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Bakuchiol VS. Retinol

Retinol. A Vitamin-A derivative with powerful, proven skincare benefits. Whatever your skin concern, retinol can help. Wrinkles? Retinol stimulates the production of collagen for plumper, firmer skin. Dark spots? Retinol reduces the impact of free radicals on the skin for a brighter, even tone. Acne? Retinol unclogs pores and improves cell turnover for breakout free skin. It seems like retinol is the answer to all our skincare prayers.

Too good to be true? Perhaps. The reality of retinol can be a whole different story from the bright, plump complexions it promises. It is an extremely powerful ingredient, notorious for causing irritation, redness, skin peeling and flaking. So much so, that it is unsuitable for sensitive skin, pregnant/ nursing women and advised not to be used in the sun. Bummer. This leaves skincare lovers in a predicament- they want the long-term benefits of retinol, but irritated, red and dry skin is not a good look.

Enter bakuchiol! Extracted from the bakuchi plant seeds, bakuchiol is rich in antioxidants with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This superhero ingredient has been used for centuries, traditionally in Ayurvedic (Indian) and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of diseases. Extensive research today has shown that Bakuchiol is proven to mimic the effects of retinol on the skin, with NO harsh side effects. A gentle, natural alternative to retinol that provides exactly the same skin-boosting benefits for plumper, firmer, brighter looking skin. Working to encourage cell turnover for improved skin texture, tone and radiance it even helps to clear breakouts, without leaving tight, dry or flaky skin (a common side effect found when using retinol in the treatment of acne). The gentler nature of bakuchiol means you can use it morning and night, 7 days a week, something that is not advisable for retinol! It’s even ok to use during pregnancy, or for sensitive skin types. 


But are the effects of bakuchiol as powerful as retinol? Turns out they are. Studies have directly compared the effects of bakuchiol v.s. retinol on the skin by looking at how each performed on two groups of consumers. Both were found to improve the appearance of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and redness with no significant difference in results between the groups. The only difference was that bakuchiol didn’t produce any of the harsh side effects that were noted in the retinol group!


Need more convincing? The plant derived nature of bakuchiol means that it is intrinsically vegan and cruelty free, something which is not always the case for retinol, which is typically derived from the form of vitamin A that our bodies absorb from animal products. 

Bakuchiol is great news for BYBI - who, as you know, steer firmly clear of any animal derived ingredients but are dedicated to bringing out innovative, efficacious formulas that deliver game-changing skincare results. Our Bakuchiol Booster contains 1% bakuchiol in olive squalane to plump, firm and brighten the skin whilst the skin-smoothing benefits of squalane leave skin feeling soft and supple. Since launching last November, it’s become the booster you can’t get enough of - and we don’t blame you!

CONCLUSION: Retinol has awesome benefits. Fact. However, these benefits are often associated with harsh and painful side effects which makes retinol unsuitable/ undesirable for many consumers. Bakuchiol offers the perfect solution - all of the benefits, none of the side effects. Seems like a no brainer to us! 


*study conducted by the British Academy of Dermatology, 2018.

Written by Chloe, BYBI NPD Manager