Skin Sleuth: What Is Bakuchiol?
Have you ever read an ingredient listed on the packaging of your skin-care products and had no clue what it was? You’re not alone in that — there are plenty of skin-care ingredients that are a mystery to even the most-devoted beauty enthusiasts. Bakuchiol is one of them. Ahead, we consulted with board-certified dermatologist Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, and Co-Founder of Modern Dermatology to find out more about this buzzy ingredient.
Quick Question, What Is Bakuchiol?
Chances are you know what retinol is, and if that’s the case, then you already know more about bakuchiol than you realized. “Bakuchiol is a plant extract that offers the same skin-care benefits of retinol,” says Dr. Mraz Robinson. “It has been shown to have antioxidant properties to improve the appearance of skin.”
Where Does Bakuchiol Come From?
Unlike retinol, which is derived from vitamin A, bakuchiol comes from a plant called the psoralea corylifoilia plant. “Also known as the ‘babchi’ plant, this plant has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and is known for its skin-care benefits,” says Dr. Mraz Robinson.
The Skin-Care Benefits of Bakuchiol
“Bakuchiol is similar to a retinol in that it promotes cell turnover which helps diminish signs of aging,” explains Dr. Mraz Robinson. This includes reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and discoloration on the skin’s surface.
The Difference Between Bakuchiol and Retinol
Even though bakuchiol and retinol are very similar, the main difference between the two is the level of strength of bakuchiol compared to its counterpart. “Studies have shown that while bakuchiol works in similar ways to retinol, it can be less irritating,” explains Dr. Mraz Robinson.
How to Use Bakuchiol in Your Skin-Care Routine
Just like other topical retinoids, bakuchiol is best if used at night. “I recommend using products with the ingredient before bed because they can make skin more sensitive to sunlight,” adds Dr. Mraz Robinson. Her product pick: ISDIN Melatonik 3-in-1 Night Serum, which according to the brand stimulates skin’s natural antioxidant defenses, repairs the signs of environmental stress and damage on skin’s surface and supports healthy, younger-looking skin. We also like the Emma Hardie Exfoliating Brightening Tonic, which can be used after cleansing and before serums and moisturizers.