Have you heard about the latest, greatest skincare ingredient? Bio-Retinol, the natural alternative to retinol, the vegan retinol, the plant based retinol, the natural retinol – all different names for one thing: Bakuchiol. ✨
Bakuchiol is found in the seeds and leafs of the Babchi plant, also known as Psoralea Corylifolia, so basically a plant extract. It is a natural occurring antioxidant and is called “herbal alternative to Botox” (no topical products are an alternative to something you inject, so let’s just forget that quickly) and “natural version of retinol”.
Bakuchiol has no structural resemblance to retinoid acid, but there are studies showing that it has similar effects on the skin,so let’s quickly look at the mechanisms of retinoids on your skin.
Retinoic Acid works through specific receptors in the cell that trigger an increase in gene expression and increased production of collagen Typ I, III and IV as well as aquaporin 3 expression. Translated that means that your skins firmness and elasticity increase, while your wrinkles and fine lines decrease.
On top of that it speeds up cell turnover, which leads to younger looking, more even skin and less hyperpigmentation. 💦
Both Retinol and Retinaldehyde are precursors of Retinoic Acid that are slowly transformed into Retinoic Acid in the skin, which is why they act slower and are weaker in terms of effects and side effects. You can buy those as OTC products, while Retinoic Acid usually is prescription only.
All retinoids can lead to retinol dermatitis, a period of inflammation, dryness and flaking skin, typically occurring within the first four weeks of treatment. That can be prevented by using lower concentrations, slowly building up a tolerance or using the products less frequently than once a day. Some people though never tolerate retinoids. 💦
Bakuchiol is a great retinol alternative for everyone that is sensitive to retinol side effects, but there is no need to replace the retinoids that have been working for you. And if you are on prescription strength, you won’t find the same effects in Bakuchiol products.
What’s your favourite?