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Bakuchiol - the new retinol you need to know about

Bakuchiol- The ingredient may be a bit tricky to pronounce but it makes life just as easy. You may have heard Bakuchiol famously as a Retinol alternative but it is time it has its own famous. This vegan ingredient is turning heads because it is scientifically proven to be an effective ingredient for the treatment of various skin concerns. We believe this is a must for all ladies and men out there who follow minimalism but at the same time want to address multiple issues at once. Here’s everything that you need to know about Bakuchiol!

What is Bakuchiol?

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Bakuchiol is a natural extract from the Babchi plant which is scientifically named Psoralea corylifolia. This is meant for those who’re looking for a replacement for Retinol. Retinol is a total babe but let’s face it, you have to be careful about its application. So a beginner in skincare must know better than using Retinol without a dermatologist’s guidance. 

In comes Bakuchiol who is touted as a plant-based source of Retinol. We are simply stating facts from a study that concludes Bakuchiol as a tolerable alternative to Retinol. This ingredient can heal, soothe, and rejuvenate your skin. It does so due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re someone with a sensitive skin type, then you must scroll down to know more about this game-changing ingredient. 

What are the benefits of Bakuchiol?

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Bakuchiol acts on various receptors that are responsible for ageing, pigmentation, inflammation, oxidation, etc. So this ingredient pretty much can be one bottle that could help you solve multiple skin concerns. This also helps you adopt skin minimalism and save money. Let’s look at a few benefits that Bakuchiol offers-

1. Speeds up cell turnover

A 2018 study says that Bakuchiol shows ‘significant improvement’ in firmness, elasticity, and sun damage. This is mainly because it can increase the cell turnover that contributes to clear, glowing skin. This study also concluded that it can significantly decrease fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Soothe and heal

We did a little digging into how this vegan ingredient manages to calm our skin. It turns out, a study proves that Bakuchiol inhibits certain molecules that contribute to creating inflammation in the affected area. This pretty much is a multi-tasking ingredient!

3. Prevent oxidation

Most of the time, your pores clog due to oxidation of excess oil that your skin produces in response to environmental stressors. Bakuchiol is known to be a powerhouse of antioxidants and also has antibacterial properties. So if you want to fight free radicals or any bacteria, Bakuchiol is your hero!

4. Inhibits melanin production

It inhibits the production of melanin due to which you will see significant changes in the region where you had pigments and acne marks. A study observed what happens with 0.5% of Bakuchiol every day for 12 weeks and it shows significant improvement in reducing marks. Surprisingly, the results prove Bakuchiol to be better than Arbutin in reducing pigments.

    We love The Mom's Co Natural Age Control Night Cream for it is paired with Niacinamide to further efficiently diminish your scars and pigments. It also has Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E that help us keep our skin nourished and supple.

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    How and when to use Bakuchiol?

    Unlike Retinol, Bakuchiol needs minimal vigilance while using. You can use Bakuchiol in the AM routine too without stressing about photosensitivity. But regardless of what skincare you’re using, you cannot afford to skip SPF as your last step in the AM routine. Period. A fun way to add Bakuchiol to your routine is by picking clean makeup products.

    We love Asa Terracotta Cream Corrector that has a rich blend of Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Bakuchiol to do good to your skin even when you opt for makeup! 

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    When it comes to pairing this ingredient with other active ingredients, it shows no negative interaction. It can be paired with even Retinol to stabilise the latter and reduce the effect of purging and peeling that you normally experience when you begin with Retinol. Generally, we do avoid pairing Vitamin A with C for topical application, just to avoid overwhelming our skin. However with Bakuchiol, one can add it without much concern of seeing the negative effect of pairing on skin.

    Talking about pairing Bakuchiol with Retinol for a stable formulation, we think Plum 1% Retinol Face Serum With Bakuchiol is revolutionary. It has Retinyl Palmitate, Bakuchiol, and Amino Acids which helps you not just fight ageing but also naturally boost your skin’s moisture level to even out your skin and make it firm.

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    Who must use Bakuchiol?

    A lot of us are doubtful to pick Retinol since your skin takes time to adapt to this ingredient but the results are incredible. If you’re one of them then you must pick Bakuchiol. It may take time to see results but it is less likely to show you any purging effect. 

    When it comes to skin type, pretty much every skin type can use it, including sensitive skin type. Those in their mid-twenties must include anti-ageing ingredients like Bakuchiol, Retinol, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Collagen, to keep up with the youthful jelly-like soft skin. It is also a good pick for those who want to fight wrinkles, acne marks, sun damage, uneven skin texture, etc. Since it has antibacterial properties, it is sure going to come in handy for those with acne-prone skin types.

    While Bakuchiol is known to sit well on skin that is the most finicky, we still recommend a patch test before you include this ingredient because every skin is unique. You can never put your skin in one common bucket!

    We love True Frog Face Oil With Bakuchiol And Olive Squalane that has Rosehip, Marula Oil, Olive Squalane with Bakuchiol. This is a very light and non-sticky concoction that can give you spa feels due to its nature to penetrate deep within your skin for nourishment and reducing fine lines, pigments.

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    What should you pick- Bakuchiol or Retinol?

    Let’s emphasize the fact that Bakuchiol and Retinol are similar. Neither of them is superior to the other. Both of them act on the same receptors in our body to give the results and so there is little to prove that one is superior to the other.

    While we are seeing a surge in OTC Retinol-based skincare, you really must be careful applying Retinol. This is simply because it is an active and powerful ingredient. If you don’t know the right way to include Retinol in your routine, we recommend using Bakuchiol. The major difference between the two is Retinol will cause peeling, purging, and photosensitivity. With Bakuchiol, you won’t have to face this. Another brownie point is Bakuchiol, unlike Retinol, doesn’t negatively react with other exfoliating ingredients like Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid, etc.

    Considering all the above pointers, we’d say that skincare beginners can pick Bakuchiol. In fact, Vitamin C fans can use it too since it won’t negatively react with it. We’d still suggest not layering Vitamin C and Bakuchiol just to ensure your skin is not overwhelmed. Talk to your dermatologist before pairing ingredients.

    For those who have fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, and need immediate answers to the concerns then we’d suggest picking Retinol since Bakuchiol takes a minimum of 12 weeks to show significant results.

    Does Bakuchiol have any side effects?

    Nope. As we mentioned earlier, Bakuchiol is a plant-based derivative of Vitamin A. Its topical application will reduce the chances of photosensitivity and fight environmental stressors. The only downside to Bakuchiol is the time it takes to show effects. It can take a minimum of 12 weeks to see a noticeable change. However, to see its full effect it may take longer. So you need patience if you’re trying Bakuchiol.


    Bakuchiol is a plant-based, Vitamin A derivative and it has shown significant results. It suits all skin types, including sensitive skin types, and that is a big win for those who are unsure of Retinol but really want to include an anti-ageing powerhouse. Bakuchiol and Retinol act on the same receptors to deliver results and so it is touted as a plant-based alternative to Retinol. Bakuchiol may however take longer to show results but we say that the wait is worth it!

    -Divya Salvi

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