5 Reasons Bakuchiol could be better than Retinol
By Debbi Barber. Over the past two years, I have heard many customers share the disappointment that they cannot use and enjoy the benefits of Retinol. While Retinol products promote skin renewal, brighten skin tone, and boost collagen, many people experience adverse reactions such as dermatitis, redness, burning, scaling, and dryness.
As co-founder of a skincare brand focusing on regenerative products formulated with natural and organic ingredients, I am excited to bring our customers a natural Retinol alternative. This week we released our 2% Bakuchiol Facial Oil formulated with Organic Squalane Oil and Vitamin E. Research has shown that amounts between 0.5-2% are ideal for achieving visible benefits. Vitali uses 2% Bakuchiol in our formula.
What is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol (pronounced ba-koo-chee-all) is derived from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant (Psoralea corylifolia). It is a natural alternative to Retinol, a Vitamin A compound that supports skin turnover and collagen production. Bakuchiol has similar traits but is gentle on the skin without causing redness and irritation.
Rooted in healing, Bakuchiol has a long tradition in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines to cure various skin diseases. It is also known for its ability to help heal, calm, and soothe the skin, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
While Bakuchiol has no structural resemblance to retinoids, research shows that it works as a retinoid analog, meaning it mimics the effect of Retinol, such as stimulating cell turnover, combating dark spots, and re-densifying the skin. In addition, both Bakuchiol and Retinol can stimulate the production of the same collagen type (type I, type II, and type IV). Bakuchiol was tested in a clinical case study by a twice-a-day facial application in this same research.
The results showed that, after 12 weeks of treatment, there was a significant improvement in lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. Research 1
In a 2019 study, Bakuchiol and Retinol significantly decreased wrinkle surface area and hyperpigmentation with no statistical difference. The retinol users reported more facial scaling and stinging. Research 2
5 Reasons Bakuchiol could be a better choice
1. Works for all skin types
While Retinol is valued as a critical ingredient in skincare, it comes with unwelcome side effects for people with sensitive skin. Bakuchiol is naturally very gentle on the skin and does not irritate. This characteristic is beneficial in averting skin dryness and revamping skin health from the inside out.
Bakuchiol is well-tolerated by skin types prone to eczema, rosacea, and other forms of sensitivity. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it an excellent choice for acne-prone skin. Bakuchiol regulates the secretion of 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that increases oil production in the skin and thus can avert acne breakouts. It also inhibits the growth of P. Acnes bacteria.
2. Bakuchiol is stable in sunlight and isn't known to make skin more sensitive.
While Retinoids are unstable in sunlight and make the skin susceptible to sunburn, Bakuchiol is stable and isn't known to cause skin to be more sensitive. (Because it increases cellular turnover, sunscreen is still a must, but it does not expose skin to the same level of sun sensitivity as Retinol.) In addition, studies suggest that Bakuchiol provides sun protection not found in Retinol.
3. Bakuchiol is vegan
While some retinoids are sourced from animal products, Bakuchiol is always vegan and plant-based. Some retinol products are harvested from produce, such as squash, carrots, and cantaloupe. Unfortunately, other retinoids can be made from animal byproducts, which means Bakuchiol may appeal more to vegans and vegetarians.
4. Bakuchiol and Copper Peptides GHK-Cu work together.
Bakuchiol and Copper Peptides, when combined, can work together to provide even more benefits for the skin. Both ingredients improve skin texture and tone while delivering regenerative benefits. Additionally, Copper Peptides can help to boost the effectiveness of Bakuchiol, making it an even more powerful ingredient. They can both be used morning and night if desired.
5. Bakuchiol can enhance results from Retinol
If you are already using Retinol you can layer it with Bakuchiol to enhance results. Research shows these two ingredients work really well together. Bakuchiol’s potent calming and stabilizing properties let Retinol work better and increase skin’s tolerance to it.
How to Use Bakuchiol
You can apply the product at night between the serum and moisturizer. If you have dark spots or pigmentation, you may wish to use it both morning and night. It is always good to let each product absorb before layering. Even though Bakuchiol likely won't make your skin more sensitive to the sun, always apply sunscreen afterward if you use it in the morning.