Beauty addicts are quick to praise retinol (aka vitamin A) as the cure-all for skin problems. But what if there was a plant-based alternative that did the job better? Bakuchiol is a plant extract that stimulates collagen, which reduces sun damage, wrinkles and fine lines. It diminishes acne and scarring, and promotes a youthful, healthy glow. Dermatologists were shocked to discover how the plant oil mimics retinol’s anti-aging properties–and even improves upon them. Here’s why it’s time to make the switch to bakuchiol:
No unpleasant side effects
The list of retinol side effects is enough to intimidate anyone with sensitive skin. Retinol users can experience burning, swelling, stinging, drying, scaling, redness and discoloration. They might even see their acne worsen over the first few weeks of using retinoids.
This adjustment period, called retinization, can last up to two months. Users are often forced to readjust their entire skincare routines around it. Bakuchiol performs the same anti-aging magic without making you endure weeks of irritation. It’s suitable for people with eczema, rosacea, or sensitivity.
No sun sensitivity
Despite its “miracle product” reputation, retinol comes with a pretty huge caveat: it breaks down in sunlight. And that’s not all. Retinol thins the top layer of your skin, making you more sensitive to the sun. Users are urged to only apply it at night–or else go heavy on the sunscreen. Bakuchiol oil is effective any time of day. You won’t have to worry about your skincare making you more susceptible to sun damage.
No unnatural ingredients
Bakuchiol comes from the babchi plant, which is native to India and Sri Lanka. Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine has long recognized the plant’s beneficial properties. It has been used to treat everything from leprosy to psoriasis to lower back pain. Though retinol is a naturally occurring vitamin, prescription retinoid creams are often packed with filler ingredients.
Safe for pregnancy
It’s important to maintain your skin health while pregnant. We’ve all heard people rave about the “pregnancy glow,” but they’re less excited to discuss the hyperpigmentation and hormonal acne that are more common. Many mainstream skincare ingredients are off limits for pregnant women. Doctors warn that prescription oral retinol use during pregnancy could lead to spinal deformities or facial defects in the fetus. Bakuchiol has proven to be a pregnancy-safe alternative. However, pregnant women should be sure to consult their doctors for further information.
Versatile and efficient
There are many ways to incorporate bakuchiol into your unique beauty routine. You can mix raw bakuchiol seed powder into a face mask. Use it both night and day. Treat the oil as a serum, applying it after cleanser and before moisturizer. Some reviews suggest that backuchiol provides quicker results than retinol. You might start seeing your acne clear in just a few days.
Most of the American skincare world is just beginning to discover bakuchiol. But there are centuries of evidence of the plant’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, skin-healing properties. Most of us want rejuvenated skin, but shy away from a harsh product like retinol, which promises weeks of discomfort. Lucky for us, bakuchiol is gentle, all natural, and just as powerful.