Retinol (vitamin A) has been a favourite of skincare enthusiasts for years, and the success is real. Retinoids cause surface skin cells to transform and die, making way for new cell growth. They prevent collagen breakdown and thicken the deeper layer of the skin, where wrinkles originate.
If retinol is so amazing, why don't we use it?
Firstly, it is well known in the dermatological world to cause irritation and reactions in many people. Redness, stinging and flaking are some of the most common side effects of retinol. It also makes the skin more sensitive to photoaging, which is no fun in summer. Retinol is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women (which is a bit of a concern). We at Bove Health are all about using ingredients suitable for people with sensitive skin, so this one doesn't fit our ingredient philosophy. It's also not a natural ingredient. So instead we made an Active Serum with natural ingredients rich in CBD and Bakuchiol: The Ritual Serum.
What is Bakuchiol?
Bakuchiol is a vegan skincare ingredient found in the leaves and seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant. It is a potent antioxidant, visibly reduces skin discolourations caused by environmental exposure and has a pronounced calming effect on the skin. Bakuchiol can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which is why it is increasingly seen in skin care products. Bakuchiol has its roots in Chinese medicine, and the latest research demonstrate that its topical application has unique benefits for all skin types.
How does bakuchiol work?
Bakuchiol has soothing properties that help comfort the skin and minimise problems associated with sensitivity and reactivity. It is also a powerful antioxidant and helps to combat the signs of ageing, such as fine lines and loss of firmness, by fighting free radicals. The antioxidants They also help protect the skin from pollution and environmental stressors that can cause damage.
You may have seen acne skin care products based on bakuchiol. The soothing and calming properties of bakuchiol may help people with acne-prone skin. acneand those that are beginning to show signs of ageing.
Bakuchiol - better than Retinol?
Clinical studies have shown that when it comes to increasing collagen production and accelerating skin cell turnover, Bakuchiol is as effective, if not better, than Retinol. Here are some supporting studies:
Although a newcomer to the world of cosmetics, Bakuchiol has been used in Chinese practices for centuries to help heal wounded skin. We can see why it has earned the nickname "plant-based retinol".
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Is bakuchiol a natural alternative to retinol?
Bakuchiol is often referred to as a natural alternative to retinol. This connection between bakuchiol and retinol is because bakuchiol follows some of the same skin-improving pathways; however, it does not work in exactly the same way as this vitamin A ingredient. Retinol and bakuchiol can reduce fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of ageing, and it is perfectly fine to use a product containing both.
How to do it?
The use would be the same as mentioned above for a leave-on product with bakuchiol. The combination of retinol and bakuchiol provides the unique and overlapping benefits of each, plus bakuchiol has a natural stabilising effect on vitamin A, not to mention that its soothing properties can improve skin tolerance to various potencies of retinol.
During the day, finish with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Bakuchiol is stable in sunlight and is not known to increase skin sensitivity to the sun but, as with any anti-ageing ingredient, daily UV protection is essential to get (and maintain) the best results.
Use of bakuchiol during pregnancy
Some online sources indicate that the use of bakuchiol during pregnancy is fine, stating that it is a great alternative to retinol, which is not advised for use when pregnant or breastfeeding.
We have no safety data to support this recommendation: bakuchiol is simply too new. On the other hand, the chemical difference between bakuchiol and vitamin A is sufficiently great not to expect any problems. That said, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we advise you to consult your doctor before using bakuchiol products.
Chaudhuri, R K, and K Bojanowski. "Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." International journal of cosmetic science vol. 36,3 (2014): 221-30. doi:10.1111/ics.12117
Brownell, Lidia et al. "A Clinical Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Topical Bakuchiol (UP256) Cream on Facial Acne." Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD vol. 20,3 (2021): 307-310. doi:10.36849/JDD.5655
Dhaliwal, S et al. "Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing." The British journal of dermatology vol. 180,2 (2019): 289-296. doi:10.1111/bjd.16918