Retinol has something of a superhero reputation, but a hero with a dark side. It’s one of the most recommended, tried-and-tested actives that’s proven to stimulate collagen production, smooth wrinkles, even texture and improve hyperpigmentation. Retinol can transform skin. But it comes with a sting. Common side effects are redness, irritation, dryness and peeling. It’s so powerful it needs to be introduced to a routine slowly, and skin often looks worse before it gets better.
So the introduction of plant-derived, retinol-alternative bakuchiol has got the skincare world buzzing. It delivers the same benefits as retinol but none of the irritation.
How does bakuchiol work?
Extracted from the babchi plant native to India, bakuchiol has a long history in Ayurveda for its soothing, calming, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Although not the same as retinol chemically, it encourages skin cells to behave in exactly the same way. It powers up collagen and elastin production, speeds up cell turnover and targets hyperpigmentation.
The benefits for skin
A 2018 study in the British Journal of Dermatology showed that bakuchiol achieves the same improvements to skin as retinol but without side-effects. It smooths lines and wrinkles, plumps, fades discoloration, evens skin tone, and helps skin get that bouncy, glowy look.
Who can use it
Bakuchiol is so mild it’s safe for all skin types, even sensitive, dry or inflamed, and during pregnancy. And as another major advantage over retinol which causes dryness and irritation, antioxidant-packed bakuchiol soothes and heals as it gets to work. It’s especially helpful for women of color for whom retinol-based products can increase post-inflammatory pigmentation.
How to use it
Gentle enough to use morning and evening, apply bakuchiol onto skin in a serum before moisturizer. Although it doesn’t increase sensitivity to the sun like retinol, you should always follow up with SPF in the mornings to prevent further damage to skin.
Try it here
Six Gldn’s Daily Vitamin C Radiance Serum is a triple-action powerhouse that visibly brightens, hydrates and targets signs of aging, and is gentle enough to use every day. Formulated with bakuchiol, plant stem cells and our exclusive Glow ReActivating Complex it smooths and plumps the look of skin and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.