Everything You Need To Know About Bakuchiol: The Super Powered Skincare Ingredient

What it does, who can use it, when to use it and more.

Bakuchiol (pronounced ba – koo – chee – ol) seems to have cropped up out of nowhere, with many of the biggest brands now incorporating it into their ingredient list or offering a specific product promising all its benefits and more. But as someone who is constantly refreshing their Insta feed and following nine out of ten most prominent skincare YouTubers, I can be left scratching my head when something suddenly crashes to the surface when you’ve had a pretty decent skincare routine without this little ingredient in it.

Not one to shy away from finding out what’s what, I put my investigative cap on to go full Line of Duty DCI mode on this newbie ingredient!

Where it came from

Commonly referred to as a natural alternative to retinol, Bakuchiol is derived from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia (aka babchi) plant and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It’s a vegan potent antioxidant so those of you following plant-based beauty routines will vibe with this.

While there are similarities between retinol and bakuchiol, it doesn’t necessarily have to be either or – bakuchiol has also been shown to improve the effects of retinol when they’re used together if you wish to double up.

What does it do

Bakuchiol is said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve firmness, and even out skin texture and tone. While retinol is always proffered to be used at night, along with a high SPF the day after, bakuchiol is photostable, meaning it can be worn day and night instead of only the latter.

It doesn’t cause increased sensitivity or redness, or the telltale peeling of early retinol use.

Who can use it

Thankfully, everyone! All skin types can use bakuchiol, but particularly those with sensitive skin and it’s said those who are pregnant or breastfeeding who are unable to use retinol because of the unknown potential side effects can use it.

If you’ve used retinol before and hated the dry, peeling stage of retinol, then bakuchiol is going to be your port of call.

When to use it 

SKincare products containing bakuchiol extract should be applied to cleansed face and neck and before your other serums or moisturisers. When applying any skincare products, you always go from thinnest to thickest, so if your bakuchiol product is a runny serum it should be applied before your moisturiser.

Or if it’s a thicker bakuchiol cream, then use it last. While it is photostable, if using bakuchiol in the morning, still follow with an SPF rated 30 or greater anyway. You can never be too careful!

Will it clash with any other products?

According to the information currently available on bakuchiol, it doesn’t appear to react with any other ingredients, but studies are limited. If you’re used to retinol, treat it as such, I wouldn’t advise going for some very strenuous skin treatments after putting on retinol if you get what I mean.

Where can I try it? 

If you want the real lowdown on bakuchiol products, there’s a range by Burt’s Bees that I threw myself into last summer. Oh boy, I bought every item in the range and it was so crap. Drying, overly scented… stay clear by a mile!

Not only did I not like any of the textures of the products, I saw little to no results than if I was putting raw egg on my face every night. Totally pointless!

If you want to dip your toe into the bakuchiol waters to see some real effects, try the Trilogy Bakuchiol Booster. Almost a water-like, oil texture, this serum powerfully stimulates collagen production, while ingredients like hydrating plant squalane, omega-rich hemp and rosehip oils and softening meadowfoam oil work together to encourage firm, smooth, plump and rejuvenated skin.

Using it for two weeks you can quickly and easily see the results, which is a nice short burst of time to judge whether it’s actually adding anything to your routine!

By: Deputy Editor, Rebecca Keane