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What is bakuchiol? Discover why this natural alternative to retinol is good for people with sensitive skin

What is bakuchiol? Discover why this natural alternative to retinol is good for people with sensitive skin
Team LF
Writer and expert5 years ago
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Retinol is one of the most powerful ingredients in skincare, but for people with sensitive skin, it can be a little too potent. New on the skincare scene however is an ingredient which editors and experts are referring to as the natural alternative to retinol: bakuchiol.

This vegan ingredient is a much gentler alternative to retinol, and is about to storm the skincare scene. We're finding out why...

What is bakuchiol?

A plant extract suitable for vegans, bakuchiol offers the same anti-ageing and rejuvenating properties as retinol, but without the irritating side effects.

Derived from the "babchi" plant, this natural ingredient is great to include in your skincare routine if you love the idea of retinol, but your skin can't handle its potent properties.

Believed to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, bakuchiol has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Similarly to retinol, the ingredient helps to naturally increase cellular turnover, which stimulates collagen production and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

A study published this year by the British Journal of Dermatology discovered that it was even "comparable to retinol in its ability to improve photoaging and is better tolerated that retinol."*

How should I use bakuchiol?

You should be using bakuchiol the same way you use retinol: as a treatment in your skincare routine. Although it doesn't have the same irritating side effects as retinol, always wear an SPF afterwards to keep your skin protected against UV and environmental damage.

Discover our favourite sunscreens for the face here.

Unlike retinol, which is best applied at night when skin is away from sunlight, you can use bakuchiol both in the morning and in the evening, so it's far easier to slot into your skincare routine.

3 of the best bakuchiol skincare products

Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil

Omorovicza's Miracle Facial Oil contains the naturally-derived bakuchiol, alongside winged-kelp and sea-buckthorn berry oil to intensely hydrate and reduce the appearance of skin-ageing like fine lines and wrinkles.

Use as a stand-alone treatment before your moisturiser for the best results.

OSKIA Super 16 Serum

OSKIA's Super 16 Serum is wonderful as it's packed with a blend of 16 active ingredients that help to improve cellular health for an all over healthy glow.

It combines bakuchiol with seaweed extract to plump-up the skin and even out fine lines and wrinkles.

You can use either in the morning or at night depending on how you want it to fit into your routine.

REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream

Packed with bakuchiol, olive and jojoba oils, REN's Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream also contains 100% naturally-derived Vitamin A too for a super skincare hit.

As it's super powerful on fine lines and signs of ageing, it's great to use on more mature skin types. Expect a brighter, smoother and more even complexion.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.