By Caroline Weller
Retinol is a tried-and-true skincare ingredient that improves acne, hydration levels, texture, and hyperpigmentation through boosting the skin’s collagen production. However, retinol can be irritating to sensitive skin and bakuchiol has quickly become a popular retinol alternative that’s proven to be just as effective and safer for sensitive skin.
Bakuchiol (pronounced buh-koo-chee-owl) has been used in Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries to reduce inflammation and heal skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. The ingredient is extracted from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia (also known as babchi) plant from India. Just like retinoids, bakuchiol boosts collagen production in the skin.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology in 2019, retinol and bakuchiol provided the same effects in reducing wrinkles and pigmentation, but bakuchiol was less irritable to the skin. 59% of participants reported a significant reduction in hyperpigmentation after using products with bakuchiol, which the authors of the article believe can be attributed to bakuchiol’s ability to disrupt the melanin synthesis pathway.
For those with non-sensitive skin, some doctors and experts recommend using bakuchiol and retinol together. When paired with retinol, bakuchiol reduces the possibility of irritation from retinol as well as allowing retinol’s skin-enhancing qualities to work more effectively. To witness this magic in action, Dr. Madh Skin Solution’s Charu Bakuchiol + Retinol 2.5X is the place to start, as it is an antioxidant rich serum designed to improve fine lines, discoloration, redness, blemishes, and enlarged pores.
If you are looking for a plant-based retinol alternative or just simply want to switch up your skincare routine to include a plumping, lifting and glow-inducing ingredient, bakuchiol is for you!