Bakuchiol- a wrinkle fighting retinol alternative

Bakuchiol- a gentle retinol alternative

What is Bakuchiol?  

Bakuchiol is an extract from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia babchi plant that grows wild in India.  While there are other babchi plant extracts Bakuchiol is an oil-based single-molecule extraction from the seeds of the babchi plant, and is the only one that’s been studied clinically.  It’s highly purified to remove the naturally occurring phototoxic compounds that are present in the plant.

What are the skin benefits of Bakuchiol?

It works similarly to a retinoid- it helps to reduce fine lines, and wrinkles, reduces the appearance of pores, fight acne, increases collagen production, and can help to lighten hyperpigmentation.  It produces noticeably smoother, glowy, dewy skin in a matter of days, and full results in 3 months.

Bakuchiol stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin while blocking inflammatory pathways.  It works on the same receptors as retinol, but does it all without producing any irritation, peeling, redness, or increased sun sensitivity.  It’s a natural, more gentle alternative to retinoids.

Is Bakuchiol as good as Retinol?

Maybe?  In a study conducted at UC Davis it showed that Bakuchiol produced results that were as good as a retinol, but without the irritation.  It’s a small study, and it’s the only study, but we think it’s a stellar ingredient.

In our own internal testing at Silk Naturals we saw truly impressive results in just a few days. In over 20 years of personal care product formulation we’ve never seen an ingredient produce visible results as quickly as Bakuchiol.  

Retinol has been studied for over 30 years, and Bakuchiol serums aren’t going to be as powerful as a prescription-strength retinoid. But it also doesn’t have the side effects, like drying, peeling, and redness or the adjustment period.  If you can’t or don’t want to use a retinoid Bakuchiol very viable alternative.  

Bakuchiol is also compatible with retinoids, so you can use the retinols at night, and Bakuchiol during the day.



Is Bakuciol endangered?

No.  We always worry about the sustainability of any natural ingredient we use, and according to CITES it is a prolific plant that is currently not in any danger of becoming threatened or endangered.  It’s also not included on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

India has very rigorous regulations to prevent the overharvesting of native species.  This is something that we will continue to monitor, but for right now it is very sustainable, and provides an important source of income for Indian families.  

Is it pregnancy safe?

We’ve seen articles saying that it is, but according to the manufacturer there haven’t been any studies done to test if it’s safe to use during pregnancy.  We don’t take chances with babies- so we think it’s safer to skip this ingredient for now.


Who should use it?

The Works- which uses Bakuchiol is designed to be a potent anti-aging serum.  It does have benefits for acne prone skin.  It’s safe for all ages and all skin types.  It’s compatible with most common skin care ingredients including retinols.  It does contain niacinamide so be careful if you’re using it with acids- most people should be fine, but if you have a tendency to turn red you might want to skip using The Works right after using a product with AHA or BHA.