Bakuchiol serum is said to be able to promote healthy skin aging, which is one of the reasons why it has become one of the “it” ingredients in so-called “clean beauty” products.
Bakuchiol possesses properties analogous to retinol, but it is less harsh on the skin. As a result, it is possible to reap the benefits of retinol (such as brighter, smoother skin) without suffering the side effects of retinol (such as redness and irritation) . The seeds of the babchi plant, also known as Psoralea corylifolia, are the source of bakuchiol.
In the following paragraphs, you will learn more about one of the most successful plant-based skincare products.
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What Are the Differences Between Bakuchiol Serum and Retinol?
The most common type of treatment for wrinkles and fine lines in skincare is retinoids, which are available only with a doctor’s prescription .
On the flip side, over-the-counter retinol, a milder form of retinoid, can be obtained without a prescription and is easily accessible. Bakuchiol, on the other hand, is a natural substitute for retinoids.
S. Tyler Hollmig, MD, the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, believes that bakuchiol may enhance collagen production by activating similar pathways .
Bakuchiol is a plant-derived compound that may improve the skin’s texture and tone in a way that is similar to OTC retinoids, although more research is needed.
Topical retinoids can effectively reduce wrinkles and brighten skin since they increase the turnover rate of skin cells. Burning, stinging, peeling, redness, and dryness are some of the potentially adverse effects of this .
However, previous studies have shown that bakuchiol does not appear to have the same negative side effects as retinoids .
Based on a recent study, it has been found that bakuchiol generally exhibits lower levels of irritation and a reduced likelihood of side effects like redness or flaking in comparison to similar medications .
Bakuchiol has been shown to improve skin tone and texture, as well as aid in the regeneration of collagen. For people who struggle with acne, hyperpigmentation, or sensitive skin, bakuchiol may be a more suitable alternative to retinol.
Possible Benefits of Bakuchiol Serum in Skin Care
There have only been a few research projects that have looked into the benefits of bakuchiol serum. According to several studies, bakuchiol can potentially lessen the visibility of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation in the skin.
In a randomized and double-masked study, the researchers found that a bakuchiol cream with a concentration of 0.5 percent was just as effective as a retinol cream with the same concentration at reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation after 12 weeks of use. Still, it had fewer adverse effects, such as peeling and stinging .
In this study, bakuchiol was not compared to retinoids, so it is not accurate to claim that it is just as effective as a prescription-strength product. Dr. Hollmig highlights this fact.
May also help clear up acne
A topical bakuchiol cream with a concentration of 0.5 percent was shown to reduce the number of inflammatory lesions in a pilot study.
The researchers have concluded that bakuchiol could be a potential solution for treating mild to moderate acne, especially among individuals with skin of color . This is because it helped reduce the discoloration left behind by healed acne spots.
It is crucial to acknowledge that one study involved a mere 13 participants. Consequently, additional investigation is required to ascertain the efficacy of bakuchiol in addressing acne and its relative effectiveness compared to retinoids, which are frequently employed for treating mild to moderate acne .
In conclusion, the research done on bakuchiol so far points in a positive direction, but there needs to be more research done.
“It is difficult to quantify the exact benefits on the skin because studies have either been conducted in vitro, which means that they have not been conducted on human skin but rather in a laboratory, or have been conducted without a perfect study design, which makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions.”
In addition, he claims that a significant portion of the ongoing research on bakuchiol has been funded by the skin care industry, which creates a potential for bias in the findings.
Possible Bakuchiol Serum Adverse Effects
As per Dr. Garshick, despite being a milder option to retinoids, bakuchiol serum can still cause skin sensitivity, such as dryness, redness, or stinging, especially during the initial use .
You may continue to experience irritation even after your skin has become accustomed to bakuchiol.
To minimize the potential risk, it is recommended to increase your consumption gradually. For the first week, using it two or three times a week is suggested. As advised by Garshick, if your skin responds positively to the treatment, you can slowly increase the frequency of application.
Pregnant women are advised by the European Medicines Agency to avoid using topical retinoids due to their potential risk to unborn children, as per their guidelines . According to Hollmig, the safety of bakuchiol cannot be determined as there have yet to be any clinical studies conducted on this subject.
Even though some consumers may choose retinol alternatives during pregnancy, it is impossible to determine whether bakuchiol is safe. Talk to your obstetrician if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and are thinking about using a product that contains bakuchiol.
