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Bakuchiol: A Natural Retinol for Anti-Aging
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Bakuchiol: A Natural Retinol for Anti-Aging

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If you’ve picked up a beauty magazine sometime in the last year, chances are you’ve seen articles mentioning bakuchiol. Pronounced “back-uh-heel,” this natural ingredient in skincare products is replacing retinol as the most reliable anti-aging ingredient.

As with most natural remedies, bakuchiol has been around for centuries but used in parts of the world not dominated by western culture and media. Now that the cat's out of the bag, should you look to replace your retinol with bakuchiol? 

What is bakuchiol, and why use it?

Bakuchiol is found in the seeds and leaves of a plant native to India (the psoralea corylifolia”) known for its lovely purple flowers. But it’s more than just a pretty face. bakuchiol has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries to stimulate the production of collagen. In other words, it’s a natural anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, skin-tone evening agent. Here’s why you should give it a look:

  • Bakuchiol evens your skin tone. 
  • Bakuchiol reduces wrinkles, even fine ones. 
  • Bakuchiol is gentle and doesn’t cause dryness or irritation. 
  • Bakuchiol helps speed up skin cell turnover.
  • Bakuchiol is safe for all skin types and ages (you can even use it twice a day!). 
  • Bakuchiol heals and soothes already irritated skin.

The best part? So far, there are no studies showing that bakuchiol has negative side effects on your ski or your health — unlike retinol. 

Hundreds of years of bakuchiol use in skincare. 

As we said before, bakuchiol is nothing new to eastern medicines. Cultures with a history of holistic medicine have been using bakuchiol for its anti-aging properties with incredible results. The Ayurveda, based in the Indian subcontinent, and Chinese medicines created serums and recommended that those with skin problems apply it daily.

In western medicine, bakuchiol started to hit shelves in beauty stores in the 1970s, but there wasn’t enough research to prove its value. Retinol was already seen as so effective, why look to something else? But, unlike retinol, bakuchiol doesn’t come with a bag of nasty tricks.

Is bakuchiol as effective as retinol?

Retinol has been reigning champ of skincare for a long time. And really, it is effective. It helps reduce wrinkling and signs of aging by increasing collagen production. It can also help with some skin conditions like acne, evens your skin tone, and is a great exfoliate. What’s not to like?

If you’ve ever used products with retinol, then you know just how damaging it can be to your skin. It dries you out, decreases the size of your oil glands, and can irritate your skin so much it turns red.

In a lengthy study, British dermatologists asked patients to use a cream with either bakuchiol or retinol every night for 12 weeks. They found that,

“Retinol and bakuchiol affected wrinkles and pigmentation similarly, but bakuchiol resulted in less scaling, stinging, burning, and itching.”

In other words, bakuchiol and retinol give you the same positive results. But one causes damage where the other doesn’t.

Another thing worth mentioning is that those with eczema and rosacea experience even more pain and irritation with retinol, while bakuchiol is safe to be used on all skin types. It’s also safe to use with all your other beauty or skincare products. 

Where can you find bakuchiol?

If you’re looking for a few brands that include bakuchiol in their skincare products, here are three suggestions: 

  • Whish Restoring Face Oil: Dermatologists recommend this oil for all its natural ingredients like macadamia ternifolia, seed oil, organic argan oil, and, of course, bakuchiol. You can learn more here
  • Alpyn Beauty Natural PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer: While the name is a mouthful, the ingredient names aren’t. You can find it here.
  • Omorovicza Facial Oil: With natural ingredients like seed oil and evening primrose extract, this is another oil that is vegan friendly. You can learn more here.

Keep an eye out, or ask your dermatologist about products they recommend with bakuchiol.

If you’ve been unhappy with the side effects of retinol on your skin, or you’re looking to start using an anti-aging serum, bakuchiol is a great choice. “Nature’s retinol” comes with all the results, without the pain. 

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