Bakuchiol: What Does it Do & Why You Need It

One skincare ingredient that heaps of us are curious about is bakuchiol. It’s all over social media as the ‘natural alternative to retinol’ - and it’s easy to think so, when you consider the names rhyme and how bakuchiol works on the skin. But what does bakuchiol do in the first place? Is it really like retinol? 

Here’s our guide to this naturally derived anti-ageing skincare ingredient and if it’s right for your beauty routine. 

Bakuchiol chemical structure

What Is Bakuchiol Serum?

Bakuchiol is a powerful natural antioxidant that’s often touted as an alternative to retinol - but is that really the case? Let’s find out.

Bakuchiol serum contains bakuchiol - an extract of the Bakuchi plant. It’s also called the babchi plant and features heavily in Ayurveda, a holistic medicine approach that’s been used in South Asia for millennia. 

A bakuchiol serum benefits skin in more than just one way - here’s exactly what bakuchiol does.

What Does Bakuchiol Do?

Bakuchiol is used as a hyperpigmentation-brightening ingredient and as an anti-ageing ingredient. Studies have found it’s effective at reducing wrinkle surface area, smoothing out the overall area for a more youthful appearance. Sounds good so far, right? 

You might be thinking - isn’t that because Bakuchiol is similar to retinol?

The truth is, it’s a myth that bakuchiol is structurally similar to retinol. Heading back to secondary school chemistry for a second, bakuchiol has a totally different chemical structure to Retinol and other Retinoids. 

Omorovicza Miracle Facial OilOmorovicza Miracle Facial Oil
This facial oil is loaded with Bakuchiol - perfect for smoothing away wrinkles and firming skin.

When skincare brands (and influencers) refer to bakuchiol as a natural retinol alternative, they’re referring to the fact that in studies, it was found that bakuchiol has similar gene expression in the skin to retinol.

Gene expression describes the way that DNA controls collagen creation (among other things). To put it simply, bakuchiol is able to tell your skin to create more collagen in the same way that retinol does, leading to similar visible results: firmer skin, fewer wrinkles, less hyperpigmentation, and an overall more youthful appearance. 

Is Bakuchiol Good for Skin?

Yes! Bakuchiol is amazing for the skin. It’s effective without irritating skin, making it an amazing anti-ageing option - even for sensitive skin. Now that we know it’s okay for sensitive skin, here’s the next one: is bakuchiol safe for pregnancy

Yep! Although bakuchiol has a similar gene expression in the skin, since it’s not derived from Vitamin A, Bakuchiol is totally safe to use during pregnancy to maintain anti-ageing skincare results.

Bakuchiol also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial abilities, making it ideal for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin, too!

Is Bakuchiol Effective?

Yes - bakuchiol’s efficacy has been proven in multiple studies. Bakuchiol serums are perfect for anti-ageing, softening wrinkles, boosting collagen levels, and fading hyperpigmentation. In trials compared to retinol at a similar concentration, bakuchiol was equally as effective with less irritation and fewer side effects!

The reason bakuchiol is so effective is that it’s a type of antioxidant. Specifically, it’s rich in meroterpene - a special type of antioxidant that you’ll only find in a small group of plants. 

The Bottom Line About Bakuchiol Serum

Bakuchiol serum is a fantastic option to have in your anti-ageing skincare routine. It works incredibly well for all skin types and is gentle enough to ward off premature signs of ageing without the irritation that often comes with retinol. Get your beauty affairs in order and add bakuchiol to your skincare routine today!

Still trying to create a skincare routine that’s perfect for your skin? Try our skin analysis quiz - you’ll get suggestions that are perfect for your skin type and skin concerns. 

Beauty Affairs Skin Quiz

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