This Ingredient Might Be the Natural Alternative to Retinol
I’m still having a hard time pronouncing “bakuchiol,” let alone spelling it from memory, but every single time I see it pop up on a skincare product’s ingredient list (which is quite a lot these days), I get excited. Because for as much as a tongue-twister it is, bakuchiol reaps some seriously intriguing anti-aging benefits for sensitive skin.
Touted as nature's retinol, the ingredient, which is found in the seeds and leaves of the Asian plant Psoralea corylifolia, acts nearly identical to the vitamin A derivative, but comes without the common irritating and drying side effects.
"Bakuchiol does not chemically resemble retinols and retinoids, but it is shown through lab studies, genetic expression, and clinical application to the skin to induce many of the same anti-aging changes as the vitamin A derivatives we as dermatologists have loved for decades," explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm.
This means bakuchiol has been shown to improve the appearance of skin texture, photo-aging, and wrinkles, as well as rejuvenate the expression of collagen in the skin. And as we mentioned before, Dr. Palm says that it also tends to creates less dryness, redness and irritation compared to retinols, making it ideal even for those with dry or rosacea-prone skin.
Another major difference to retinol? It's stable to the effect of light and oxidative stress. Because of this, it might actually be able to stabilize retinols so that both ingredients can work together in synergy for better results. But even though it causes less irritation and doesn't break down under light, Dr. Palm still suggests using a serum or cream with bakuchiol at night and only once in a 24-hour period.
"As nighttime skincare can exploit the increased skin absorption, temperature, circulation, and reparative mechanisms, evening application of bakuchiol is ideal to help with skin rejuvenation," she explains.
While this might be the first time you've heard of the ingredient, it's already in a handful of popular skincare products, like Ren's Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil, Biossance's Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum, and ISDIN's Melatonik, a melatonin-infused 3-in-1 night serum. And based on its Internet popularity (it's up 275% in searches on Pinterest), we have a feeling you'll be seeing it in a ton of other product formulations this year.