Retinol is definitely one of the most beloved ingredient in skincare. It's often touted as THE miracle ingredient to fight wrinkles, fade scars and improve your overall complexion. However, while retinol, or vitamin A, is well known for working wonders, some find it can be too aggressive for their skin – and that’s where bakuchiol comes in.
Pronounced ba-koo-chee-ul, it’s an antioxidant sourced from the Babchi plant, also known as Psoralea Corylifolia. The babchi plant has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine to treat everything from psoriasis, vitiligo, leukoderma and even cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis!
How does bakuchiol work?
Much like retinol, bakuchiol helps your skin produce new cells quickly for a healthier and clearer complexion. It increases your skin's cell turnover, thereby helping to diminish signs of ageing, restore firmness, even out skin tone, and refine pores. Bakuchiol also has powerful antibacterial properties which help to eliminate acne-causing bacteria.
So what’s the difference between bakuchiol and retinol?
A 2018 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology shows that bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve signs of skin ageing and that it is better tolerated. Over 12 weeks, 44 patients were asked to apply either 0.5 per cent bakuchiol cream twice daily or 0.5 per cent retinol cream every night. Researchers found that retinol and bakuchiol affected wrinkles and pigmentation similarly, but bakuchiol resulted in less scaling, stinging, burning and itching.
That being said, Bakuchiol has only recently entered the cosmetics world, so there isn’t as much research behind the ingredient as there is with retinol. However, the general consensus is this: Bakuchiol is the gentler, vegan and pregnancy-safe alternative to retinol.
What's the best bakuchiol products to try?
I have no doubt that we'll see bakuchiol being included in more and more beauty products in the near future, so your options for incorporating the ingredient into your routine will be endless! Here are some of our best bakuchiol skincare products we reckon you should try:
The Best Bakuchiol Skincare Products:
The La Mav Bakuchiol 4% Natural Retinol Alternative is powerfully packed with 4% bakuchiol and adaptogenic herbs to improve the structure of the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Created by one of our favourite K-beauty brand, Neogen's Real Bakuchiol Firming Serum pairs bakuchiol with other powerhouse ingredients like vitamin C, aloe and tea tree extract that will leave your skin hydrated, bright and bouncy without any stickiness or heaviness.
If you're looking for something on the more indulgent side, The Jojoba Company Skin Balancing Oil is a clinically-proven jojoba-based facial oil packed with Bakuchiol & Akoactive® Nile Lily to reduce oil production and pore size while improving skin texture, elasticity and softness!
Want the best of both worlds? By Wishtrend's Vitamin A-mazing Bakuchiol Night Cream is formulated with BOTH retinal and bakuchiol to improve wrinkles, prevent signs of ageing, as well as improve skin texture and elasticity!
Have you tried any bakuchiol products before?