What is bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is derived from the seeds and leaves of Psoralea corylifolia or babchi, a plant often used in ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The plant was initially used to treat inflammation, remove parasites and worms, reduce blood sugar, and even improve heart and bone health. Research conducted in India in the 1960s found that bakuchiol could also offer skincare benefits. Since that discovery, the ingredient has been touted as a solution for controlling acne, boosting cellular turnover, and minimizing hyperpigmentation. Bakuchiol is often considered a gentler alternative to retinol, and is preferred by vegans and vegetarians.
Bakuchiol vs retinol
So, is bakuchiol better than retinol? The short answer will depend on the individual using the product. Bakuchiol tends to be better tolerated by individuals with sensitive skin. So, the plant-based alternative will usually be a gentler solution for people who struggle with irritation when using retinol. Both bakuchiol and retinol can address various skin issues and improve the overall appearance of the skin, but retinol works quicker.
Where does bakuchiol excel?
Unlike retinol, bakuchiol doesn’t degrade with light exposure. This means people can use the vegan skincare product during the day without concerns about reduced effectiveness. By comparison, most people are cautioned against using retinol products before heading out into daylight as the ingredient degrades and loses efficacy. However, whether using retinol or bakuchiol, consumers should utilize sunscreen as cellular turnover is still happening. As a result, new skin will still be more sensitive to the sun.
Ultimately, the choice between bakuchiol and retinol will depend on an individual’s skin, sensitivities, and how quickly results are desired. Retinol is a ubiquitous ingredient that tends to be included in a wide range of skincare products and works quickly. Individuals with sensitive skin and people who have concerns about using products derived from animals will prefer bakuchiol because of the plant-based sourcing. In no time at all both products can result in smooth blemish-free skin.