Retinol rules for a reason. It fades fine lines, brightens dull skin, diminishes dark spots, and even clears up acne. The only downside is, it isn't ideal for people with sensitive skin.
Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, while powerful, is also extremely harsh for some skin types. Even the lowest concentration can bring about redness, flaking and irritation - not exactly beautifying side effects.
But here's the good news ...
A retinol alternative is here and it's making a statement in the beauty world. Meet bakuchiol, a plant-based ingredient derived from the leaves and seeds of the babchi tree (psoralea corylifolia) and brimming with antibacterial and anti-aging properties.
Just like retinol, it can treat a number of skin imperfections. Only bakuchiol is a gentler and more natural alternative. Here are nine surprising benefits of the babchi plant beauty balm.
1. It's Been Around Since The '70s
Only now is it gaining widespread popularity for its skincare effectiveness, appearing in a slew of beauty products from face creams to cleansers. But believe it or not, there's nothing new about bakuchiol. It first went mainstream in the skin-care world all the way back to the '70s. At the time, its full scope of skin-transforming properties were unknown, but today we are quickly becoming aware of all of its beauty benefits. Although there is a chance it could go back further than that, as the psoralea corylifolia plant has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
2. It Boosts Collagen Production
Bakuchiol functions similarly to retinol in that it boosts collagen production and increases cell turnover, diminishing signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. A recent study found that bakuchiol works just as effectively in addressing aging, only without causing irritation. To keep your skin looking young and feeling supple, work this product into your skincare routine and use it like you would a topical retinoid.
3. It's Totally Vegan
Yep, you'll be happy to hear that bakuchiol is a plant-based antioxidant, unlike retinol, which is often an animal-derived source of vitamin A. That means pregnant women or breastfeeding women can use this skin superstar as a daily moisturizer. It's a safe retinol alternative without any unpleasant side effects. In other words, it's definitely one of those skincare products you want in your beauty cabinet. Of course, you can also use a phyto-retinol serum which is vegan, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be any less harsh for the skin.
4. It Combats Hyperpigmentation
The same study that showed bakuchiol was just as powerful as retinol in its skincare impacts, also discovered that bakuchiol can reduce hyperpigmentation. So, if you want to attain an even skin tone and see a reduction in hyperpigmentation, this skincare ingredient can really help. And the research is already there to prove it.
5. It's a Hydrating Hero
Unlike a traditional retinol which can be extremely drying, bakuchiol is very hydrating, helping to nourish and regenerate the skin. You can use it as your daily face cream or night cream or even as an eye cream. Alternatively, wear it underneath your other skincare products. If you suffer from dry skin, this can really help lock in moisture and delivers glowing skin every time you use it.
6. It's A Win-Win For Rosacea and Ddermatitis Sufferers
Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, you can use bakuchiol to ease numerous skin conditions from rosacea to dermatitis. A bakuchiol serum can bring down the redness and the itching, soothing your skin and making it feel more comfortable. Clinical studies have shown bakuchiol's incredible anti-inflammatory effects on skin cells.
7. You'll See Immediate Skin Plumping
Whether you use it as a face cream, as an eye cream or under your daily face cream, bakuchiol offers immediate skin plumping and glowing effects. It definitely helps to brighten your skin. A study from 2014 found that participants who used bakuchiol twice a day over the course of 12 weeks saw a significant improvement in their skin tone and reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.
8. It's Really Gentle
One of the biggest and best advantages bakuchiol has over retinol is that it's very gentle, making it ideal for sensitive skin. A huge drawback of retinol to many people is the fact that it can really irritate the skin. In spite of its throng of beauty benefits, the side effects aren't always worth it.
9. It Works Even Better - With Retinol
If you don't want to give up retinol altogether, you can definitely use it alongside bakuchiol. In fact, dermatologists say you should. Layering it with retinol is perfectly safe and provided that your skin can tolerate its harshness, these two collagen producers will leave your skin looking smoother, brighter and dewier. It's just probably a good idea to start off with thin layers and avoid applying too much of each, especially in the beginning.
Whenever you implement new ingredients in your skincare routine, you should carry out a patch test to ensure you don't have an allergic reaction to the product. Bakuchiol is considered safe for all skin types, but it's still good to do the test before slathering your whole face in it. Alternatively, start by using only a small amount on the face.
It can be applied daily or up to twice a day. Start by working your way up to daily use by applying a small amount every other day so your skin gets used to it. You can also purchase bakuchiol products such as cleansers and essences, which are great too.
If you're already using retinol and you aren't experiencing any negative effects from it, there's no reason why you shouldn't stick to the routine that's working for you. If, on the other hand, retinol is leaving you with red and irritated skin, it sounds like it's time for a change.
Bakuchiol is a natural and gentler retinol alternative that works just as well, only without the stinging side effects. Without a doubt, bakuchiol serum is a great choice if you have sensitive skin. It's a great product for hydrating the skin, boosting collagen production, and fading fine lines. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, it can also ease acne.