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Bakuchiol And Acne: Best Plant-Based Alternative Aid

Bakuchiol And Acne: Best Plant-Based Alternative Aid

6 minute read

 Bakuchiol And Acne: Best Plant-Based Alternative Aid

 If you’ve got adult acne, chances are you’ve been searching for a magic bullet to help contain your breakouts, reduce blemishes, and diminish scarring. You may have tried various retinoids, dosing up on hormonal contraceptive pills or Benzoyl Peroxide, am I right? The thing is, while these treatments work for some, the causes and severity of acne range widely from person to person. So, you may still be searching for your acne antidote.


For those of you that are still searching for effective acne treatment, we want to introduce Bakuchiol (pronounced buh-KOO-chee-all). It’s a plant-based skincare ingredient that thinks it’s a retinoid! Research has shown that it’s effective in combating several causes of acne which has created a lot of hype around this little plant extract. A hype that we think it can live up to!


What is Bakuchiol?


Bakuchiol is found in the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant (Psoralea corylifolia) that’s native to Sri Lanka and India. It’s been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for more than a thousand years to treat various skin diseases and soothe the skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.


Bakuchiol doesn’t share the same chemical composition as retinoids, but it does stimulate the body’s retinoid receptors. It’s a friendlier alternative, suitable for all skin types and can deliver the same benefits to retinoids without some of the negative side effects. Sounds good, hey?


How does Bakuchiol help to reduce the symptoms of acne?



Bakuchiol has anti-bacterial properties


Firstly, Bakuchiol has been shown to be anti-bacterial which is one reason why this plant-based compound works so well against acne. Propionibacterium acnes is the name of a bacteria that lives on our skin and can contribute to the infection of pimples. If you have a particular strain of this bacteria that is flourishing, it can cause severe acne. So, applying Bakuchiol as part of your skin care routine may help to control the population of acne-causing bacteria and therefore contain breakouts.


Bakuchiol unclogs pores


Bakuchiol’s retinoid-like action means that it unclogs pores. Keeping pores unclogged is another effective way to reduce the appearance and frequency of acne breakouts on the skin. Just like retinoids, bakuchiol can reduce the activity of 5 alpha-reductase (which are enzymes within the skin) potentially leading to the sebaceous glands producing less oil. Furthermore, it mimics retinoid’s ability to encourage collagen production that in turn increases cell renewal and turnover. This has the ability to unclog pores as the old cells are removed more easily rather than staying on the surface of the skin.


A 2014 study found that although bakuchiol doesn’t share any structural resemblance to retinol on the molecular level, it can “function as a functional analogue of retinol”. If we drop the scientific jargon for a second, basically bakuchiol can produce similar effects to retinol when applied topically.

Bakuchiol has anti-inflammatory properties


We know that inflammation is a common cause of adult acne. Inflammation is a blanket term that describes the body’s stress reaction to indirect and direct factors such as hormones, stress, menstrual cycles in women, hair products, skin care products, makeup and even diet. All of these factors may cause inflamed acne which consists of swelling, redness, and deeply clogged pores.


There have been several pieces of research [1] [2] [3] [4] that highlight the anti-inflammatory properties of bakuchiol which adds another layer to how this plant-based skincare ingredient can tackle acne.


Bakuchiol can help accelerate healing

Finally, one of the negative side effects of acne can be mild to severe scarring when clogged pores lead to infections that travel deep within the dermis layer of the skin. It’s one thing to find a cure for acne but finding something that can reduce the scarring once the acne has gone is difficult too.


One piece of research found that bakuchiol clearly decreased scarring in acne-affected skin by inhibiting matric metalloprotease (MMP), something that is found in high concentrations in acne-affected skin. 




Final thoughts on bakuchiol and acne


So, as you can see there are a number of ways bakuchiol may help to reduce and control some of the most common causes and symptoms of acne. It targets the bacteria on our skin, it can help reduce inflammation and can increase cell regeneration to keep our pores unclogged!


One of the main ingredients in our brand-new Precious Facial Oil is bakuchiol. So, if you’re looking for a plant-based skincare product that features a friendlier, vegan version of retinol that produces similar effects without the irritating side effects, then CLICK HERE now and read more about it!


Precious Facial Oil 30ml

Precious Facial Oil 30ml


Read More


1. Katsura, Harumi & Tsukiyama, Ryo-Ichi & Suzuki, Akiko & Kobayashi, Makio. (2001). In Vitro Antimicrobial Activities of Bakuchiol against Oral Microorganisms. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 45. 3009-13. Available at:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11750722_In_Vitro_Antimicrobial_Activities_of_Bakuchiol_against_Oral_Microorganisms

2. Chaudhuri RK, Bojanowski K. Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2014 Jun;36(3):221-30.Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24471735/ 

3. Choi SY, Lee S, Choi WH, Lee Y, Jo YO, Ha TY. Isolation and anti-inflammatory activity of Bakuchiol from Ulmus davidiana var. japonica. J Med Food. 2010 Aug;13(4):1019-23. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20553183/ 

4. Lim HS, Kim YJ, Kim BY, Jeong SJ. Bakuchiol Suppresses Inflammatory Responses Via the Downregulation of the p38 MAPK/ERK Signaling Pathway. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(14):3574. Published 2019 Jul 22. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678636/

5. Grabenhofer, R., 2020. Burt's Bees Proves Bakuchiol's Retinol-like and Turmeric's Anti-inflammatory Effects. [online] Cosmetics & Toiletries. Available at: <https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/testing/efficacy/news/21843856/burts-bees-proves-bakuchiols-retinol-like-and-turmerics-anti-inflammatory-effects>

6. Brownell L, Geen S, E Y, Lee WL. A Clinical Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Topical Bakuchiol (UP256) Cream on Facial Acne. J Drugs Dermatol. 2021 Mar 1;20(3):307-310. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33683079/

7. Chaudhuri, Ratan & Marchio, Francois. (2011). Bakuchiol in the management of acne-affected Skin. Cosmet. Toilet.. 126. 502-510. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284931325_Bakuchiol_in_the_management_of_acne-affected_Skin

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