We love the benefits of revitalizing retinol – but are we using the best of the best anti-aging skincare? Enter bakuchiol: a trending ingredient that has been at the heart of the recent beauty scene.
We’re putting these two through a little friendly competition, to see if bakuchiol or retinol is better for treating the signs of aging. Let’s review what they are, how they work, and what benefits they provide to our skin. Get ready to rumble (retinol)!
All about Bakuchiol
So what is bakuchiol? This ingredient (pronounced bah-koo-chee-all) may have an intimidating name, but bakuchiol is just a plant-based alternative to the wildly popular skincare ingredient, retinol.
So what is bakuchiol made of? It is an oil harvested from babchi, a native Indian plant, and offers many of the same benefits as retinol. Although we use 100% PURE™ vegan forms of retinol, many retinol products are non-vegan, making bakuchiol a worthy vegan alternative.
Bakuchiol promotes collagen, one of the most vital components of smooth, youthful-looking skin. Bakuchiol triggers skin cell repair for a rejuvenated result – think fewer fine lines and wrinkles and a smoother, more even complexion.
Bakuchiol works well for the skin because although it is considered an active ingredient, it does not have the risk of sun exposure that retinol does. Rather than making skin more sensitive to the sun, studies suggest bakuchiol provides a level of sun protection not found in retinol. Additionally, regular use does not cause the dryness or irritation of the skin that is sometimes seen with retinol.
Bakuchiol Quick Stats:
Good for all skin types
Gentler alternative to retinol
Encourages collagen production for fewer fine lines
Increases the rate of skin cell turnover for a more even and luminous complexion
So what are the downsides of bakuchiol? Because it’s a relatively new ingredient on the skincare scene, there isn’t enough conclusive research on its comparison to retinol or the potential risks of bakuchiol versus retinol. Available tests suggest that bakuchiol may be a milder experience than retinol, especially for people with sensitive skin or for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Discover our NEW Bakuchiol cleanser and moisturizer!
We created this gentle yet powerful duo to provide a safe and natural alternative to retinol. Our rejuvenation Bakuchiol Cleaner removes impurities to stimulate cell turnover for a smoother complexion while our antioxidant-rich Bakuchiol Moisturizer provides intense hydration to stimulate 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!
Retinol, or retinoids, is a vitamin A derivative that treats aging, skin tone issues, and smoother skin. It helps clear clogged pores, improve skin clarity and promote a more youthful texture by triggering the skin’s production of collagen. This helps naturally diminish fine lines and wrinkles, while achieving a more even skin tone.
Before bakuchiol became popular, there was only retinol. It supports increased collagen production and is an effective way to promote younger looking skin – with results that only improve with continued use. Retinoids treat large pores, fine lines, age spots, and blemishes, but it’s not without its downsides.
Retinoids are powerful and potent. We are able to find even stronger options with a prescription, for a topical or oral approach. Due to their strength, they may be incompatible with sensitive skin. Although retinoids are often delivered via skin creams and serums, substandard formulas can cause dryness, irritation, or lead to increased skin sensitivity to the sun if used improperly.
Available in various strengths and powers
Anti-aging for smoother skin with fewer wrinkles
Brightens the skin and evens out the complexion
Powerful, showing good results with continued use
Increases skin cell turnover rate for youthful looking skin
Has a long track record of efficacy in clinical and public use
While it’s true to say we love retinoids, we know they’re not for everyone. First, some retinoids (never ours) come from animal products, which means they’re not always vegan.
Retinol can also increase sensitivity to the sun, which means sticking to a strict SPF routine while using retinol is non-negotiable. Speaking of sensitivity, due to the strength and potency of retinol, it can be inflammatory for sensitive skin.
Bakuchiol Vs. Retinol
To get the full picture (and help you decide which ingredient to use), let’s review the differences between bakuchiol and retinol.
One major difference is that while bakuchiol is always vegan and plant-based, the same cannot be said for all retinoids. Some retinol products are harvested from produce such as squash, carrots, and cantaloupe. Unfortunately, other retinoids may be made from animal byproducts, which means bakuchiol may be more appealing to vegans and vegetarians.
The reason why we can even compare these two products is that the function of bakuchiol and retinol is quite similar. They are both excellent ingredients for treating the signs of aging in the skin, including large pores, fine lines, age spots and blemishes, and of course wrinkles. Tried, tested, and true, retinol has always been a top product for maintaining or achieving a glowing, ageless complexion.
We also want to look at potency, effectiveness, and skin sensitivity. We talked about it earlier, but bakuchiol is great for all skin types, including sensitive skin, although it’s significantly less potent than retinol. Retinol has more research in its corner, proving both its effectiveness and the associated risks.
In terms of benefits, these two compare quite well – however, retinol outperforms bakuchiol if we deviate purely from performance. Still, the argument can be made that since bakuchiol can be used by a wider range of skin types, it’s the better option overall.
We now know that bakuchiol is essentially a plant-based alternative to animal-based retinol. It’s also gentler, which means it applies to a wider variety of skin types, but overall it’s probably less effective.
Let’s figure out which options are best for each skin type and problem.
Sensitive Skin – Acneic Skin – Reactive Skin
If your skin falls into the category of sensitive or reactive skin, it pays to be on the safe side and start with the milder option. Not only does this provide inclusive anti-aging benefits for sensitive skin, but the bakuchiol will help treat large pores that can sometimes contribute to acne and breakouts.
Bakuchiol is the best vegan option because it’s still plant-based. While there are plant-based retinol options, bakuchiol is an all-natural, plant-based option that anyone can use.
The feeling of finally getting to the bottom of our blemishes and breakouts is priceless, but this discovery often translates into an overhaul of skincare products. If acne scar removal is an important goal, a retinol option will be more effective. Because retinol helps reduce pores, regular use can also help control acne on an ongoing basis.
For those of us who are open to either product, why not start with the gentler option and move on to retinol? When we don’t know how our skin can react with the product, starting with bakuchiol, we are able to test the impact of these products on our skin type. After a few months of consistency, replacing bakuchiol with a powerful retinol treatment can help revive skin and effectively target remaining signs of premature aging or hyperpigmentation.
Just like our need for warmer complexion products in the summer, our summer skincare needs to accommodate our summer lifestyle. With that in mind, since retinol causes sun sensitivity when used during the day, it can be best used in the fall/winter when we spend less time outdoors and exposed to UV rays – that is- that is, unless you can keep up with a strict sunscreen routine!