You Will Learn:
What is bakuchiol
What are the benefits
How to include it in your skincare routine
Reading time: 5:30
New skincare ingredients hit the market every day, but most are gone in a year. That’s because NEW is not the same as EFFECTIVE. Things are looking much better for BAKUCHIOL, its popularity climbing each year! But what is this thing with a funny name?
Bakuchiol (with “ch” as in cheese) is plant-based – a chemical compound extracted from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia (Babchi) plant. We know you don’t really care about Latin names, so just remember it comes from a plant. Granted, it’s not a very impressive looking plant, but we love it anyway.
Bakuchiol is an oily extract, so you’ll find it in oil-based products (serums etc.) or creams. We use it in our BAKUCHIOL STARTED FOLLOWING YOU facial serum.
Why is it in the spotlight?
Short answer: because many women love it in their skincare!
Bakuchiol isn’t really new, but it’s definitely new in skincare. So far, the results have been really encouraging and you’re bound to see more and more products with it. However, there’s another reason for its popularity and it’s called retinol. For years, skincare brands have been looking for an effective replacement for retinol. So let’s take a look at why we even need a retinol alternative!
Is retinol in skincare really that bad?
If you ask women who’ve had a reaction to retinol, then yes. If you ask those who have had no problems at all, then no.
Retinol is still one of the best ingredients in anti-aging skincare. It works and has great effects on your skin. But it can have great side effects, too. As always, what works for one skin may not work for another.
It’s also good to keep in mind that retinol (or retinoids) in skincare comes in many forms, some better than others. For example, our NIGHT SHIFT serum uses a much more skin-friendly form of retinol (retinyl palmitate) than your “regular” retinol. The skin likes it better and there’s less chance of side effects. But you can still only use it in the evening.
The main problems of retinol are skin irritation and photosensitivity (sensitivity to light – that’s why you only use products with retinol in the evening). Here’s where bakuchiol comes in!
Bakuchiol instead of retinol
The studies so far have shown that bakuchiol has very similiar skin effects to retinoids, but without the drawbacks. It helps with hyperpigmentation, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and improves skin barrier properties. You can also use it during the day, as it is not photosensitive!
If you skin has a good relationship with different retinoids, then it perhaps doesn’t matter whether you use retinol or bakuchiol (unless you want to try something new!). Just use whatever you like best.
But if you feel retinoids aren’t really your skin’s best friends or you’re just looking for something more gentle and plant-based, bakuchiol can be a great choice for your anti-aging care!
What can bakuchiol do for your skin?
The same things retinol (or other retinoids) does! Here’s a quick rundown:
Bakuchiol can help even out your tan and brighten pigment spots (hyperpigmentation).
Studies have shows treatment with bakuchiol helped improve the appearance of wrinkles.
This one really depends on your skin and the type of acne you have. With serious problems, your dermatologist will probably prescribe you some sort of high-potency retinol treatment. So that’s something else – like we said, we’re talking about skincare, not medicines here.
But for a bit milder cases, bakuchiol has been shown to reduce acne by as much as 54%! In combination with salicylic acid, this rose to 70%. So yes, there’s a good chance bakuchiol can help you fight your acne!
Powerful anti-aging effects
Anti-aging mostly boils down to helping your skin remain healthy in the long-term. The same way retinoids do, bakuchiol works as an anti-oxidant and helps your skin get (and stay!) in top form.
What about skin types?
It’s appropriate for all skin types, as it is very gentle and skin-friendly.
If you have sensitive skin, you know it’s often wise to avoid retinoids. In that case, bakuchiol is your best friend! It has been shown to be non-irritating and non-sensitizing, so it won’t mess up your skin.
How to include in your skincare routine
At Miss Alice, we use bakuchiol in our BAKUCHIOL STARTED FOLLOWING YOU facial serum. There really are no limits to how you can use it! You can combine it with different products. You can use it in the evening, morning or both. You can use it everyday or just when you feel like it. Our serum is oil-based, so it always go on top of hydrating products.
To get you started, here’s a few quick daily routines, which you can adapt to your own needs. All products should always be applied to clean skin. Really, don’t get lazy on cleaning (read our article on Double Cleansing to learn more).
Problematic or oily skin
Morning routine: Face It, You Love Me + Bakuchiol Started Following You + UV protection
Evening routine (2 times a week): AHA, So That’s The Secret! + Bakuchiol Started Following You
Can you use it during pregnancy?
Women are always advised to avoid retinoids during pregnancy (oral or topical). That also applies to skincare products with high levels of retinoids (mostly medications). But for peace of mind, many moms-to-be avoid skincare products with retinol as well, even though concentrations in regular skincare are much lower than in medicines. If bakuchiol is so similar to retinol, do you need to avoid it during pregnancy?
We’d love to give you a clear answer, but so far no studies have been done on pregnant women using bakuchiol. As you can imagine, it’s really hard to conduct such research on moms-to-be. All we can say is that chemically, bakuchiol is completely different than retinol and it has been shown to be safer to use (ie more skin friendly). Also, the amounts you’ll be using are very low.
A quick recap
We’ve learned that bakuchiol is plant-based and has similar effects to retinol.
It’s especially suitable for sensitive skin and problematic skin.
It helps with wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin barrier and helps clear acne.
And we might add – it feels great on the skin, too!