Bakuchi-who?: Bakuchiol as a Functional Retinol Alternative

Bakuchi-who?: Bakuchiol as a Functional Retinol Alternative

As we age, we are constantly searching for ways to stop our skin from developing the fine lines and wrinkles. What if there was a natural product that helped reduce these fine lines? We know retinoids, Vitamin-A derivatives including retinols, as one of the most studied anti-aging ingredients on the market. They are shown to increase the production of collagen, which is the protein that gives the skin a more even texture and more youthful look. This common skincare ingredient has been used to treat acne and shown to reduce wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. However, they are sometimes a bit too strong for specific skin types. Individuals can experience redness, dryness, peeling, and sensitization to light. However, these products are considered pregnancy category X (not FDA approved for patient use while pregnant or breastfeeding due to the potential harm it can cause to an unborn child).

So, what is this natural skincare ingredient that has similar properties to retinoids? 

Bakuchiol is derived from seeds of Psoralea Corylifolia, a plant that has been used for several years in India and China as medicine for its skin healing properties. It has shown promising anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties without causing the irritation retinoids do. Several studies have been published discussing the applications of bakuchiol in dermatology. In 2019, a study randomly assigned individuals to apply bakuchiol 0.5% cream twice daily or retinol 0.5% cream daily. Individuals were photographed every 4 weeks for 12 weeks and assessed by board-certified dermatologists. This study concluded that bakuchiol is comparable to retinols in its anti-aging and hyperpigmentation and is more tolerable. Also of importance, bakuchiol was not better or worse than retinol and should be applied twice as often in order to see the same benefits as retinol. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin or are looking for a pregnancy/breastfeeding safe option to provide anti-aging benefits, bakuchiol could be a wonderful option to try.  

Now let's answer some questions you may have!

  1. What will bakuchiol do for my skin? It evens skin tone, reduces the appearance of fine lines, decreases risk for causing dryness or redness as retinoids can, and speeds up collagen production and cell turnover. 
  2. Is bakuchiol safe in pregnancy? We know very high doses of vitamin A, specifically oral retinoids, can potentially cause damage to an unborn child. Due to this potential, topical retinoids are not recommended during pregnancy as a preventative measure. Bakuchiol is a safer alternative to topical retinoids use. 
  3. How frequently do I have to use bakuchiol? Based on a recent trial comparing retinols and bakuchiol, individuals saw similar results in reduction in hyperpigmentation and wrinkles when using bakuchiol in AM and PM compared to using retinol only once daily. 
  4. What should I not use bakuchiol with? Bakuchiol should not be used at the same time as glycolic acid
  5. Does Emogene and Co. sell a product that contains bakuchiol? Yes, we do! Our Restore Intensive Night Cream contains bakuchiol, in addition to  peptides, niacinamide and cucumber extract to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as deeply hydrate your skin! Our Refine Eye Serum also contains bakuchiol, and can be used around your eyes and on your entire face.
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