Bakuchiol is a natural ingredient with an exciting future in skincare. Recent studies have shown that it can reduce lesions and improve post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) for subjects who suffer from mild to moderate acne vulgaris, making this plant worth trying out if you haven't yet!
So what is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is an extract from the seeds of Psoralea Corylifolia also known as babchi, traditionally used in Indian Ayruvedic and Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. It is becoming more popular in the West as a plant-based alternative to retinol because it functions similarly, but with less risk of experiencing side effects. The clinical research on bakuchiol's efficacy and side effects is still evolving, but there is a lot to be excited about.
Is Bakuchiol the New Retinol?
Retinoic Acid derivatives are big business when it comes down to skincare because they can be introduced at younger ages (to treat signs like acne) and reenter routines later in life to address fine lines, skin texture, and wrinkles. One of those derivatives, retinol is probably the best-studied ingredient we have on the market in skincare.
Sounds like pure magic!
And it is, but the downside is it can be a little tricky to incorporate if you have sensitive skin because there can be adverse effects that cause irritation. If this has been you in past or if you are looking for a gentle alternative then don't let Bakuchiol slip under your radar since it's not known to cause any irritation. Additionally, if you have your eyes out for vegan skincare, bakuchiol is also a vegan alternative to retinols, since some forms of it are derived from animal products.
While there is a lot of comparison of Bakuchiol vs Retinol from a marketing perspective, we get it, but we really think it's an ingredient that deserves to stand on it's own. In fact, it even plays well together with retinol.
What Ingredients Can I Use Bakuchoil With?
With any ingredient used in skincare, it's important to remember that a product's formulation matters. We find it can be tricky to give a blanket approach on what ingredients should work well when combined with others since every brand has their own specific formulation process guiding them and the percentages.
Retinol has a reputation for not mixing well with other ingredients, but bakuchiol plays well with some of your favorite actives like niacinamide, azelaic acid, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and, yes, even retinol is invited to this party. Research has actually pointed to bakuchiol working very nicely in tandem with less stable antioxidants like Vitamin C, reducing discoloration even more so than regular Vitamin C does by itself. Similarly, it can also enhance the discoloration-reducing effects of azelaic acid and niacinamide.
Bakuchiol might be the dream ingredient that many reactive skin types should get to know. That said, if you're using it for the first time and worried about a potential reaction, as with any new product, spot test first to see how your skin reacts.