The New, Natural Alternative to Retinol (Bio Retinol)
What is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is derived from the seeds and leaves of the ‘babchi’ plant from East Asia and has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese skin healing treatments for many centuries.
How does Bakuchiol work?
Bakuchiol’s remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and other properties help to heal, calm and soothe the skin and tackle the signs of aging. It has an astonishing similar effect on skin as retinol and is referred to as the ‘natural retinol alternative’.
In a similar way to retinol, Bakuchiol activates the genic pathways in skin cells to create various types of collagen whilst reducing collagen breakdown and melanin synthesis that are beneficial in skin health and anti-aging. In addition, Bakuchiol does not decrease the size of oil glands that can leave your skin dry and irritated and unlike retinol, does not breakdown in the sun or cause your skin to become more sensitive, so you can use it during the day and at night.
The results are as effective as retinol. Two recent 2019 studies found Bakuchiol to be as effective on skin as retinol when treating the key characteristics associated with the natural aging process; hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, but without the irritation associated with the use of retinol (1,2). Another study also found improvements in fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity and skin firmness (4). Bakuchiol has also been shown to be very effective in treating acne and boosting anti-acne properties and may be particularly effective for individuals with a darker skin tone (3).
In a nutshell, Bakuchiol has all the same benefits as Retinol and more, with much less risk of causing irritation.
What are the benefits of Bakuchiol for skincare?
Bakuchiol has a range of anti-aging and skincare benefits:
- Evens skin tone. Bakuchiol penetrates the skin deeply and helps in reducing the appearance of dark spots or hyper-pigmentation.
- Smooths skin texture, lessens the appearance of lines and wrinkles and adds plumpness. As with retinol, bakuchiol activates the skin cells to produce collagen, reduces collagen breakdown and melanin synthesis to produce a fuller, plumper skin texture and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
- Speeds up skin cell regeneration for fresher and firmer looking skin. As we age, the rate at which our skin cells regenerate (skin renewal cycle) begins to slow which can leave your skin looking and feeling duller. Bakuchiol stimulates the skin cells to boost collagen production and increase the rate at which your skin cells regenerate, leaving you with fresher and firmer looking skin.
- Does not cause dryness or irritation. Whereas retinol and some other skincare ingredients are known to cause dryness and skin irritations, bakuchiol is far gentler on your skin and scientific research has not identified any side effects from its use on your face.
- Suitable for all skin types. Bakuchiol has remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and other properties that make it suitable for all skin types. In particular, it is very suitable for sensitive and dry skin types.
- Helps sooth and heal skin. Bakuchiol helps to heal, calm and soothe the skin from inside out by boosting skin cell regeneration and skin cell turnover.
- Potent antioxidant. Bakuchiol is a potent antioxidant helping to combat the signs of aging by targeting free radicals and helping to firm up skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to protect skin against environmental stressors and pollutants that can cause skin damage.
- Use twice a day. Bakuchiol (unlike retinol) does not breakdown in the sun or cause your skin to become more sensitive, so you can use in during the day and at night for maximum effect.
- Safe to use during pregnancy. Bakuchiol is considered safe to use during pregnancy or breast feeding (whereas retinol is unsafe to use during pregnancy or breast feeding). However,you should always consult your medical practitioner before using any products during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Effective for treating acne. Bakuchiol has also been shown to be very effective in treating acne and boosting anti-acne properties and may be particularly effective for individuals with darker skin.
- No known side effects. There are currently no known side effects associated with the use of Bakuchiol in any of the scientific studies.
- Lim HS, Kim YJ, Kim BY, Jeong SJ. (2019). Bakuchiol suppresses inflammatory responses via the downregulation of the p38 MAPK/ERK signaling pathway. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol, 20, No. 14, Doi:10.3390/ijms20143574.
- Dhaliwal, S., Rybak, I., Ellis, S. R., Notay, M., Trivedi, M., Burney, W., Vaughn, A. R., Nguyen, M., Reiter, P., Bosanac, S., Yan, H., Foolad, N., & Sivamani, R. K. (2019). Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing.The British Journal of Dermatology, 180(2), pp. 289–296, Doi: 10.1111/bjd.16918.
- Brownell, L., Geen, S., E, Y., & Lee, W. L. (2021). A Clinical Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Topical Bakuchiol (UP256) Cream on Facial Acne. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 307–310, Doi: 10.36849/JDD.5655.
- Chaudhuri, R. K., & Bojanowski, K. (2014). Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 221–230, Doi: 10.1111/ics.12117.