Bakuchiol is the new natural alternative to retinol everyone is raving about
Retinol is wonderful. Hell, it’s a Goddamn skin care superhero. We’ll say it. The miracle ingredient has worked its magic on countless complexions; improving texture, smoothing lines and even taking care of a couple of bad guys: acne and pigmentation. But like every superhero, it has some inner demons (dryness and irritation), so it warrants caution and care, especially for sensitive skin types.
But what if we told you there was a new, gentler version of retinol on the market that promises similar results, minus the side effects?
Meet bakuchiol, the natural retinol-alternative that’s been waiting in the wings, ready for its turn in the suitable-for-sensitive-skin spotlight. Bakuchiol is impressive stuff–it actually works to restore your complexion’s youthful glow in a similarly effective way to the real retinol, without bringing potential irritation as its pesky plus one.
We spoke to co-founder of BYBI Beauty Dominika Minarovic (AKA one of the ingredient’s earliest adopters) to find out more...
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What exactly is bakuchiol and what does it do for your skin?
“Bakuchiol is the natural and vegan alternative to retinol (aka vitamin A), an ingredient that is often not vegan,” Dominika explains. “It boosts collagen and improves skin texture –but without all the negative side effects associated with retinol usage, [such as] redness, flaky skin and increased photosensitivity. It works best in “leave-on” formulas, so mainly oils, serums and moisturisers. It’s best to use after gently exfoliating the skin and prior to applying denser oils or moisturisers to ensure maximum absorption,” she says.
How is bakuchiol similar to retinol and how is it different?
“Clinical studies have proven that bakuchiol is equally as effective, if not better, than retinol at regulating collagen cell turnover,” she tells us. “A study by Sytheon found that 0.5 per cent bakuchiol used over six weeks improved wrinkle depth, fine lines, pigmentation, elasticity and firmness of the skin, without causing irritation.”
“Not only is bakuchiol itself an antioxidant, but the same study explained that bakuchiol is also capable of stimulating the body's antioxidant defence system. It therefore supports the prevention of long-term intrinsic ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines.”
As for its effect on acne-prone skin, Dominika says, “ The study also compared bakuchiol to 2 per cent salicylic acid, known for its blemish prevention properties, and bakuchiol was shown to be more effective at preventing blemishes.”
Why is it lesser known than retinol?
“As the demand for natural beauty has grown, brands have been encouraged by consumers to create high-performance natural formulations and seek out alternatives to common synthetic ingredients,” says Dominika. “[As for BYBI Beauty], we discovered bakuchiol when researching innovative ingredients for our Booster range. Due to the fact that it’s a plant-based ingredient that performs just as well as retinol and without the negative side effects, it’s since grown in popularity and become beauty’s new hero ingredient,” she says
Which skin types is it best suited to?
“Bakuchiol is suitable for all skin types. But it’s especially great for those with more sensitive skin, that want all the benefits of vitamin A but struggle to use it regularly (or at all!),” Dominika explains. “At BYBI we’ve combined 1 per cent bakuchiol (the highest concentration you can have in skincare) with 99 per cent skin-softening squalane to make our Bakuchiol Booster. The Bakuchiol Booster is very light in texture, so perfect for oilier skin types that may choose to steer clear of richer oils” she says.
bh loves: BYBI Beauty Bakuchiol Booster ($29, sephora.com.au) Indeed Labs Bakuchiol Reface Pads, Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème ($88, sephora.com.au), Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil ($158, mecca.com.au)