Retinol has powerful anti-aging benefits that actively work on a full spectrum of skincare concerns such as acne, uneven texture and even hyperpigmentation. While theres no arguing that retinol is great, its also known that products that contain this ingredient can be irritating to sensitive skin.
Thats why we were excited to hear theres a new, natural alternative to retinol: Bakuchiol is a natural extract from the Babchi plant, which is native to India, commonly used in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines, as well as Tamil Siddha practices, to help heal, calm, and soothe the skin, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also known as the natural alternative to Vitamin A, with all the same benefits but none of the side-effects.
All About Bakuchiol
Type of ingredient: Hydrator
Main benefits: Wrinkle reduction, increases skin firmness, and reduces the appearance of pores.
Who should use it: Generally, bakuchiol is safe for all skin types.
How often can you use it: It's safe to use twice a day, in the morning before moisturizer and at night before any serums.
Don't use it with: Glycolic acid could degrade the formulation.
Sounds good, right? Well, bakuchiol is not only as effective as retinol at targeting fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone; its also less irritating. Much like retinol, bakuchiol triggers the genetic pathway in skin cells to create several types of collagen that are useful in skin health and anti-aging. However, it doesn't decrease the size of oil glandsso that means no stubborn dryness or irritation. Plus, unlike retinol, which can make the skin more sensitive to the sun (always make sure to wear SPF during the day), bakuchiol actually helps to make skin less sensitive to the suns harmful rays.
Benefits of Bakuchiol for Skin
Evens skin tone: Bakuchiol deeply penetrates the skin to help lessen the appearance of dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation.
Reduces the appearance of fine lines: Like retinol, bakuchiol tells your cells to make collagen, "plumping" your skin and reducing the look of lines and wrinkles.
Doesn't cause dryness or irritation: While retinol and other skincare ingredients may dry out skin or cause irritation, bakuchiol is more gentle and isn't known to cause any irritation.
Speeds up skin cell regeneration: Bakuchiol sends signals to your cells that it's time to amp up collagen production and cell turnover.
Safe to use twice a day: Since bakuchiol isn't as drying or irritating as retinol, you can use it both during your morning and nighttime skincare routines.
Suitable for all skin types: Being gentle on skin, most anyone can use bakuchiol.
Helps soothe and heal skin: By promoting cell turnover and healthy cell regeneration, bakuchiol helps soothe and heal your skin from the inside out.
How to Use It
As of now, the only way to use bakuchiol is to apply it topically as a serum or lotion. Similar to retinol, you can apply bakuchiol before your regular moisturizers or serums. Since it's less harsh than retinol, you can also use it in the morning and at night for maximum effectiveness. Even though it doesn't make your skin more sensitive to the sun, always remember to apply sunscreen afterward if you use bakuchiol in the morning.
Skin-Care Products for Those Seeking a Natural Retinol Alternative: