What is bakuchiol? Skin care benefits, side effects, usage, etc.

As interest in so-called clean beauty continues to grow, bakuchiol has become one of the "it" ingredients in the category for its purported ability to promote healthy skin aging.

The makers of bakuchiol say it is a natural, plant-based alternative to retinoids, or retinol, a vitamin A-based chemical that helps improve skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen synthesis. , making skin smoother and more radiant.

Up Arrow Bakuchiol has similar properties but is gentler on the skin. So the idea is that you get the benefits (smoother, brighter skin) without the downsides (redness, irritation).

"Bakuchiol is extracted from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia, also known as the Babchi plant. It has been found in Ayurveda and Oriental medicine for centuries," NewYork-Presbyterian writes says Marisa Garshick, MD clinical

assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell Medical Center and board-certified dermatologist. More recently, bakuchiol has been formulated into products designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Read on to learn the basics of this plant-based skincare superstar.

Bakuchiol vs. Retinol: What’s the Difference? Retinoids are the skin care ingredients most commonly used to combat wrinkles and fine lines, and are available by prescription. Retinol, on the other hand, is a weaker version of

the retinoid compound and is available over the counter.

Bakuchiol is considered a natural alternative to retinoids and may activate similar pathways to increase collagen production, Dr. Bakuchiol says. S. Tyler Hollmig, board-certified dermatologist and chief of laser and cosmetic

dermatology at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.

"While further research is needed, I suspect bakuchiol may improve skin tone and texture in a similar manner to over-the-counter retinoids."

Topical retinoids are effective at smoothing wrinkles and brightening skin because they promote skin cell turnover. This may cause side effects such as burning, stinging, peeling, redness, and dryness.

A recent study suggests that bakuchiol is generally less irritating and may reduce the risk of side effects such as redness or flaking.

Topical retinoids are effective at smoothing wrinkles and brightening skin because they promote skin cell turnover. This may cause side effects such as burning, stinging, peeling, redness, and dryness.

But previous studies have shown that bakuchiol does not appear to have the same side effects as retinoids. Bakuchiol can help renew collagen and improve skin tone and texture. It may be a safer alternative to retinol for people

with acne, hyperpigmentation, and sensitive skin.

Possible Skin Care Benefits of Bakuchiol. Overall, there are few studies examining bakuchiol and its benefits. Some studies suggest that bakuchiol may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and combat

hyperpigmentation of the skin.

For example, one randomized, double-blind study found that using 0.5% bakuchiol cream for 12 weeks was as effective as 0.5% retinol cream in reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, with fewer side effects such as peeling and


That is, points out Dr. Hollmig noted that the study did not compare bakuchiol to retinoids, so it's unfair to say that bakuchiol is as effective as prescription products.

This ingredient may also be effective against acne. In a pilot study, topical 0.5% bakuchiol cream reduced the number of inflammatory lesions and the discoloration left by healed acne spots, leading researchers to conclude that

bakuchiol may be beneficial for Effective for mild to moderate acne especially skin of colorarrow It's important to note that this study was only conducted on 13 people. Therefore, further research is needed to fully understand how effective bakuchiol is in treating acne and how it compares to retinoids that are generally recommended for treating mild to moderate acne.

In short, the research on bakuchiol so far appears promising, but further research is needed. "It's hard to quantify the exact skin benefits because the studies were either done in vitro, that is, not on human skin but in a lab

or they were done without perfect study design, so it's very difficult to quantify the exact skin benefits. It’s hard to draw firm conclusions.” Additionally, the skin-care industry funded much of the current research on bakuchiol, so the study is at risk of bias, he said.

Bakuchiol possible side effects

Although bakuchiol is considered a mild alternative to retinoids, according to Dr. Garshick "remains a risk for sensitization, including redness, dryness, or burning of the skin, especially during first use."

This means you may still experience some irritation until your skin adjusts to bakuchiol.

To reduce this risk, increase usage slowly. Apply two to three times a week for the first week. If your skin tolerates it well, you can increase the frequency based on your tolerance, Gashik says. European Medicines Agency

guidelines advise pregnant women to avoid topical retinoids because of their potential harm to the unborn child. Up arrow While some consumers may turn to retinoid alternatives during pregnancy, Holmig noted that it's impossible

to know whether bakuchiol is a bakuchiol. A safe choice as no clinical studies have been conducted on this topic. If you are pregnant and considering using bakuchiol products, talk to your gynecologist.

What should you pay attention to when using bakuchiol skin care products?

Bakuchiol is usually available in the form of a serum, cream, or facial scrub. You should focus on the genres you like. For example, serums are lighter and are often used underneath moisturizer, while creams are usually heavier

and are used at the end of a skincare routine.

Bakuchiol is often combined with other active ingredients. Scan the ingredient list to see what other active ingredients are included and use this as the basis for your selection. Some products combine bakuchiol and retinol to

maximize the effects of these ingredients (e.g., Paula's Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol 2% Bakuchiol Treatment, $56, Or look for a product that combines bakuchiol with a hydrating ingredient like squalene (like BYBI Bakuchiol Booster, $10,

The price you want can play a big role in choosing a product. If you're not sure whether your skin can tolerate bakuchiol or whether you want to stick with it, choose a cheaper product first.

One final note on product selection: Not all the ingredients in the psoralen plant are created equal. Bakuchiol, psoralen oil, psoralen powder, psoralen oil, and psoralen powder are the most common, but their effectiveness

varies. To ensure you get the most benefit from your product, look for products that contain bakuchiol, as psoralen and psoralen-based products tend to be less effective (and can even cause skin irritation). up arrow Here’s how

to add bakuchiol to your skin care routine

Start by cleansing and drying your skin, then applying a bakuchiol product, followed by a moisturizer, says Garshick. However, if your skin is particularly sensitive or prone to dryness, you can apply moisturizer before

bakuchiol to reduce potential irritation.

You can use bakuchiol up to twice a day, once in the evening and once in the morning, depending on your skin's tolerance.

Since bakuchiol stimulates skin cell turnover, sunscreen should be used as the last step in protecting your skin in the morning.

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