Ingredient Spotlight: Bakuchiol – Retinol Alternative

Plant Based Alternative to Retinol Explained

Retinol is an ingredient that many skincare consumers have become familiar with over the past few decades.  A quick search and you will find vitamin A in a large percentage of your moisturizers, eye cream and wrinkle solutions.  The problem with Retinol isn’t its ability to deliver results.  The problem is that the ingredient is too harsh for sensitive skin types and even those with normal skin have reactions, and everyone must avoid the sun while using it.  

Bakuchiol is a plant based, natural alternative to retinol.  All of the benefits without the irritation and photosensitivity.  In an industry full of hyperbole and over exaggeration it can be difficult to identify an actual breakthrough, but mark our words, Bakuchiol is going catapult itself to the top of the skincare consumers’ wish lists.  

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a plant extract that is found in the poralea coryliolia plant, also known as the “babchi” plant.  This extract works similar to a retinol, meaning it works to increase the cell turnover of your skin.  This process stimulates collagen production which in turn works to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, elasticity and discoloration from sun damage. In addition to these wonderful benefits, Bakuchiol  is also an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory and even has antibacterial properties.  It’s seriously impressive.

Learn More About our Skinpeutics Bakuchiol Serum

While the popularity Bakuchiol is very recent, the ingredient itself has been used in the skincare industry sporadically since the 1970’s.  Research in recent years highlighted the benefits of Bakuchiol, kick starting a frenzy of Retinol-Alternative products hitting the market in 2020.  While the benefits of these products are similar to those with Retinol, keep in mind it is not vitamin a.  

How to Work Bakuchiol into Your Regimen

There are two main forms that Bakuchiol comes in.  You can get it in a Serum and also in an Oil.  The scientific evidence shows that Bakuchiol is equally effective when applied each way, however some experts say oil molecules seldom penetrate the skin’s surface enough.  Serums typically absorb more completely and effectively, providing your skin with maximum effect of the active ingredient.  

Bakuchiol works well along side other active ingredients and botanical extracts.  The ingredient is stable and has an above average shelf life.  The fact that there is no concerns of sensitivity to the sun means the ingredient can be worn during the day time and is not exclusively relegated to nighttime or pm creams.  

Learn More About our Skinpeutics Bakuchiol Serum

What About the Science?

Obviously Retinol and Bakuchiol are not the same thing.  Retinol comes from Vitamin A and Bakuchiol is a plant extract.  In 2014 a study by the Society of Cosmetic Scientists compared the two ingredients.  They found similar effects for both ingredients.  Improved Collagen Production, Cell Turnover, Reduced Hyperpigmentation, and smoother looking wrinkles and fine lines.  

Bakuchiol achieves these results in the skin without the sensitivity issues so many consumers are forced to deal with.  On the whole society is dealing with more skin sensitivity issues today than they were just a few decades ago.  Scientists believe this is a result of Sun Exposure, Pollution, Lifestyle and Overuse of Active Ingredient based skincare.  

Should We Say Goodbye to Retinol?

Retinol is one of the most researched active ingredients in modern day skincare.  Tossing it aside forever seems to be drastic.  For consumers who do not suffer from sensitivity concerns, Retinol is still a variable options.  The excitement about Bakuchiol shouldn’t detract from what Retinol is capable of doing.  But it does provide consumers with more sensitive skin to be able to receive similar benefits without the discomfort of dry skin and painful irritation.

If you do not know how you will react to Retinol, it’s probably smarter to err on the side of caution and opt for Bakuchiol.  After all you get all of the benefits without any of the risks.  It’s hard to argue with that logic.  

Update 07/01/20

Since the publication of this post Skinpeutics has created a Serum featuring Bakuchiol along with other leading anti wrinkle / anti aging ingredients. The product is available for sale on the website.