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Why bakuchiol in skin care is a popular alternative to retinol

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There’s a reason retinol is known as the gold standard of skin care – the ingredient does just about everything from reducing the appearance of wrinkles to healing acne breakouts. But, of course, the vitamin A derivative can be a bit too irritating for sensitive skin. That being said, many brands are starting to use bakuchiol in skin care products as a natural and vegan alternative to retinol.

“Bakuchiol is an ancient ingredient that comes from the babchi plant, native to India”, Dr Shuting Hu, a cosmetic scientist, formulator and founder of the skin care brand Academy, says TZR. She notes that the seeds of the plant have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for skin disorders such as vitiligo and psoriasis. Plus, for those who tend to stay away from animal by-products, you’ll be happy to learn that bakuchiol is a vegan ingredient (unlike most retinoids).

Dr Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, a board certified dermatologist in New York City, says bakuchiol is often used as a substitute for retinol due to the ingredient’s long history in medicine for its restorative benefits, including soothing rashes, redness soothing and healing cuts. “A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science described how bakuchiol works the same as retinol“, she tells TZR. In fact, bakuchiol has properties similar to retinol, such as stimulating collagen production to create a more even, plump complexion.” The clinical study also reported that twice daily application of bakuchiol for 12 weeks resulted in significant improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall reduction in photo damage, ”she adds.

Ready to learn all on the trending ingredient? Coming up, find out all you need to know about bakuchiol in skin care.

Bakuchiol in skin care: the benefits

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“Bakuchiol acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, so it’s ideal for those who suffer from dry, sensitive skin and cannot tolerate retinol, says Dr. Engelman. She also notes that bakuchiol’s antibacterial properties make it a great option for people struggling with acne.

Like retinol, Dr Hu says bakuchiol triggers regeneration of skin cells, which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, the cosmetic scientist says it penetrates deep into the skin to target dark spots or hyperpigmentation. In fact, a British Journal of Dermatology study in 2018 reported that after using bakuchiol and retinol in equal parts for 12 weeks, both ingredients significantly decreased the appearance of hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. However, those who used retinol in the study noted more peeling and tingling of the facial skin.

We still need more research on how well bakuchiol works against prescription retinoids, like tretinoin (which often lead to redness or peeling), but it’s safe to say that the vegan alternative is not. also effective. Still, with consistent use, it could be fair trade to avoid irritation.

Bakuchiol in skin care: how to use it

Dr Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a certified dermatologist and member of the RealSelf Advisory Board, suggests starting slowly when using bakuchiol, especially if you have sensitive skin. While this is a gentler option for sensitive skin, it’s always a good idea to play it safe when introducing new products into your routine. Before you start using it, Dr Badreshia-Bansal says it may help to do a patch test behind your ear or in the middle of your forearm, leaving the product on for 24 hours. “If there is no reaction or irritation, [you] can apply it on the face, ”explains the dermatologist. “Start slowly three evenings a week, moving to daily use in the morning or evening. “

You can use products containing bakuchiol in the morning or evening, as Dr Badreshia-Bansal notes that the ingredient is not sun-sensitizing. “As with any product, always apply broad-spectrum SPF 30 daily for better protection,” she adds. And according to Really simpleunlike retinol, bakuchiol does not break down in the sun. Whether you choose to apply it in the morning or not, Dr. Engelman recommends using bakuchiol daily for optimal results.

Bakuchiol in skin care: products in which it is used

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According to Dr Yoram Harth, certified dermatologist and medical director of MDacne, bakuchiol is found in serums, lotions and oils. “Bakuchiol serums and lotions are better for people with oily skin, normal skin, and acne-prone skin,” he told TZR, adding that bakuchiol oils are better for dry skin for. add a boost of hydration. “To obtain the expected effectiveness, the concentration of bakuchiol should be between 0.5 and 2%.”

Dr Harth says that bakuchiol works well with many ingredients except glycolic acid, which can break down the bakuchiol molecule. “One of the best combinations is bakuchiol and retinol,” he notes. In fact, the dermatologist claims that adding these two ingredients to the same skin care routine works better than using each of the ingredients independently. As Dr Mariana Vergara, IP, a cosmetic dermatologist in Los Angeles explains, “When used together, the calming properties of bakuchiol can stabilize retinol to work better and increase skin tolerance.” So if you’re not quite ready to ditch traditional retinoids all together, rest assured that you can have the best of both worlds.

Whether you are new to bakuchiol or are already adopting the ingredient, buy serums, creams and oils that contain the buzzy ingredient.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of the sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

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