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Bakuchiol is the new skin care ingredient that everyone’s talking about. Hailed as a plant-based alternative to retinol, bakuchiol has a number of fantastic benefits but how does it really measure up? Keep reading to discover more about this potent ingredient and how to incorporate it into your skin care routine.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, it’s pronounced buh-koo-chi-ol.
Bakuchiol is a skin care ingredient derived from the leaves of the Psoralea corylifolia plant. Also known as Babchi, this plant has long been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicines. It’s a powerful antioxidant and has very similar benefits to retinol and retinoids, including:
Just like retinol, bakuchiol comes in many different forms including creams, oils and serums. The medium you choose doesn’t really matter, it’s just a case of personal preference. You should, however, look at the strength. You will see visible results from using products with 0.5-2% strength. The stronger the product you use, the sooner you will see changes in your skin but remember that like retinol, this product is more about long-term benefits than immediate results, especially when it comes to anti-aging.
Not quite. Bakuchiol and retinol are very similar but they work in slightly different ways. Retinol reprograms the cells to speed up cell renewal and improve skin health, so it’s a more effective treatment for acne and hyperpigmentation.
Furthermore, retinol has been a popular skin care ingredient for a long time, so more research exists to prove its efficacy. There’s much more evidence to attest to the long term benefits of retinol use. However, the current research around bakuchiol looks very promising, but there’s not the same volume of information available right now.
Since retinol is slightly more effective and extensively studied, you might be wondering why people are reaching for its plant-derived alternative. There are, in fact, several benefits to bakuchiol which make it more suitable for many people.
Retinol is a famously tricky ingredient and causes a nasty purging process before it gets to work. Bakuchiol, on the other hand, is much more gentle and doesn’t cause irritation in most people. Many people with sensitive skin struggle to incorporate retinol into their skin care routine and bakuchiol is a much more accessible option. Unlike with retinol, you don’t have to slowly introduce it over time and build up a tolerance, so it’s a much easier ingredient to start using.
Since retinol can sensitise the skin, you have to be SO careful about layering your skin care products. You can’t use retinol at the same time as chemical exfoliants or vitamin C, which means you have to meticulously plan out your skin care routine if you want to use these ingredients too. However, bakuchiol has no such problem. Since it doesn’t cause irritation or dryness, you can mix it with other ingredients without a care in the world.
High strength retinol and retinoid products are not safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, whereas bakuchiol is. This means that moms-to-be and new moms don’t have to miss out on amazing skin care.
Bakuchiol is a vegan ingredient whereas retinol is often animal-derived. Of course, when purchasing a product you still need to check that it doesn’t contain any other non-vegan ingredients, but it’s certainly a good start.
Retinol and retinoids are famously unstable ingredients. The sun breaks them down which means that you can’t use them in the morning. Bakuchiol, however, is photo-stable and therefore suitable for use at any time of day.
Yes! Whilst retinol often doesn’t get along with other ingredients, bakuchiol is amazing at this and so the two ingredients work very well together. It actually has skin-soothing properties and so it can even help your skin to tolerate retinol or retinoids better. Furthermore, it makes your retinol go extra mile by boosting its ability to repair skin damage. Together, the two ingredients form a skin care dream team!
As bakuchiol grows increasingly popular, more and more companies are coming out with great products. The Paula’s Choice Retinol + Bakuchiol is one of my favorite products and it’s perfect for those who want to try the two ingredients together for maximum skincare benefits. Meanwhile, the Inkey List provides an affordable 1% serum and clean beauty brand Burt’s Bees even offers a fantastic eye cream. I also love Biossance’s Squalane + Phyto Retinol Serum, which is super hydrating and also contains niacinamide to balance the skin.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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