from the seeds of the bakuchi plant, hence the name “bakuchiol”.
Although it has been found in a few other sources like vegetables and animal livers, the main source of bakuchiol is the bakuchi plant, making it both vegan and all-natural.
However, bakuchiol has gained great popularity in recent years, as its effects on the skin are remarkably similar to those of retinol, but without the side effects.
And because retinol isn’t for everyone, bakuchiol has a place in many skincare regimens.
Is bakuchiol part of your beauty routine?
First, let’s explain who bakuchiol is best suited for.
Who should use Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is suitable for all skin types, but is especially appealing to those who cannot use retinol.
Retinoids have become massively popular over the years for what they can do for your skin. As a derivative of vitamin A, retinol comes in different forms, with different potencies, and it works primarily by encouraging skin cell turnover; think of it like hitting the “refresh” button on your browser, but it’s for your skin!
Retinol is also an antioxidant, which makes it excellent for fighting inflammation and free radical damage.
Overall, retinol can be fantastic for your skin, especially if you’re looking to prevent or reduce wrinkles, or are trying to clear up acne.
However, retinol can cause side effects such as sensitivity and skin prone to sun damage. Plus, it’s not for everyone. Retinol is not recommended for breastfeeding or pregnant women, and it may be too intense for some people, especially those with rosacea, severe acne, or eczema.
If any of these apply to you, bakuchiol might be the ideal alternative.
But what exactly does bakuchiol do for the skin?
What are the benefits of Bakuchiol?
As mentioned earlier, bakuchiol is pretty much considered a safer alternative to retinol, an equally effective alternative.
But what exactly does that mean, and what does bakuchiol do, specifically?
Similar to retinol, bakuchiol is an antioxidant, and this adds to its anti-aging benefits. This is because antioxidants help fight free radicals, which are known to cause oxidative stress and inflammation.
Our skin depends on collagen to keep it elastic and firm. Over time, however, collagen production declines as we age, and so our skin isn’t as able to hold its shape or “pop back into place.”
Retinol is a popular skincare ingredient for collagen support, but bakuchiol offers similar benefits.
In clinical testparticipants who applied bakuchiol to their skin twice daily over a 12-week period experienced significant improvements in firmness and elasticity.
Soothing and moisturizing benefits
While retinol is known to cause dryness and irritation, bakuchiol can actually soothe the skin, and it can even help with sensitivity.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, bakuchiol is a anti-inflammatory agentmeaning it’s gentle on sensitive skin and can even help soothe redness.
On top of that, bakuchiol is also hydrating, but not so much that your skin feels oily. Its gentle nature makes it a great choice for all skin types.
How to Incorporate Bakuchiol into Your Skincare Routine
This is where using bakuchiol differs from retinol: since it’s non-irritating, you can also apply it in the morning. On top of that, bakuchiol is not known to interact with any other actives, so you can combine your bakuchiol with vitamin C, niacinamide, or your favorite BHA without worrying about irritation.
But while it’s true that bakuchiol shouldn’t make your skin more photosensitive, make sure you always wear your SPF.
Discover our NEW Bakuchiol cleanser and moisturizer!
We created this gentle yet powerful duo to provide a safe and natural alternative to retinol. Our rejuvenating Bakuchiol cleanser draws out impurities to boost cell turnover for a smoother complexion while our antioxidant-rich Bakuchiol moisturizer delivers intense hydration to boost collagen production and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This duo is ideal for you if your skin is too sensitive to retinol. Ingredients like lactic acid, kojic acid, and CoQ10 combine powerfully to give you smooth, soft, and supple skin!
Is bakuchiol better than retinol?
Bakuchiol therefore offers similar benefits to retinol, but without the side effects.
And that may be enough to make you wonder: is bakuchiol better than retinol?
Before looking at this question, it’s important to understand that bakuchiol’s skincare research is relatively recent, with one of the earliest studies dating back only to 2014.
Retinol, on the other hand, has been researched for over fifty years, with prescription-grade retinoids like Retin-A and Accutane gaining FDA approval in 1971.
And while studies comparing head-to-head ingredients are limited, one In-vivo study 2018 has been published. In this study, researchers compared a group of people applying retinol to their face twice a day to a group of people applying bakuchiol twice a day.
Over a 12-week period, a board-certified dermatologist assessed individuals’ skin for firmness, elasticity, collagen production, and prominence of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
In the study, it was concluded that there was no significant difference between retinol and bakuchiol regarding effectiveness. However, there were significantly fewer side effects or irritations reported with the bakuchiol group.
Conclusion: bakuchiol does not seem to work better than retinol, it works much the same as retinol, but with fewer side effects. Still, take this with the caveat that retinol has a lot more research on its effectiveness.