When I discover that a natural ingredient is making serious changes to my skin, I just have to share it with you! I have been loving the benefits of Bakuchiol-rich skincare recently. This natural, vegan ingredient is an anti-ageing powerhouse, and has benefits similar to retinol!
To help you decide if Bakuchiol is the natural skincare wonder you've been searching for, I've put together this quick guide to Bakuchiol - what it is, what it can do for your skin, my favourite Bakuchiol products, and how to work them into your routine.
What is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is a natural ingredient derived from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant. The babchi plant has been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, lauded for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and historically used in the treatment of vitiligo. In skincare, Bakuchiol is used to reduce the visible signs of ageing, like wrinkles, by stimulating the body's natural production of collagen, increasing skin firmness and improving the skin's overall hydration.
How is Bakuchiol used?
Given that Bakuchiol is primarily a hydrating ingredient, you'll find it in two main product categories- Bakuchiol oils and serums. Bakuchiol is suitable for all skin types and, unlike retinol, it can be used up to twice daily as it won't sensitize the skin or cause redness and peeling.
There are a few ways that I like to work Bakuchiol into my regimen - I opt for a concentrated treatment like the Trilogy Bakuchiol+ Treatment or the Edible Beauty Reset Drops went I want to give my skin a really potent, instant boost of anti-ageing ingredients, or I'll use a daily facial oil with Bakuchiol in it, like The Jojoba Company Skin Balancing Oil, if I want to build up to lasting results.
Our new line of Bakuchiol products from the Nourished Life brand offers a very complete treatment as well: from the Serum, Day Cream to the Overnight Mask. These 3 products are perfect if you are looking for a natural vegan alternative to retinol.
Is Bakuchiol effective?
In short- yes! A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science showed that Bakuchiol had a similar effect on the skin to retinol in that it can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, boost the skin's elasticity and firmness and fade pigmentation. Those results were backed up by a clinical study in 2018, the results of which were published by The British Academy of Dermatology, showing that twice daily use of Bakuchiol had the same effects on the skin as daily use of retinol.
Retinol vs Bakuchiol- which should you choose?!
Retinol and Bakuchiol have been shown to have, more or less, the very same effects on the skin, however there are a few reasons why I've found myself opting for Bakuchiol of late. Although the aforementioned 2018 study revealed that retinol is slightly more potent than Bakuchiol (hence triallers needing to apply Bakuchiol twice per day to see the same results as once-daily retinol users), the same trial also revealed that Bakuchiol has none of the sensitising side effects of retinol- meaning no redness, peeling, flakiness or irritation.
Where retinol is known to make the skin more sensitive to the sun, Bakuchiol was shown to actually make the skin less sensitive to the sun! Bakuchiol is safe to use twice daily, unlike retinol, which needs to be slowly and gently worked into your routine. I also love that Bakuchiol is a natural, vegan ingredient. There is such a thing as natural, plant-derived retinol, but retinol is often derived from animal ingredients like milk or egg enzymes- so if you're after truly natural skincare, you'll need to do a bit of research when working retinol into your routine. Bakuchiol, on the other hand, is derived from a plant, which means there's no guess work!