Bakuchiol: The Natural Alternative To Retinol

May 2, 2022
Bakuchiol: The Natural Alternative To Retinol

This chemical mixture pulled from a plant has not finished talking about him. A natural option to the well-known retinol, Bakuchiol is the recent darling of beauty influencers. 

Where is it from? What are its benefits? How to integrate it into your skincare routine? Our answers!

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a chemical compound belonging to the class of terpenophenols. It was first isolated in 1966 by Indian chemists – Mehta, Hayak, and Dev – from a plant called Babchi, or Bakuchi in Sanskrit. 

Babchi is a plant widely used in Ayurveda – traditional Indian medicine – as well as in traditional Chinese medicine.

Bakuchiol is mainly derived from the seed of the plant, which is particularly rich in coumarin, a natural substance found in several medicinal plants. Its use in cosmetology is quite recent since it was not until 2007 that it was marketed by the company Sythéon, under the name Sytenol.

This 100% natural active has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-seborrheic, and anti-inflammatory properties, responsible for its benefits in cosmetology.

Bakuchiol, an elixir of youth

Bakuchiol combines several properties that make it an excellent anti-aging product. First, it stimulates the body’s production of collagen and elastin, two structural proteins responsible for the suppleness and firmness of the skin.

Bakuchiol also activates cell renewal within the epidermis and redensifies the skin. 

Finally, it helps to limit the hyperpigmentation of the skin linked to the harmful effects of UV rays from the sun.

Its antioxidant properties also protect the dermis from damage caused by free radicals.

Active anti-acne bakuchiol

It is this time the antibacterial, anti-seborrheic, and anti-inflammatory properties, are responsible for the effects of bakuchiol against acne.

The plant would thus have the ability to rebalance the fatty acid composition of the sebum of acne-prone skin, in order to limit the oxidation of these fatty acids, the dehydration of the dermis, and the weakening of the skin barrier. 

Also Read: 7 Incredible Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

Because contrary to what one might think, acne-prone skin is certainly oily skin but also dehydrated skin, that is to say, lack of water. 

Bakuchiol is therefore very effective in rebalancing sebum production while rehydrating problem skin, in order to limit the appearance of blackheads and imperfections.

Bakuchiol VS Retinol

The “youthful” and anti-acne effects of bakuchiol are reminiscent of those of the famous retinol widely used in cosmetology: we also speak of “retinol-like” effects. 

However, these two molecules have very different chemical structures and are not tolerated in the same way by fragile skin.

A clinical trial published in the British Journal of Dermatology (1), comparing the effects of bakuchiol and those of retinol on the skin, confirms the similarities of action of the two active ingredients. 

The study also points out that bakuchiol is much better tolerated by the skin than retinol, the latter being likely to cause itching, irritation, scaling, and even burning.

The study concludes that “Bakuchiol shows promise as a more tolerable alternative to retinol.” To sum up, bakuchiol has much the same effects as retinol on the skin but does not have harmful side effects.

For who?

Unlike retinol which is not recommended for fragile, sensitive, and reactive skin, bakuchiol is, therefore, suitable for all skin types, whether oily, dry, thin, thick, or sensitive.

Nor are there any contraindications for pregnant or breastfeeding women, as is the case with retinol, which is too irritating and potentially teratogenic.

Bakuchiol is particularly indicated from the age of 30, to limit the signs of aging, or for skin prone to acne or imperfections. Dry skin, on the other hand, will appreciate bakuchiol for its moisturizing properties.

What are the advantages of Bakuchiol for skin?

Bakuchiol has so many benefits that it is impossible not to fall in love with this fantastic compound. All the benefits presented here have been rigorously tested and articles published on several research sites confirm it.

  • Bakuchiol enhances the firmness and elasticity of your skin, providing you a better young look; whether you are a male or a female.
  • It eradicates fine lines and wrinkles by boosting anti-aging genes and proteins.
  • With the use of bakuchiol, you benefit from an increase in collagen and elastin. This gives you more elastic and firmer skin.
  • It may also act as an antioxidant for skin protection against radical damage; even when exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Acne and additional inflammatory or bacterial escapes are extremely relieved when utilizing it.
  • The natural purple color is very nice compared to the dark color of other face ingredients.
  • Pregnant women and sensitive skin can use bakuchiol. And if you are allergic to retinol, this is the most suitable natural choice.
  • It doesn’t have all the downsides that retinol brings, such as flaking, itching, redness, or rashes.

How to use bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol generally comes in the form of a concentrated serum containing between 0.5 and 2% of an active ingredient. It is often packaged in a small bottle, with a cap fitted with a pipette that takes the product and gently distributes it on the skin.

The bakuchiol serum fits easily into the skincare routine: like any serum, it can be applied morning and/or evening, before the skincare (day or night cream). 

For the anti-aging effect, use in the evening is recommended, because it is at night that the skin cells are renewed and that the active ingredient will have the most time to act.

A few drops of serum can also be added to a mask, moisturizer, or anti-blemish.

Photo: Pexels/ Alesia Kozik

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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

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