Why Bakuchiol is the Natural Retinol Alternative Your Routine Needs
If you follow any beauty bloggers, influencers or experts, you’ve probably heard of the hot new skincare ingredient, bakuchiol. Videos with the hashtag have racked up more than 120 million views on TikTok alone – and the potent antioxidant’s popularity is only set to grow.
Touted as a natural retinol alternative that delivers preternatural results, bakuchiol is one of the rare skincare ingredients that lives up to its own hype. But what exactly is it? And can a plant-derived ingredient really pack the same firming, brightening and anti-ageing punch as retinol? Read on to learn everything you need to know about this wrinkle-fighting wonder – and where you can now find it in the Sand & Sky range.
What is bakuchiol?
Fun to say (go on, try it), bakuchiol is a powerful plant-based ingredient extracted from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant. Native to India, this calming, skin-healing herb has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine for centuries. But the cosmetic use of its active chemical component, bakuchiol, is quite new.
While bakuch-enriched products hit the shelves in 2007, it’s only in the last year or so that the skincare world has really woken up to its firming, smoothing, and rejuvenating properties.
Benefits of bakuchiol
If you want to treat wrinkles, pigmentation, or uneven skin texture without causing irritation or dryness, Bakuchiol is your best friend. Known for its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, it’s been clinically proven to smooth, brighten and firm the skin. And, with 60 times the antioxidant effect of Vitamin E*, it’s also the key to keeping premature ageing at bay.
The ultimate rejuvenating and pre-juvenating ingredient, Bakuchiol’s superpower lies in boosting skin cell turnover. Not only does this help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture, it also promotes a more radiant and even skin tone. And who doesn’t want that?
Just like retinol, bakuchiol helps to plump and firm the skin by stimulating collagen-producing receptors. In other words? It’s your go-to for a youthful-looking complexion.
Is bakuchiol better than retinol?
Look. We are 100% not here to diss retinol – it’s the gold standard anti-ageing active for a reason. But the truth is, bakuchiol is a better alternative for some people. Namely those with sensitive skin who struggle with the side effects of retinol or beauty lovers who prefer a natural alternative.
While retinol and bakuchiol achieve similar results, they have a very different chemical makeup. A synthetic derivative of Vitamin A, retinol often comes with side effects such as dryness, irritation, redness, and flaking. And it's 100% off-limits when pregnant and breastfeeding.
Bakuchiol doesn’t cause such side effects and is generally suitable for all skin types. As for use during pregnancy? There’s a lack of research and the advice is mixed. Your safest bet as always is to talk to your GP before using if you’re expecting or planning a pregnancy.
Our brand new bakuchiol hero
So, now you’re sold on bakuchiol, where can you find it? It’s included in everything from eye creams to moisturisers – but for a concentrated, easily-absorbed hit, you can’t go forget serums. And guess what? Bakuchiol is the hero of our NEW Pro Youth Dark Spot Serum, alongside a host of nourishing, exfoliating and hydrating ingredients.
Formulated with a unique Youth Berry BakuchiolTM Complex of 1% bakuchiol, 5% glycolic acid and lily pilly antioxidants, our super serum combats dullness, dark spots, and wrinkles from every angle. Enriched with fragmented hyaluronic acid and pre/probiotics, it also boosts skin hydration and rebalances the microbiome for happy, healthy-looking skin.
How to use bakuchiol for bright, youthful-looking skin
Unlike retinol, which is recommended for nighttime use as it increases photosensitivity, bakuchiol products can be applied morning and/or night. However, as our serum also contains a high concentration (5%) of chemical exfoliant, glycolic acid, PM use is best.
Massage 4 drops of the serum into cleansed skin in the evening, 2-3 times a week, slowly increasing the frequency if comfortable. Follow with moisturiser, use sun protection in the morning, and enjoy incredible smoothness and a fresh-faced glow.
* Based on in-vitro testing with bakuchiol