If you’re into skincare, then there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of retinol. This Vitamin A derivative has been labelled as a wonder ingredient for many years due to its amazing ability to boost collagen production in your skin cells, smooth wrinkles and reduce hyperpigmentation on the surface of your skin. However, you may not have heard of Bakuchiol which is rapidly gaining in popularity as a plant-based, gentler alternative to retinol. This blog will explain everything you need to know about this wonderful vegan skincare ingredient that everyone is talking about!
What is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol (pronounced Ba-KOO-chee-all) is a plant-based skincare ingredient that comes from the leaves and seeds of the Babchi plant which is native to India and Sri Lanka. While it’s new to western skincare markets, it’s been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese skincare remedies for hundreds of years to treat various ailments. Research suggests that Bakuchiol appears to have similar benefits as retinol without some of the negative side effects that can leave some people with irritated skin.
Why does it have a similar effect to retinol?
Bakuchiol is not a vitamin A derivative like retinol so you might be wondering why the two are compared. Well, Bakuchiol triggers the pathways in the skin cells that stimulate collagen production which helps to reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and stimulate cell regeneration. Retinol also works on a cellular level to produce the same results, hence the comparison!
A 2014 study that compared the skin care related activities of retinol with bakuchiol found that bakuchiol has retinol-like functionality. Participants who applied bakuchiol for 12 weeks saw a significant improvement in lines & wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness, and an overall reduction in photodamage. Furthermore, the participants didn’t report the usual retinol-therapy associated side effects, suggesting that it is a gentler alternative.
So, even though the two skin care ingredients behave in a similar way and produce similar results, Bakuchiol is a gentler alternative that is better for people with sensitive skin. Also, if you’re someone looking to move towards a more natural skin care routine then bakuchiol is a great plant-based alternative.
What are the benefits of Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol has anti-ageing effects by boosting skin cell turnover. Skin cell turnover is the process of creating new skins cell that replace tired, old, and damaged skin cells on the surface of our skin. The quicker your body can replace the old skin cells, the fresher and younger your skin will look. Bakuchiol helps this process by increasing collagen which plays a vital role in this process.
Suitable for all skin types
Early research into bakuchiol found that it is a highly anti-inflammatory ingredient. Its anti-inflammatory properties mean that people are much less likely to experience dry and irritated skin which are common side effects of retinol-based products. So, for sensitive skin types and those who know they can’t tolerate retinol, bakuchiol is a great alternative that is much kinder to your skin and will keep it feeling soothed and calm.
Protection against environmental damage
Bakuchiol can also help to protect you against environmental skin damage because it is packed full of antioxidants which neutralise free radicals that can damage skins cells.
Free radicals are naturally found in the body and are a by-product of cellular metabolism, but they are also found everywhere around us. They are essentially an unstable molecule that is missing an electron and they cause damage while they steal electrons from other molecules in skin cells to stabilise themselves. Exposure to UV rays, environmental stressors, pollution, cigarette smoke and other toxins can increase your exposure to free radicals.
Skincare products like bakuchiol that are filled with antioxidants, protect your skin against environmental damage caused by free radicals. This is because the antioxidants give up some of their own electrons to stabilise the free radicals and stop them from causing damage to your skin cells.
When to use Bakuchiol skincare products?
Bakuchiol products can be used as part of your morning and night time skincare routine. They should always be applied to a washed and cleansed face. You should follow the normal rule of applying your skincare products in the order of the thinnest to thickest. So, because bakuchiol is a lightweight facial oil it should be applied before your moisturisers and makeup.
If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition like eczema-prone skin, then it’s a good idea to start off using bakuchiol three nights per week. Test it out for a couple of weeks and as long as you don’t experience any irritation, then you should be fine to start using it daily.
If you haven’t already, check out our new Precious Facial Oil which contains bakuchiol as one of its main ingredients!