What is Bakuchiol & Does it Really Give You a Healthy Skin?

Everyone must have come across the name of retinol at some point or other. Retinol has been celebrated over the years as being a magical ingredient for all your skincare needs. Not only does it smoothen out wrinkles and fine lines, but it also helps in fading spots and is known to help restore your skin to its baby-soft condition. However, as technology advances, the latest buzz in the market is the name bakuchiol. Commonly referred to as retinol’s ‘gentle plant-based sister, bakuchiol is being hailed as the herbal Botox and natural retinol. So, what exactly is bakuchiol? Will bakuchiol give you healthy skin and should you try it? Let us take a closer look at this new product making waves in the beauty industry.

What is Retinol?

Bakuchiol is being hailed as the natural alternative to retinol. In order to understand what exactly is bakuchiol, we need to first understand what retinol is and why it is such a popular beauty product.

Anybody who has been wanting to treat the wrinkles, fine lines, breakouts, age spots, or any other skin condition, is likely to have come across the product retinol at one point or other during their quest to find the perfect skincare regime. Retinol is the main skincare ingredient being used these days to reverse the many signs of aging. However, once you start using retinol, you will notice that retinol is quite harsh on some types of skin. Furthermore, once you begin to use it regularly, it stops having the same benefits. Over a period of time, in order to achieve the same results from retinol, you will have to continue to increase its application strength.

Retinol is a form of vitamin A and it helps promote the revival of the skin cells and also boosts the production of collagen. Studies have shown that just 12 weeks of applying retinol-based products helps give a firmer, smoother, and youthful-looking skin.

What is Bakuchiol?

What is Bakuchiol?

This is where bakuchiol comes in. Bakuchiol is already making a significant impact on the beauty market and is also being touted as being the best possible natural alternative to retinol.

So, what exactly is bakuchiol? Bakuchiol is derived from a plant from knowing the Psoralea corylifolia. This plant is typically found in Sri Lanka and India, where bakuchiol has since long been used in several types of Ayurvedic medications. Bakuchiol has also been used in traditional Chinese medications.

The ingredient is known to have antioxidant properties which are similar to retinol. Its antioxidant properties are, in fact, what prompted scientists to explore more about how bakuchiol will compare against retinol.

It is a terpenophenol compound and it has shown to have significant anti-inflammatory properties as well as its antioxidant properties.

Bakuchiol works by literally turning over the skin cells. It makes room to allow newer and fresher skin cells to come to the top layer of the skin. It also moves or pushes collagen, which is one of the most important skin-strengthening protein, to the skin’s surface to give your skin a more youthful appearance and also improving the elasticity of the skin.

Does Bakuchiol Really Give You a Healthy Skin?

Studies have shown that bakuchiol does help prevent wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps get rid of pigmentation, it firms up the skin and also increases elasticity. But if the results are similar to that of retinol, then what makes bakuchiol stand out? Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol, which is why it does cause any irritation to the skin.

Bakuchiol is also the preferred option for those who want to opt for vegan skincare products. Being a natural alternative, bakuchiol is preferred for skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.

The primary reason why bakuchiol does not irritate the skin is that it is not a vitamin A derivative. This was confirmed in a small study in which 44 people participated. They were given both bakuchiol and retinol to try out on their skin. The individuals who used retinol reported experiencing more stinging to their skin and a harsher skin texture as well.

Is Bakuchiol For You?

Ultimately the choice is an individual one based on what your skin needs as well as your personal opinions about skincare products.

The biggest advantage of bakuchiol is that it is a natural product and does not cause irritation. There are no major drawbacks reported from using bakuchiol, but it still remains to be seen whether it is indeed as effective as retinol.

Many experts believe that retinol is more effective than bakuchiol. A 2006 study observed that retinol has been under research since 1984 and has already been tested on many more people as compared to bakuchiol.

There is not much data available on the effectiveness of bakuchiol, though indeed it could well be promising. Many people just prefer to use retinol since it is a tried and tested product.


If you have sensitive skin, then it may be a good idea to try out bakuchiol. Bakuchiol can be used as an entry level product as of now and you can wait and observe what the market feedback is of the product. It could also be that you, yourself, like the effects of bakuchiol. Many people have also reported using retinol and bakuchiol together and have reported good effects.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 29, 2019

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