What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol – the much raved-about ingredient that has swept the skincare industry by storm sounds more like an elusive form of Pokemon for you to find, rather than what it actually is: a plant-based active ingredient that is found from the seeds and leaves of the babchi tree.

Bakuchiol may have found its mainstream popularity just recently but actually has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine (Ayurveda) to treat illnesses like vitiligo for centuries. 

Currently, Bakuchiol’s popularity is being boosted by its reputation as a natural and gentle anti-aging alternative to Retinol. 

What are the benefits of Bakuchiol?

In general, Bakuchiol is particularly lauded for its compatibility with many other active ingredients but has many other great benefits to offer:

Has Anti Aging Benefits

Bakuchiol is useful to smooth fine lines, diminish the appearance of wrinkles and overall, prevent the appearance of both. 

It also works as a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress which causes cell damage, while protecting the skin from free radicals. Cell damage is what leads to premature aging and by using bakuchiol, we can help our skin ward off premature aging as much as possible. 

Boosts Collagen Production 

Similar to retinol, Bakuchiol helps to increase cell turnover and reduce the enzymes that break down collagen, thereby improving the appearance and texture of skin. 

This is especially relevant to remember because when we age, we start losing collagen which is responsible for keeping our skin looking radiant and dewy. 

Reduces Pigmentation

Bakuchiol helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and discolorations, making for a more even skin tone all around. 

Has Anti Inflammatory Properties 

Bakuchiol soothes irritated skin especially for those suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis and rosacea. It works similar to Vitamin E by helping to heal and hydrate your skin. 

Reduces Acne

Bakuchiol has proven effective in reducing bacteria that causes acne and oxidation of sebum in pores which is thought to lead to acne. 

What type of products contain Bakuchiol?

Similar to other active ingredients, Bakuchiol can be found in many serums, moisturizers, oils, masks and even eye creams.

Integrating Bakuchiol into your skincare routine

Despite being an active ingredient, Bakuchiol can be used twice daily due to its gentle nature. Bakuchiol is also stable under the effect of light and doesn’t make your skin photosensitive. Having photosensitivity means that your skin has heightened sensitivity to UV radiation from sunlight or other sources of UV radiation. This means that it’s alright to use Bakuchiol during the day.

Apply the Bakuchiol as a serum or cream after cleansing and toning. If you’re using Bakuchiol as an active ingredient in other products, follow the recommended instructions to use the product exactly how and when it should be used. 

If you’re using Bakuchiol in the form of oil which is especially great for dry and dehydrated skin, you can add a drop of the product into your sunscreen before applying as a final step in your day routine. Bakuchiol is a gentle enough ingredient to easily integrate into your sunscreen, whether it’s a mineral or chemical sunscreen. 

As always with any new ingredient or product that’s being incorporated into your skincare routine, do a patch test first behind your ear or on your forearm, and note the results before going full throttle with the product. 

Bakuchiol vs Retinol – a convenient substitute?

Much has been said about using Bakuchiol as a gentler and convenient substitute for retinol. Part of the former’s hype comes from the fact that Bakuchiol is considered suitable for all skin types whereas Retinol may be too strong for those with very sensitive skin conditions like rosacea or those who have a history of allergies. 

Unlike other active ingredients like Retinol, Bakuchiol is gentle and isn’t known to cause harsh side effects like dryness or irritation in your skin after use.  

It’s worth noting that pregnant women are advised against using retinol while bakuchiol being a naturally occurring ingredient, is supposed to be safe for use during pregnancy. That said, there’s still a lack of significant studies and research that back up this claim, so it would be best to wait until there’s more clarity on the subject. 

In any event, if you’d like to glow up your skin without any of the harsh effects that can occur from using Retinol like redness and flakiness, Bakuchiol is a great alternative especially for skin care novices who are still figuring out what their skin needs are. If you’d like to know what other active ingredients that you need in your skincare routine, doing an online skin assessment can be a quick and easy way to find out. 

Can you use Bakuchiol and Retinol together?

It’s perfectly alright to use products that have Bakuchiol and Retinol together or add them separately in your skincare routine as they work perfectly fine with each other. 

Bakuchiol also stabilizes your retinol — retinol breaks down under the effect of light — and helps it to have a longer lasting effect on your skin. Thus, this combination may even help your skincare routine work its magic better. 

Should You Try Bakuchiol?

If you’re looking for a way to get all the benefits of retinol without any of those inconvenient side effects, Bakuchiol is a great way to kickstart your skincare journey! The compatibility of Bakuchiol with most active ingredients makes it so easy to integrate into your skincare routine without much fuss.