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What is bakuchiol and what is it doing my skincare?

Have you heard of bakuchiol? It's touted as a natural alternative to retinol -- delivering benefits such as smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin tone, reducing dryness and roughness, brightening skin tone, and tackling and soothing blemishes but without the irritation and sensitization that retinol can sometimes produce.

All the benefits without the drawbacks? Sounds almost too good to be true!

Let's take a closer look at its reported benefits and some of the science that supports it.

So first off, what is bakuchiol and how do you say it?

You can get by saying bak-ooh-chi-ol. It is purified from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia or babchi or bakuchi plant.

Bakuchi oil has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries and can typically contains small amounts of bakuchiol (anywhere from 1 - 10%). Bakuchi oil has traditionally been used topically to improve the appearance of dry skin and scalp as well as to lessen the appearance of hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone.

One concern with bakuchi oil is the potential for the cold pressed oil to contain phytotoxic compounds such as psoralen, isopsoralen, and angelicin. These compounds can potentially contribute to increasing melanin production in the skin or increased risk of the skin burning and blistering. However some suppliers remove these nefarious compounds from the oil. If you plan to use bakuchi oil be sure to check with suppliers to see if it has the potential for phytotoxicity.

Although they sound quite similar bakuchiol refers to the typically 99% purified extract with all other compounds removed. Bakuchiol is oil soluble so it can be added to oils based serums, balms, lotions, or creams to help deliver its benefits.

But is it all it's cracked up to be?

The research on bakuchiol although limited, has been promising.

The results of one clinical study "showed that, after twelve weeks treatment, significant improvement in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall reduction in photo-damage was observed, without usual retinol therapy-associated undesirable effects." 1.

Additional studies have likewise shown it is a promising ingredient for a variety of skin issues and more. 2,3,4

Here are a few of the reasons why people are excited about bakuchiol:

Gentle yet Effective: One of the primary reasons for the surge in bakuchiol's popularity is its gentle nature. Unlike retinol, which can cause skin irritation, dryness, and sensitivity, bakuchiol is well-tolerated by most skin types, including sensitive skin. This makes it a great option for individuals who have experienced discomfort or adverse reactions while using retinol-based products.

Rejuvenating Properties: Bakuchiol is noted for its ability to promote a more radiant, smooth complextion, and promote a more even skin tone. Like retinol, it is thought to stimulate collagen production, which helps improve skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, unlike retinol, bakuchiol achieves this without the potential for skin irritation, making it a suitable option for those with sensitive skin or a history of retinol intolerance.

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: In addition to its rejuvenating effects, bakuchiol offers antioxidant properties that may help protect the skin from environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV damage. It is also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, to soothe and calm the skin, making it potentially beneficial for individuals with redness or inflammatory skin conditions like acne or rosacea.

Enhanced Skin Texture and Tone: Regular use of bakuchiol may lead to improvements in skin texture and tone. It may aid in exfoliation, promoting cellular turnover, potentially revealing a smoother, more refined complexion. It may also help fade hyperpigmentation and age spots, resulting in a more even skin tone.

Incorporating Bakuchiol into Your Skincare Routine:  

Bakuchiol can be included in various products, like serums, moisturizers, and facial oils. Some sources recommend to start by using bakuchiol products once or twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency as your skin becomes accustomed to it.

Conclusion: Bakuchiol has emerged as a promising natural alternative to retinol, offering a gentler approach to achieving healthier, more radiant-looking skin. Its benefits are best enjoyed in products such as serums or creams.

Currently we offer a bakuchiol serum  and a bakuchiol instant lift cream for an easy way to incorporate bakuchiol into your skincare routine.

What do you think about bakuchiol? Have you ever tried it? What are your thoughts?

Aromatic blessings,



  1. Chaudhuri, Ratan & Bojanowski, Krzysztof. (2014). Bakuchiol: A Retinol-Like Functional Compound Revealed by Gene Expression Profiling & Clinically Proven to have Anti-Aging Effects.. International journal of cosmetic science. 36. 10.1111/ics.12117.

  2. Khushboo PS, Jadhav VM, Kadam VJ, Sathe NS. Psoralea corylifolia Linn.-"Kushtanashini". Pharmacogn Rev. 2010 Jan;4(7):69-76. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.65331. PMID: 22228944; PMCID: PMC3249905.

  3. Wang JV, Schoenberg E, Saedi N. Bakuchiol as a Trendy Ingredient in Skincare: Recent Evidence. Skinmed. 2019 Sep 9;17(3):188-189. PMID: 31496474.

  4. Dhaliwal, S., Rybak, I., Ellis, S.R., Notay, M., Trivedi, M., Burney, W., Vaughn, A.R., Nguyen, M., Reiter, P., Bosanac, S., Yan, H., Foolad, N. and Sivamani, R.K. (2019), Assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing. Br J Dermatol, 180: e45-e45.


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