Which One is Right for You?

Retinol or Bakuchiol

If you are looking for a natural way to up your skincare game, Bakuchiol (pronounced ba-koo-chee-all) could be a great choice. This plant-based, skin-friendly alternative to Retinol is derived from the Psoralea corylifolia plant, better known as the "babchi" plant. It has been used for centuries in Indian and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of skin problems and diseases. 

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 by 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

Bakuchiol and Retinol are powerful ingredients used to improve the appearance  of aging skin. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Retinol is a form of vitamin A derived from either animal or plant sources.

It is a powerful anti-aging ingredient that can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, and even out skin tone. However, Retinol can also irritate some people's skin, especially those with sensitive skin. The initial stages can include a surge of acne, rashes, flaking and intense redness.

Bakuchiol is gentler and less likely to irritate the skin. Bakuchiol is also a potent antioxidant that can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.

In fact, Bakuchiol has been shown to be very effective in protecting mitochondrial functions against oxidative stress. Research 3

Over-the-counter retinol and prescription retinoids have long been proven effective remedies for acne. Bakuchiol possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help with acne. Bakuchiol downregulates

5-a-reductase, an enzyme that triggers oil production in the skin. By normalizing sebum levels, Bakuchiol can prevent the growth of acne bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Regular use of Bakuchiol can not only

treat acne, but it can help  prevent it from happening. 


Teresa Berry, RN and Director of the Midtown Spa, Memphis says “Bakuchiol is a perfect alternative to retinol for anti-aging for sensitive skin.

It is a powerful antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory benefits, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, diminishes, dark spots, and helps even tone and texture - without any of the harsh side effects, like stinging and burning that retinol can cause.  Unlike Retinol, Bakuchiol can be layered with Copper Peptides for even greater impact. Bakuchiol can also be applied to the entire face, including the thin, fragile skin around and under the eyes. It can successfully erase dark circles, reduce puffiness and replace crow’s feet with smooth healthy skin.” 



If you choose Bakuchiol, how to use for the maximum benefit


When selecting a Bakuchiol, be sure you choose a stronger concentration. 

According to Dr. Jordan Carqueville, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Derm Institute of Chicago, "most products have a concentration of 0.5 to 2%." Carqueville recommends opting for a higher concentration.  


Vitali Skincare uses 2% Bakuchiol in our new Bakuchiol product. It is formulated with organic Squalane Oil and Vitamin E making it a super-hydrating powerhouse. Bakuchiol is a perfect addition to our skincare line because Bakuchiol and Copper Peptides work well together. Both Bakuchiol and Copper Peptides work to improve skin texture, firmness, and tone. Bakuchiol stimulates cell turnover, which helps Copper Peptides reach the deeper layers of the skin to boost collagen and elastin more effectively.


Start using it in the p.m. You can use it between Vitali serum and moisturizer or alternate   with the serum for 2 to 3 nights per week. You can then increase the use of the Bakuchiol Oil to nightly and then morning and night as Bakuchiol is not photosensitive. Always use sunscreen in the morning. If you use vitamin C, alternate use with Bakuchiol in the morning or use Bakuchiol at night. You can  also use it on areas as needed for spot treatment. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.