Bakuchiol 101: Everything You Need to Know
Bakuchiol has gained popularity in the last few years. Anyone who’s added it to their skin care routine has touted its incredible benefits. It’s often compared to retinol in the results that users experience. It’s all the positive things and none of the negative, making it one of the most sought after ingredients in skin care.
Skin care enthusiasts call it a miracle ingredient. It can smooth wrinkles, fade hyperpigmentation, and even out your skin tone. Another big difference is that natural skin care lovers can rest easy knowing bakuchiol is vegan. It won’t cause your skin (or animals) any distress.
It almost sounds too good to be true. But there’s science on why bakuchiol may be the best thing to happen to your skin care routine.
If you’re looking to add this plant-derived ingredient to your skin care regimen, read on for everything you need to know.
What is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol (pronounced ba-koo-chee-all) is derived from the leaves and stems of the Babchi plant (Psoralea corylifolia). It’s a flowering plant with lilac blooms and mint-like leaves that’s found in India and Sri Lanka. It’s a botanical that’s been used in ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries.
Like modern usage, it was used for treating a variety of skin conditions. But, it’s usage also expanded to bone fractures as well as removing blood impurities.
Bakuchiol is extracted from the seeds and leaves of the babchi plant. Compare this to retinol, a vitamin A derivative which can be derived from animal products. Retinol goes through a chemical process known as acidification to produce the serum needed in beauty products.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that while bakuchiol is often compared to retinol, it’s not a retinol at all. Though it acts quite similarly to the more positive effects of retinol, they are completely different on a molecular level. They also have different active ingredients.
Retinol is produced synthetically whereas bakuchiol is extracted through emulsification. Simply put, the plant material is cold-pressed without any extra steps or processes needed.
The Benefits of Bakuchiol on Skin
Bakuchiol is a vegan miracle because it works as a multi-tasking ingredient. It causes cellular turnover, but won’t irritate the skin or cause redness, peeling or sun-sensitivity in the process. It’s the perfect ingredient for those with sensitive skin who cannot use retinol.
Though the study of bakuchiol is very recent, the results have been positive.
In a 2020 clinical trial of patients with sensitive skin, they saw significant improvement to their skin over four weeks. Their skin was smoother, more radiant, and more clear. It also showed a statistically significant increase in moisture content.
Besides its anti-aging benefits, it also works as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and contains antioxidants. These amazing properties work to protect your skin against acne and infection. It’s also safe enough for most skin types, including those that have eczema and rosacea.
Here’s a small list of the benefits of bakuchiol and what it can do for your skin.
No Dryness - While retinol can cause your oil pores to shrink, they remain unaffected with bakuchiol. If you’re used to the adjustment period of retinol - which can cause dryness, flaking, and peeling - there is no need for any skin type to adjust to this product. You may even notice a dewy glow upon initial use.
Speeds Cell Regeneration - Bakuchiol encourages cell turnover at a faster rate. Upon usage, you may notice plumping and a dewy glow. It’s best to do an assessment every four weeks. With prolonged use, you will see improvement the more that you use bakuchiol as part of your regular routine. But, most will see significant improvement after twelve weeks.
Suitable for All Skin Types - Bakuchiol is gentle on most skin types. Normal, oily, dry, or sensitive - anyone can use bakuchiol. Those with rosacea can relax knowing it could help you. Studies have shown that bakuchiol can actually reduce redness over time. Those with eczema may find relief as well.
Skin Tone Becomes Even - Bakuchiol penetrates deeply into skin to fade hyperpigmentation, smooth out fine lines, and improve overall quality. It causes a more plump appearance as it encourages collagen production for a more youthful appearance.
It’s Vegan - Since bakuchiol is extracted from a plant, no animals were harmed in the process. Since the plant is also protected, you don’t have to worry about a heavy carbon footprint when it comes to your beauty routine. Compared to retinol, it’s the more eco-friendly choice.
Does Bakuchiol Have Any Side Effects?
Bakuchiol has no known side effects. You can rest assured that you’ll get glowing results without the peeling, redness or irritation that retinol is known to cause. Through many studies done on bakuchiol, no one has reacted negatively to topical application.
Since bakuchiol isn’t a retinol, it also has the potential to be safe for any pregnant or nursing individuals. While there’s no conclusive evidence for topical application of Vitamin A causing birth defects, doctors still advise people to avoid them.
You don’t have to worry about sun sensitivity either.
There are more studies needed to see if bakuchiol interacts with any other skin products. However, there are already products on the market that combine bakuchiol with AHA and BHA.
Because of this, we can safely say that salicylic and glycolic acid are okay to combine with bakuchiol.
If you have serums in your beauty routine that contain other ingredients and you’re concerned about how your skin may react with the addition of bakuchiol, you can always do a patch test.
Is Bakuchiol Environmentally Friendly?
An issue that conservationists have talked about is that the germination period for the Babchi plant is low, calling for concerns about over-harvesting.
According to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), babchi has never been placed on the endangered or vulnerable species list.
In part, we have the Indian government to thank for this. They put laws in place to protect the harvesting of this plant. Any concerns around overharvesting are not an issue when it comes to sourcing because their laws won’t allow it.
At YUNI, we create our products with the environment in mind. 90% of our products are made in facilities that are solar-powered and wind-powered. Our goal is to be as gentle to the Earth while leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible. Our ingredients are no exception.
How to Use Bakuchiol
YUNI’s Bakuchiol + Biotic serum is gentle enough to use on your skin twice a day. But once a day should be enough to start seeing and feeling the effects. Unlike retinol, you don’t have to worry about a period of your skin ‘adjusting’ to it. So, no skin irritation or sun sensitivity.
Simply apply and enjoy. No extra steps needed.
If you’re using it once per day, use it at night when your body goes into repair-mode for maximum efficacy.
When you sleep, your skin cells turn over more quickly. Your body loses moisture, but it also produces more collagen. While your body does its own maintenance naturally, adding bakuchiol gives your skin a much-needed boost in collagen production, moisture, and repair.
When going through your skin care routine, use this powerful serum right before you put on your moisturizer. Apply it to your face and neck, gently patting to assure the best absorption.
In addition to bakuchiol, our formula also contains biotic actives. These probiotics help reinforce the skin’s natural protective barrier to keep unwanted bacteria away.
Our formula also contains ashwagandha, an important herb in Ayurvedic medicine. We added this to further enhance the effectiveness of the bakuchiol. Ashwagandha has both antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Meaning, it can protect the skin from acne and infections as well.
And finally, we added rose and cucumber. Not only do these naturally add a light, refreshing scent, but it gives moisturizing and soothing properties.
Rose adds a moisture boost making it fantastic for dry skin. It further balances skin with its antibacterial properties.
Meanwhile, cucumber is a soothing anti-inflammatory that’s sure to fight against sensitivity and redness.
If you’re someone that wanted an effective anti-aging treatment, but retinol has let you down, bakuchiol may be the answer for you. It will give your skin a youthful, refreshing glow. If you have especially sensitive skin due to eczema or rosacea, bakuchiol will not cause redness or peeling. You may see your skin improve with each use.
With bakuchiol, you can enjoy the great outdoors without worrying about sun exposure. No worrying about sun sensitivity or susceptibility to burning. (But do always remember to wear sunscreen.)
It’s perfect if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. No worrying about the negative, harmful effects of retinol on your little one.
And for our vegan and eco-conscious friends, you don’t have to worry about a huge carbon footprint. With YUNI’s formula, there are no unnecessary fillers, no testing on animals, and the lightest carbon footprint possible.
To see what bakuchiol can do for your skin, check it out in our store and see the difference for yourself.