Bakuchiol. The Must Have Natural Skincare Alternative to Retinol

While there’s no denying that retinol is the holy grail of anti-ageing skincare, it can be irritating for those with sensitive skin leaving you with a feeling of burning or stripped skin. But now there’s new natural alternative on the block, Bakuchiol.

To combat the early signs of ageing, it’s very possible that you may have used retinol, a Vitamin A derivative, widely regarded as the powerhouse of youthful skin. While experts agree it is effective, it has some significant drawbacks, especially for those with sensitive skin, often causing dryness, peeling and irritation.

But here’s some good news, there’s a natural, vegan, antioxidant, and anti-aging skincare ingredient, Bakuchiol now on the market and according to reports and reviews, it works.

Known as the natural retinol, Bakuchiol – which derives from an edible plant in India where it is widely used in herbal medicine – has skincare properties that leave your skin nourished and radiant without any harmful side effects.

‘We believe in the power of plants,’ explains founder of Dubai based natural beauty company Shirley Conlon Organics who recently launched their own Bakuchiol night repair oil. ‘And we’re thrilled to bring another super powerhouse plant to our collection that targets ageing and blemishes.’

Bakuchiol, an alternative to retinol, is found in the seeds of the babchi plant

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a skincare ingredient found in the seeds and plants of the Babchi plant (Psoralea Corylifolia). Its oil harvested and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.

Studies show that its topical application has unique benefits for all skin types proving to be effective in reducing pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and increasing elasticity and firmness. It is touted as a natural alternative to retinol as it revitalizes and nourishes the skin but does not have any structural resemblance to retinol.

Known to increase cell turnover – the process that sees dead skin shed and replaced with younger cells – Bakuchiol also stimulates collagen production thereby plumping up skin and visibly reducing signs of ageing. It penetrates the deepest skin layers and heals skin from inside and out. According to a study published in The British Journal of Dermatology, after 12 weeks, participants treated with Bakuchiol saw significant improvements in pigmentation, wrinkle reduction, elasticity, and photodamage.

Shirley says, ‘Bakuchiol helps to balance sebum production and has anti-inflammatory and anti-wrinkle properties but its particular wow factor is its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation and prevent breakouts.’

Why Make the Switch?

Retinol is a potent, highly effective anti-aging skincare product but it can cause adverse side effects such as redness and inflammation, it is not considered safe to use when you’re pregnant as it may cause birth defects, and it makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays.

Contrarily, Bakuchiol is equally potent and delivers the same great results of retinol without causing skin irritation, it makes the skin less susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays and it is unlikely to cause dryness and irritation.

How to use Bakuchiol

‘While bakuchiol is safe on all skin types,’ says Shirley. ‘It’s still best to do a patch test before you start using it.’ Apply a couple of drops behind your ear or mid-forearm, leave it for 24 hours; if you sense no irritation, start using it on your face. To begin with, start using Bakuchiol three times a week and move on to a daily application.

Cleanse your face and neck before applying Bakuchiol. You can go in for either Bakuchiol serum or oil because the texture doesn’t affect its efficacy. Research says the amounts between 0.5 per cent to 2per cent are suitable to get visible results.

Bakuchiol oil gently nourishes dry, dehydrated skin, so it’s best you apply it at night. If you’re using a serum version, apply before your moisturiser. If the moisturiser contains the ingredient already then apply after your serum. Apply a broad-based spectrum of SPF 30 for the best protection.

You can mix a few of drops of Bakuchiol oil with your favourite skincare product Credit: Angélica Echeverry

Also, you can mix a couple of drops of Bakuchiol oil with your favourite skincare product and apply in the morning. Although it is safe to use with most skin products, avoid using acid peels to reduce overstimulation.

Here’s a recap of Bakuchiol Benefits

✓         Deeply penetrates skin layers and reduces the appearance of dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation.

✓         Increases collagen production and plumps up your skin

✓         Increases skin regeneration

✓         Soothes and heals your skin from inside out

✓         Suitable for all skin types

✓         Safe to use twice a day

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