In the ever-changing skincare world, one ingredient that has recently taken the spotlight is bakuchiol. As an all-natural botanical ingredient with skincare effects that rival retinol, it’s not hard to see why it’s attracting such attention. However, it can be difficult to see behind the hype – does bakuchiol really work? Is bakuchiol really as good as retinol? And if it’s as good as people say, how do I find a bakuchiol product that’s right for me?
In this blog we’ll go through the basics with you, demystify this little botanical gem, and explain why we have included it in three of our products: Superhero, Star Quality and Eye Dream.
What is bakuchiol in skincare?
Bakuchiol is a botanical compound derived from the leaves and seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia. Also known as babchi or bakuchi, this plant has been used in Indian and Chinese traditional medicines for hundreds of years. Bakuchiol is a gentle and well tolerated ingredient that can provide a range of skin benefits from antioxidant protection to rejuvenating effects. Due to its anti-ageing potential, it is sometimes called a natural alternative to retinol.
What does bakuchiol do in skincare?
Bakuchiol provides a range of benefits to the skin and is ‘retinol-like’ in effect – that is, it promotes skin rejuvenation and targets the visible signs of ageing, including fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone and texture. Though it is often described as a natural retinol, it is important to note that the two ingredients are not related, and in fact they can be used together to provide complementary effects. We included bakuchiol in our potent retinol eye cream Eye Dream for this very reason. Studies have even shown that bakuchiol can have a stabilising effect on Vitamin A (retinol).
Bakuchiol is also a natural antioxidant, meaning it works to protect the skin from environmental pollutants and damaging free radicals, which in turn helps to prevent the signs of ageing. It provides a number of other benefits such as hydration and increased barrier protection, making it a good all-rounder for general skin health.
How does bakuchiol work in skincare?
At the heart of bakuchiol’s efficacy is its ability to promote collagen synthesis. Collagen forms the building blocks of our skin and is essential to maintaining firmness, elasticity, and a healthy overall complexion. As we age, our body naturally produces collagen at a slower rate. By stimulating collagen renewal, bakuchiol can target some of the most common skincare concerns, such as uneven skin tone and fine lines, refreshing the skin from the inside out.
Essentially, bakuchiol helps to restore your skin by promoting faster skin cell turnover for a brighter, more even, and more youthful-looking complexion. Though the exact mechanism is different, bakuchiol stimulates the same parts of the skin as retinol, which is why the ingredients have similar effects.
What are the main benefits of bakuchiol in skincare?
Bakuchiol’s impressive reputation can be distilled down to a few main points:
- Mimics the effects of retinol without the same potential for irritation
- Promotes collagen production for firmer, more youthful-looking skin
- Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- Rich in antioxidants to protect against environmental damage.
- Soothes redness and helps calm the skin
- Improves skin texture and radiance
- Suitable for all skin types
Who should use bakuchiol in skincare?
As a gentle, botanically derived ingredient, bakuchiol is considered suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin types. It is particularly suited to those putting together an anti-ageing skincare regimen, but can provide benefits for people with diverse skincare aims.
Bakuchiol is often recommended as an alternative to retinol for sensitive skin types due to retinol’s potential to irritate the skin. While sensitive skin types are indeed more likely to react to retinol, we recommend that you try encapsulated retinol before you give up on retinol entirely. Encapsulated retinol is considered to be the gold standard in terms of safety and efficacy. It works by encasing the active ingredient in liposomes, which dissolve over the course of hours to release the dose of retinol slowly rather than all at once, thus decreasing the potential for irritation. We use encapsulated retinol in all our retinol products for this very reason.
If you have had no luck with traditional retinol products, try our retinol serum Dream Team Regular 0.625. Be sure to patch test first, then start by applying once or twice a week and slowly work your way up to more frequent use. With any luck, you’ll then be able to pair it with the bakuchiol in one of our moisturisers, Superhero or Star Quality, to achieve maximum anti-ageing benefits. For targeted anti-ageing benefits to the eye area, our Eye Dream contains both encapsulated retinol and bakuchiol in the same potent formulation.
