You’ve probably heard about retinol. It is one of very few skincare ingredients proven to improve fine lines, uneven skin tone and dark spots. Bakuchiol is the new natural ingredient that some are touting as the new retinol. Bakuchiol versus retinol: What do you need to know before you invest in new skincare products?

What is retinol?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A. It actually stimulates collagen production, but it’s not all sunshine, roses and youthful skin. Retinol is harsh and can cause dryness, rashes and irritation. Plus, the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, which rates the safety of beauty products and ingredients, rates Retinol at a six to nine.10 is the worst score. This is of course, based on usage and strength of the ingredient, so don’t toss your favourite retinol products just yet!

What is bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is found in the seeds and leaves of Psoralea corylifolia plant or babchi. The plant is found in India and is used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. The Environmental Working Group gives it a rating of one. So, it’s considered extremely safe. It has been shown to have the same effects on fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation as retinol. A 2018 study had two test groups use either retinol or bakuchiol. The results were basically the same, except that the bakuchiol group didn’t experience flaky, dry skin.

If you’re looking for a serum to improve your complexion bakuchiol may be a great option. While not as strong as retinoids prescribed for acne, it may be effective in treating breakouts. There haven’t been any studies, but it’s certainly worth trying.

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