How to Evaluate a Bakuchiol Skincare Product
Bakuchiol is commonly found in facial peels, serums, and creams designed for facial use. You need to figure out which form is most appealing to you.
Because of their more substantial texture, creams are typically applied last in a skincare routine, while serums are typically put on before moisturizers. On the other hand, lotions are typically the first step in a skincare routine.
Bakuchiol is frequently mixed with a number of different other active ingredients. To make an informed decision, it’s important to examine the product’s ingredient list and note any other activities included.
This information can then guide your decision-making process. Some products increase the effectiveness of both bakuchiol and retinol by combining them into a single formulation.
Considering Paula’s Choice Clinical as a viable choice. This includes Bakuchiol at a concentration of 2% and Retinol at 0.3%. Alternatively, you may explore the possibility of finding a product that blends Bakuchiol with Squalene or another moisturizing component.
Choose a less expensive product, to begin with, if you are still determining how your skin will react to bakuchiol or if you wish to make a long-term commitment to using it.
It’s important to remember that not all products claiming to use Psoralea corylifolia have the same quality ingredients. The effectiveness of bakuchiol, babchi powder, babchi oil, bakuchi powder, and bakuchi oil varies widely .
Products based on bakuchi and babchi may be less effective and even cause skin irritation, so it is recommended to look for a product that includes bakuchiol.
How to Include Bakuchiol Serum in Your Skincare Routine
Before applying a bakuchiol product and a moisturizer, Experts suggest washing the face and patting it dry. Suppose your skin is particularly sensitive or prone to dryness.
In that case, applying a moisturizer before using bakuchiol on your face is recommended to minimize the chances of irritation. Depending on your skin’s reaction to the treatment and how well it is tolerated, bakuchiol can be applied twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
Because bakuchiol encourages the turnover of skin cells, the last step of your morning skincare routine should be to apply sunscreen. This will keep your skin protected from the sun.
Bakuchiol presents a natural substitute for retinol that promises to enhance the skin’s tone and texture while minimizing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. However, further investigation is required to ascertain its effectiveness compared to retinoids prescribed by medical professionals.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
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- S. Tyler Hollmig, M.D. | Dell Medical School. (n.d.). Dell Medical School. https://dellmed.utexas.edu/directory/s-tyler-hollmig
- Tretinoin (Topical Route) Side Effects – Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Tretinoin (Topical Route) Side Effects – Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/tretinoin-topical-route/side-effects/drg-20066521
- Chaudhuri, R. K., & Bojanowski, K. (2014). Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects. International journal of cosmetic science, 36(3), 221–230. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24471735/
- Draelos, Z. D., Gunt, H., Zeichner, J., & Levy, S. (2020). Clinical Evaluation of a Nature-Based Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 19(12), 1181–1183. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33346506/
- Dhaliwal, S., Rybak, I., Ellis, S. R., Notay, M., Trivedi, M., Burney, W., Vaughn, A. R., Nguyen, M., Reiter, P., Bosanac, S., Yan, H., Foolad, N., & Sivamani, R. K. (2019). Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing. The British journal of dermatology, 180(2), 289–296. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29947134/
- Brownell, L., Geen, S., E, Y., & Lee, W. L. (2021). A Clinical Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Topical Bakuchiol (UP256) Cream on Facial Acne. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 20(3), 307–310. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33683079/
- Acne: Diagnosis and treatment. (n.d.). Acne: Diagnosis and Treatment. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/derm-treat/treat
- Marisa Garshick, MD | Dermatologist in Midtown East and Upper East Side, New York, Commack, Hampton Bays, Plainview, Smithtown and West Islip, NY and Englewood, Clifton and Marlboro, NJ | MDCS Dermatology: Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. (n.d.). Marisa Garshick, MD | Dermatologist in Midtown East and Upper East Side, New York, Commack, Hampton Bays, Plainview, Smithtown and West Islip, NY and Englewood, Clifton and Marlboro, NJ | MDCS Dermatology: Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. https://www.mdcsnyc.com/provider/marisa-k-garshick-md
- Updated measures for pregnancy prevention during retinoid use – European Medicines Agency. (2018, September 17). European Medicines Agency. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/updated-measures-pregnancy-prevention-during-retinoid-use
- Unveiling the Power of Bakuchiol: The Complete Skincare Guide. (n.d.). bareLUXE Skincare. https://www.bareluxeskincare.com/blogs/elevated-simplicity/bakuchiol