Bakuchiol: The retinol-alternative natural ingredient that you should get to know.

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Bakuchiol is a plant derived, natural alternative to retinol (vitamin A) from the babchi plant. The extract already has a long history in medicine for its healing properties, including soothing rashes, calming redness, and healing cuts. However, recently the focus has switched to being a collagen boosting, skin cell turnover inducing powerhouse ingredient that smoothes and softens skin. In the same way as retinol does, it benefits acne prone and ageing skin but without the negative side effects that retinol can have. These include dry and flakey skin, irritation, inflammation or increased photosensitisation.

Clinical studies have proven that Bakuchiol is equally as effective, if not better, than retinol at regulating collagen cell turnover. A study by Sytheon, found that 0.5% Bakuchiol used over 6 weeks improved wrinkle depth, fine lines pigmentation, elasticity and firmness of the skin, without causing irritation. It’s not fully understand how free radicals interfere with cellular functions, but lipid peroxidation seems to be key. Bakuchiol is a broad spectrum antioxidant and is excellent at preventing lipid peroxidation, (where oils in cells oxidize which changes the charge and osmotic pressure – causing water to flood into the cells, resulting in eventual cell death). Not only is Bakuchiol itself an antioxidant, but the same study explained Bakuchiol is also capable of stimulating the body’s antioxidant defence system. It therefore supports the prevention of long-term intrinsic ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines.

In addition to this, when compared with retinol, it is a much more stable ingredient, enabling it stay potent and efficacious for a longer period of time. Retinol is highly unstable and so its potency degrades quickly in the presence of air and sunlight. Its effectiveness therefore also reduces faster than bakuchiol over time. Bakuchiol doesn’t react so highly to air and light. It does degrade over time, but over a much longer period, so will stay potent for as long as 6 months down the line.

It’s so much easier now to get your hands on Bakuchiol with many great brands bringing them to market. Just a few of our favourites include; Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil (£82), Indeed Labs Bakuchiol Resurface Pads (£19.90) and of course BYBI Bakuchiol Booster (£12).