Bakuchiol—pronounced “buh-koo-chee-all” has been getting a lot of attention recently - but what is it? What does it do? And is it truly an alternative for retinol?
First, What is Retinol?
Retinol (Vitamin A) has been the go-to, dermatologist approved, anti-ageing treatment for some time. Retinol speeds up cell turnover and leads to plumper, smoother, brighter skin. It has also been shown to reduce acne scarring, smooth fine lines and prevent wrinkles.
These properties make retinol a very popular skincare ingredient, however, it is not without its pitfalls. Most retinol products can be very harsh and to see results tolerance must be built by slowly increasing its usage. It can cause redness and flaky skin if used too quickly and it is not sensitive skin friendly. Many skin types are simply unable to tolerate it.
Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol, it's a 100% natural, plant-derived ingredient that is a relative newcomer on the skincare scene and has been delivering some impressive results. Bakuchiol is a herb that comes from the seeds of the Babchi tree (psoralea corylifolia plant), and has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries.
Bakuchiol grows in many regions throughout India and is overly abundant in the wild.1 A University of California study in 2019 showed that retinol and bakuchiol performed similarly in terms of photoaging (59% reduction in hyperpigmentation after 12 weeks). The study also showed that bakuchiol is far better tolerated and did not have the side effects of retinol.2
Say Bakuchiol Again
Bakuchiol can be used on all skin types and is primarily used as a gentle anti-ageing solution. It provides both protective and restorative anti-ageing benefits, meaning it can help improve photodamaged skin, whilst also fight early signs of ageing. Like retinol, it increases cell turnover thereby stimulating collagen production and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and overall photodamage.
Bakuchiol has also been clinically proven to reduce acne, one study showed it was more efficient than salicylic acid and reduced acne by 48% after 6 weeks.3 One pitfall of retinol is that it can't be used during pregnancy, and bakuchiol also overcomes this, as always though, it is recommended to check with your doctor before using.
The Wildcrafted Organics Bakuchiol Cell Regenerating Serum
contains sustainably sourced bakuchiol, it is also infused with a new generation Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate) at 10%, studies have shown Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate can lighten skin at 2% and it is also more stable than other forms of Vitamin C, including the most widely used, Ascorbic Acid4
This serum also contains a host of other skin-loving nutrients including Skinlift DPHP which stimulates skin proteins such as collagen, and Coenzyme Q10 which protects skin cells from free radical damage.
I love this product! It feels luxurious to apply unlike retinol and the results have been wonderful! I use this in the evening and wake every morning with a bright and glowy complexion. I love that this can be achieved without other harsh products. My skin tone has evened out since using this for the last few months and is beautifully smooth. I got mum onto this one also and she too is loving the results! Another wildcrafted favourite." - Kate
PS - Don't Forget
As always, remember ageing, skincare and wrinkles are a blessing! It's natural and inevitable, and a sign of a life well-lived and laughed. Here at Maruko we embrace all aspects of who we are, and believe skincare is not there to overcome any pitfalls, or shortcomings, but to be embraced as a positive addition and a form of SELF-LOVE and care! No product will make you glow like gratitude and self-love, so embrace and do the inner work first. But when you're ready to treat yourself, we are here for you.
1Some have claimed bakuchiol is an endangered species, it is endemic to many areas of India and the Himalayan regions of Pakistan and China. According to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), Psoralea Corylifolia is not on the list of endangered species.
2Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoaging. S Dhaliwal et al. British Journal of Dermatology, 180:289–296, 2019
3Bakuchiol in the management of acne-affected skin. RK Chaudhuri & F Marchio Cosm & Toil, 126:502-510, 2011