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Bakuchiol, the Vegan & All-Natural Version of Retinol

bakuchiol oil serum


Bakuchiol, pronounced buh-koo-chee-all, is the plant-based ingredient that’s been given the nickname of “Natures Retinol”. It is found in the leaves and seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, which grows mostly throughout India and is more commonly known as babchi. Bakuchiol has long been loved for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties! It has been used in Chinese and Indian restorative medicine for years. It’s been found to brighten and even skin tone, boost collagen production, minimize enlarged pores, correct dark spots and acne scars, diminish signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, overall photodamage, and even treats acne. In short, it offers all the same plus points as retinol, but without the horrible side effects (even for the most sensitive skin!) Bakuchiol contains soothing properties which help to comfort skin and minimize issues associated with sensitivity and reactivity.

Bakuchiol VS Retinol

Nearly all retinol users go through something called retinization, which is a period of about four weeks when dryness, inflammation, redness, sun sensitivity, and even peeling occur. Dermatologists say that this is only a temporary side effect, but for some skin types, the “it gets worse before it gets better” often ends at “it gets worse.” Along with retinization, a small percentage of retinol users contract a scaly, red, itchy rash known as retinoid dermatitis.

So think of Bakuchiol as the plant-based cousin of retinol, it gives similar results to retinoid treatments but with a gentler, completely vegan process, and Bakuchiol has zero harsh side effects. One of the most concerning side-effects of retinol is that it causes photosensitivity, which means that skin becomes sensitive to sunlight and more susceptible to sun damage. But with Bakuchiol, it won’t break down in the sun or make your skin more sensitive to UV rays so you’re free to use it both day and night. An even added bonus is that since Bakuchiol is an antioxidant, it fights damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure (take that, retinol!)

Clinical Studies

A study from the British Journal of Dermatology in 2018 reported that after using Bakuchiol and retinol equally for 12 weeks, found Bakuchiol to be just as effective as retinol when it comes to nuking hyperpigmentation and fine lines. Those who used retinol in the study noted more facial skin scaling, stinging, soreness, and irritation, and the Bakuchiol testers had no negative side effects. In another 12 week clinical study it was found that applying 0.5% bakuchiol topically demonstrated a significant reduction in multiple signs of aging such as reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improving skin tone, elasticity, and firmness. This study also showed that bakuchiol and retinol performed similarly in terms of photoaging (59% reduction in the appearance of hyperpigmentation). For acne-prone users, a clinical study demonstrated that 1% bakuchiol applied twice daily reduced acne by 57% after only 6 weeks. A majority of users saw an overall improvement in their skin at week 4 of using Bakuchiol, with the most significant improvement at week 12. The effects of bakuchiol get better with time. So, a little bit of patience and consistency is all it takes for your skin to reap the numerous benefits.

Key points of why we are in love with Bakuchiol:

1. Evens Skin Tone

    Bakuchiol deeply penetrates the skin to help lessen the appearance of dark spots and areas of hyperpigmentation. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating collagen production promoting a firmer-looking complexion.

    2. Eliminates Skin Dryness

      While Retinol tends to dry out skin or cause irritation, Bakuchiol is gentler and isn't known to cause any irritation. It works as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, so it’s ideal for those who suffer from dry, sensitive skin and can’t tolerate a retinol.

      3. Speeds Up Cell Regeneration

        Bakuchiol dramatically stimulates your skin cell turnover rate. It sends signals to your cells that it's time to amp up collagen production and cell turnover. By promoting cell turnover and healthy cell regeneration, it helps soothe and heal your skin from the inside out.

        4. Suitable For All Skin

          By promoting cell turnover and healthy cell regeneration, Bakuchiol helps soothe and heal your skin from the inside out. Being gentle on the skin, mostly anyone can use it. Plus it’s not photo-sensitizing, so it can be safely used in the morning. It can even be used twice a day! If you like the benefits from once a day, you can safely double up. 

          5. Treats Active Acne

            Its powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant effects mean it's very helpful with active breakouts. It’s also able to reduce the activity of 5 alpha-reductase within the sebaceous glands, leading to less clogging and potentially less oil production.

            6. It Helps with Pigmentation

              It acts at 2 distinct points in the pigmentation pathway. It decreases the activation of melanocytes, the cells that produce our skin’s pigment, and also decreases tyrosinase activity, the rate-limiting step in the production of melanin. That’s some powerful stuff! 

              7. Powerful Anti-Aging Benefits

                It reduces fine lines and wrinkles. This is through an effect on the same genes influenced by retinol, reducing the breakdown of collagen and increasing the manufacture of skin scaffolding proteins. 

                Here is a photo update with just with 2 weeks of use with our new Bakuchiol serum that we have been working on! This is with 2 times daily application:

                bakuchiol before and after use


                Overall, Bakuchiol is a wonderful option for anyone in search of a gentle and natural product that will improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and overall radiance, or to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, this transformative ingredient is just what you need for smooth, glowing skin.

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