If you would prefer to get the benefits of bakuchiol while avoiding retinol altogether, simply choose between Superhero and Star Quality.
How do I use bakuchiol in my skincare regimen?
Bakuchiol is a hero ingredient in three of our products: Superhero, Star Quality, and Eye Dream. In the moisturisers, bakuchiol works to provide gentle and convenient anti-ageing benefits that can be applied both AM and PM. Bakuchiol also improves hydration and barrier function while providing antioxidant protection, making it an excellent complement to the other moisturising actives in the products.
In Eye Dream, it provides all these benefits while also working in tandem with encapsulated retinol to provide potent rejuvenating effects that specifically target the eye area.
Incorporating bakuchiol into your regimen is relatively straightforward but will depend on your skincare aims and which product or products are most suited to your skin type. Read on to discover which product is right for you.
Good for: Overall skin health, hydration, antioxidant protection, beginner anti-ageing effects
How it works: Though Superhero has been formulated as a wrinkle defence cream to target the signs of ageing, it is a fantastic all-rounder moisturiser that can be used by people of all ages, and is particularly popular among younger skin types too. It contains a range of hydrating actives and is rich in antioxidants to keep the skin protected from damaging free radicals and environmental pollutants. Bakuchiol adds an extra touch of anti-ageing benefits to the essential lightweight moisturisation and protection that Superhero provides, and promotes a healthier, more radiant complexion.
How to use it: Consider Superhero your daily essential. This lightweight moisturiser should be applied AM and PM as the final step in your regimen, but before any sunscreen or face oil. Younger skin types will benefit from the bakuchiol helping to promote overall skin health, while older skin types will benefit from bakuchiol’s rejuvenating effects on skin tone and texture.
Good for: Potent hydration, rich moisturisation, brightening, dry skin types, advanced anti-ageing effects
How it works: Star Quality is our advanced anti-ageing moisturiser that provides deep, rich hydration while also nourishing the skin with a blend of luxurious butters and oils. It targets the signs of ageing such as lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone by supporting the skin’s natural renewal process and also contains a Brightening Peptide to target pigmentation. Bakuchiol enhances these benefits with its retinol-like effects, making this moisturiser most suited to mature skin types and those with anti-ageing skincare goals, or dry skin types who need very rich moisturisation.
How to use it: As a heavier, oil-rich moisturiser, Star Quality can be used twice daily or only at night, depending on your skin type and preference. Dry skin types may particularly find that they benefit from frequent applications, while others may prefer only a dose before bed. Apply as the final step in your regimen but before sunscreen or face oil.
Good for: Advanced anti-ageing effects, targeted improvement of the eye area
How it works: As the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest on the body, it is often the first to exhibit noticeable signs of ageing. Eye Dream combines encapsulated retinol and bakuchiol with a host of other powerful ingredients to target those signs of ageing, including fine lines, crow’s feet and dark circles. For those specifically concerned about ageing and improving the appearance of the eye area, Eye Dream is an ideal option.
How to use it: As Eye Dream contains retinol as well as bakuchiol, it is important to introduce it to your regimen slowly. After patch testing, start by applying every three days and work up to nightly use. Eye Dream should be applied in the PM only as the first step in your regimen after cleansing. Wear SPF during the day for the duration that you use this product. For an advanced anti-ageing regimen, we recommend combining Star Quality with a nightly dose of Eye Dream.
For those seeking gentle yet effective active skincare, it is clear that bakuchiol has a lot to offer. Its ability to promote healthy skin while providing retinol-like anti-ageing effects makes it a versatile and potent ingredient. For more advice on how to make the most of bakuchiol, feel free to get in touch with us. Our dermal clinicians will be happy to discuss your regimen with you. Simply visit here to book a consult. Alternatively, you can take our Skin Quiz at libertybellerx.com.au to narrow down which products are right for you.