Overnight, over-the-counter retinoids have become commonplace in the repertoire of any skincare fanatic.
However, despite the products lengthy list of benefits (treating acne, increasing collagen production, fading age spots, and treating and preventing wrinkles – to name a few) the vitamin also comes with a lengthy list of negative side effects, which can include irritated, scaly, and dry skin and increased sensitivity to sunlight.
This list has deemed retinol unapproachable or intimidating to many — particularly anyone with dry, sensitive, or problematic (Celtic!) skin.
But with the recent boom of retinol in common skin-care products, there has also come a new boom of its natural alternative, a newly buzzy ingredient named bakuchiol, which promises fewer of the irritating side effects of retinol, giving it miracle product status.
So, what exactly is bakuchiol?
In simplest terms, it's a plant-based ingredient that yields similar benefits to retinol.
It has a long history in medicine for its healing properties, including soothing rashes, calming redness, and healing cuts. As for what it can do for your complexion?
Well, similarly to traditional retinol, the benefits of incorporating bakuchiol into your skin-care routine can include smoother texture, less hyperpigmentation, and restored elasticity.
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It works by increasing cell turnover, thereby stimulating collagen production and diminishing wrinkles, skin laxity, and overall photodamage. It's suitable for most skin types and has benefits that extend far beyond a renewed glow – due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, the bakuchiol can also be used to keep acne at bay.
Another bonus is that, unlike retinol, bakuchiol is completely safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Although, it is worth mentioning that, while bakuchiol may not necessarily cause the intense sun sensitivities caused by retinol and retinoids, and can be applied in the morning (something warned against for retinol), that doesn't mean you don't need to still use SPF.
For those looking to try out the newest in wonder-products, here are a few as picked by our team:
Main image by @imaanhammam