Almost every other day it seems we're hearing about another skincare holy grail item we should be adding to our daily roster.
Particularly when it comes to products and ingredients related to anti-aging, retinol—a vitamin A derivative—has long been at the top of the pack. However, an up-and-coming ingredient is making waves in the skincare realm—and chances are you haven't heard of it yet.
Bakuchiol (pronounced BAH-CHOO-CHEE-AHL) is a plant extract being used in various serums as a retinol alternative. Found in the leaves and seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, this vegan ingredient plays well with many other antioxidants or acids already in your routine. The best part? The irritating side effects that often come with retinol use are absent, making it a great option for skin types and ages of all kinds. But is the outcome worth the hype?
Studies have shown that after 12 weeks of treatment when bakuchiol was used twice daily, there was significant improvement in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall reduction in photo-damage—all without the usual undesirable effects associated with retinol therapy.
I know, this is mind blowing stuff.
After reading about bakuchiol earlier in 2020, I decided to give it a try. My combination, 31-year-old skin is known to be mildly sensitive to harsher products, so I was especially interested to see what impact bakuchiol would have on my concerns related to both moisture and anti-aging. Having already been a fan of their Orchid Facial Oil, I decided to give the Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum a try.
I don't mean to be dramatic, but I'm two bottles in and already know I can't live without this stuff now.
The bakuchiol serum blended seamlessly with other products already in my routine, made my skin feel supple and glowy, didn't break me out and—after giving it several weeks to work its magic—I truly did notice a difference in fine lines. I also experienced zero irritation.
Unlike retinol, bakuchiol can be used before going in the sun, making daily use a breeze—though you should always be mindful of incorporating a generous amount of sunscreen into your daily routine. As globally qualified advanced aesthetician Caroline Hirons says, "If you can read without a light, you need SPF."
There are a growing number of bakuchiol products in a variety of price ranges on the market now. If you're thinking of trying a particular product out, check out the reviews to see which rises to the top to meet your overall needs. And of course, be sure to talk to your doctor and/or dermatologist to find out if bakuchiol would make a good addition to your routine.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.