Bakuchiol: The Skincare Ingredient To Know Right Now

Bakuchiol is the latest skincare ingredient to generate some serious buzz. Derived from a plant extract, it promises the benefits of a retinol, but without any troublesome side effects. Great for sensitive skin types, it’s gentle, vegan-friendly and has been proven to stimulate collagen production while diminishing signs of ageing. Interested? Leading dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto breaks down how it works and the best formulas to try…

It’s Different From Retinol

Unlike retinol, bakuchiol is found in the seeds of the Indian plant Psoralea corylifolia. It is attracting attention as the demand for plant-based ingredients grows in the beauty industry. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and potentially even anti-acne activity. What’s more, results show it can activate several chemical pathways in our skin cells that lead to improved collagen production and reduction of melanin (pigment) in the skin. The overall effect seems to be an improvement in fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation which are commonly associated with the natural ageing process. It works in a similar manner to retinol but appears to cause less irritation such as peeling, dryness or sensitivity.

Studies Are Still Assessing Its Benefits

I’m often asked if bakuchiol is as effective as a traditional retinol. It’s worth noting that retinoids are some of the most widely studied compounds in topical skincare, with numerous clinical studies demonstrating their benefits. In comparison, bakuchiol is a new kid on the block and, while initial results appear promising, more research is required to see how well the ingredient will stand the test of time. So far, however, so good. 

Try It If You Suffer From Sensitivity

The risk of irritation appears to be far lower with bakuchiol, so many experts see it as a safer and gentler ingredient. While it can be argued there is not enough evidence to confirm definitively, it has been proven to be safe to use during pregnancy and for women who are breastfeeding, based on current data and studies. If you’re someone that cannot tolerate retinoids but want to reap the benefits, it’s worth incorporating a bakuchiol-based serum into your regime. 

It Comes In Different Strengths

Just like retinol, bakuchiol has different strengths. Research suggests 0.5-2% is an effective strength to incorporate into your skincare regime. From a formulation point of view, bakuchiol product choice depends on your personal preference. Those with dry skin may prefer an oil-based product, while those with oily skin types may prefer a water-based gel or serum. Whichever you invest in, always use it post-cleanse but before your moisturiser to lock in its benefits. 

Finally, Double Up Your Dose

Studies have shown that bakuchiol produces the most benefits when it is used twice daily (unlike a retinoid). The ingredient is still new and more research is required to give adequate information on dosing, frequency and concentration, but as it’s so gentle, this rule of thumb is a good place to start.
 

Four Bakuchiol Products Dermatologists Rate…

For more advice, tips and tricks, visit Dr Anjali Mahto’s site here.

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