What Is Bakuchiol And Why You Should Add It Into Your Skincare Routine

Also known as ‘nature’s retinol’, here’s your crash course on this buzzy new skincare ingredient.
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Image: Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon

In the skincare world, there seems to be a whole host of buzzy skincare ingredients every season. And bakuchiol has recently blown up, touting itself as a natural alternative to Vitamin A, a.k.a. retinol. 

Though retinol has earned the title of star ingredient, thanks to its ability to treat fine lines, dark acne spots, and uneven skin tone, it also comes with a host of side effects, and can be especially harsh for those with sensitive skin. Here’s where bakuchiol comes in, promising a gentler approach to anti-ageing and hyperpigmentation, with none of the annoying side effects.

Here’s what to know about it:

What is it? 

First off, bakuchiol is not a form of retinol. Instead, it is an all-natural, vegan plant extract that is found in the seeds and leaves of the Eastern Asia’s ‘babchi’ plant, formerly named as psoralea corylifolia. The plant has been touted for its numerous benefits, and is antioxidant-rich with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

And, even though bakuchiol is a relatively new ingredient in the skincare world, it actually comes from a long history in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

Image: Unsplash

What does it do? 

Though there has been limited research on the efficacy of bakuchiol given it's new entry into skincare, the results remain promising!

Bakuchiol helps to improve signs of ageing just as well as retinol. A recent 2018 study conducted by the British Association of Dermatologists found that bakuchiol and retinol both worked just as well in significantly decreasing wrinkle surface area and hyperpigmentation from sun damage. However, retinol users reported more facial skin scaling and stinging. 

As it is also an antioxidant, it helps to protect skin from free radicals. Bakuchiol helps prevent the natural fat from our skin from getting oxidised, and can be even more superior that other common antioxidants such as Vitamin E.

Plus, its antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties works to fade pigmentation and reduce acne with extended use. 

Who is Bakuchiol best for? 

Because of its gentler formula, bakuchiol is appropriate for all skin types, from oily, dry, to sensitive, and especially great for those who cannot tolerate the harshness of retinol. It also comes with a whole host of benefits besides anti-ageing, that makes it certainly worth adding to your routine! 

Plus, unlike retinol and other forms of Vitamin A, bakuchiol is not sun sensitive and can be worn both day and night.

Ready to give it a try? While bakuchiol is a gentler ingredient than retinol, remember that any ingredient can cause a reaction, so do remember to start slowly with a new skincare ingredient, as you work your way up to using it daily. 


 Bakuchiol Booster, $23

This serum comes with only two ingredients: one percent bakuchiol, with a base of lightweight squalene oil. Simply add a drop into your favourite moisturiser to reap its benefits.


 Bio Retinoid Anti-ageing cream, $68.50 

The addition of jojoba and olive oils together with bakuchiol makes for a supercharged cream to fight against free radicals. 

Allies of Skin

Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum, $138

This powerhouse of an overnight serum contains a potent blend of 11% mandeic, lactic and salicylic acid, together with bakuchiol, to treat pigmentation, large pores, and blackheads. 


 Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum, $106

Bakuchiol is mixed together with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and squalene here, which helps to brighten complexion and diminish fine lines over time. The serum’s delightfully creamy, hydrating texture also easily replaces a light moisturiser. 


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