Bakuchiol: The Natural Substitute to Retinol
Here’s everything you need to know
While most new-age skincare ingredients are effective at treating common skin concerns like aging and acne, they are often harsh and not suitable for sensitive skin. Topical ingredients like retinol may irritate some skin types—leaving it red and inflamed—which is why a natural alternative like Bakuchiol can be helpful. Bakuchiol is a completely vegan skincare ingredient that is clean and green, but effective at treating similar skin issues as retinol. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of it.
What is bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is an extract of the seeds and leaves of an herb called babchi (Psoralea Corylifolia), which has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic practices to remedy various skin conditions and improve texture, tone and firmness. It has also been used in Chinese medicine as well as Tamil Siddha practices to calm, heal and soothe the skin. It is important to keep in mind that bakuchiol is structurally and chemically completely different from retinol. It is not a vitamin A derivative to start with and while the two molecules behave similarly in cosmetic applications, it does not render them the same properties.The benefits of bakuchiol are plenty and unlike most other efficient skincare ingredients, owing to its natural disposition, bakuchiol barely has any cons. According to a study in The British Journal of Dermatology, bakuchiol is not only as effective as retinol at targeting fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone, it is also less irritating.
How does it work?
Much like a retinol, bakuchiol triggers the genetic pathway in skin cells to create several types of collagen that are useful in skin health and anti-aging. However, it does not decrease the size of our oil glands, which means no stubborn dryness or irritation occurs. Plus, unlike retinol, which can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, bakuchiol actually helps to make skin less sensitive to the sun’s harmful rays. Try the Ranavat Eternal Reign Renewing Bakuchi Crème, which is loaded with botanicals including bakuchi seeds and lotus flower to hydrate and repair the skin morning and night.
What are the benefits of bakuchiol?
The benefits of bakuchiol are purported to be quite similar to retinol. However, the added advantage is that it is completely natural and has little to no side effects. As such the benefits of bakuchiol include:
- Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
Like retinol, bakuchiol commands your cells to make collagen, "plumping" your skin and reducing the look of lines and wrinkles that comes with aging.
- Reduce hyperpigmentation
Bakuchiol deeply penetrates the skin to help lessen the appearance of dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation.
- Boost cellular regeneration
Bakuchiol sends signals to your cells when it's time to amp up collagen production and cell turnover.
- Aids in healing and brightening skin
By promoting cell turnover and healthy cell regeneration, bakuchiol helps soothe and heal your skin from the inside out.
- Suited for all skin types
Due to its gentle properties, bakuchiol is not as harsh as retinol and almost anyone can use it including those with sensitive skin.
- Doesn't cause dryness or irritation
While retinol and other skincare ingredients may dry out skin or cause irritation, bakuchiol is more gentle and isn't known to cause any irritation.
How often should you use it?
It's safe to use twice a day, in the morning before moisturizer and at night before any serums.