- Beauty Glossary
Bakuchiol for Skin
It's the buzzword on everyone's lips at the moment, but what is Bakuchiol? Dubbed as retinol's gentler little sister, Bakuchiol is an ingredient that is helping men and women everywhere achieve smoother, healthier complexions.
Sure, retinol has had its fair share of air-time, but now it's time to update our skin care regimes with a more natural alternative. We explore what Bakuchiol is and what brands are featuring this exclusive ingredient.
See our bakuchiol guide to answer your questions like what is Bakuchiol and who should use Bakuchiol.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bakuchiol products
What is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is derived from the leaves and seeds of a plant called babchi – more professionally known as the psoralea corylifolia plant. Originating from Eastern Asia, this special ingredient has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurveda skin-healing treatments over the centuries, proving its ability to nurture and improve all skin types with its natural properties.
Known as a retinol alternative, this skin-smoothing ingredient contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that make it the perfect component for skin care products.
Who should use Bakuchiol?
Due to its gentle nature, bakuchiol can be used by pretty much any and every skin type. If you suffer with sensitive and dehydrated skin and have been unable to reap the complexion-enhancing benefits of retinol then bakuchiol is definitely worth investing in. Unlike retinol, it is much softer on the skin whilst still imparting a glowy, refined finish.
What are the beauty benefits of Bakuchiol?
Like retinol, bakuchiol is known to even out textured skin tones, minimise the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores, add plumpness and impart a surge of brightness to duller skin types – yeah, it pretty much ticks all of our boxes. Essentially, bakuchiol poses the same as retinol but without the main negatives, such as irritation and redness.
What is the difference between bakuchiol and retinol?
It may sound too good to be true, but bakuchiol essentially brings forth the same benefits as retinol – without the likelihood of irritation. Skin care expert Ole Henriksen told Stylist that ““bakuchiol brings the power of retinoids to everyone safely without any of the negative side effects”, making it is an absolute must-have for your bathroom cabinet.
Retinol is derived from vitamin A and is extremely potent as a topical treatment, meaning it can come with a whole host of side effects such as redness, peeling and skin sensitivity. Additionally, with retinol you are advised to stay out of the sun due to the phototoxicity issues surrounding the substance – a factor that you don't need to worry about with bakuchiol.
To summarise, bakuchiol is a more gentle version of retinol that can be used by everyone.
How do I use Bakuchiol?
As this substance is a lot softer than retinol, there is no real 'standard' as to how many times you should be using it. With that said, it is always best to spot test your skin first and see what works for you. Commonly, people use it once to twice a day depending on their skin tolerance.
Is bakuchiol safe during pregnancy?
While retinol is advised to not be used during pregnancy, bakuchiol seems to be safe to use when pregnant – although some experts are saying there isn't enough evidence to fully support this statement yet. However, skin care expert Ole Henriksen rules it safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding, putting it miles ahead of retinol.
What does bakuchiol look like?
Bakuchiol when used in skin care can take the form of many different textures: you can find this key ingredient in serums, wipes, oils and creams. When found in its purest form, bakuchiol holds a lavish pale purple shade. Our favourite brands that include bakuchiol are Herbivore, The INKEY List and This Works.