Bakuchiol vs Retinol

Bakuchiol vs Retinol: Which is better for your skin health?

So you want to know if Bakuchiol is all it’s cracked up to be? A natural retinol alternative that studies have shown to be just as effective without the crappy side effects…. REALLY?

Retinol has reigned as a skincare essential for years, renowned for its effectiveness in combating aging signs. However, its drawbacks, including irritation, initial acne breakouts and sun sensitivity, often make users hesitate as they can’t imagine months on end hiding from the sun like a vampire!

Bakuchiol, a natural alternative, has exploded onto the skincare scene recently due to promising studies revealing similar benefits without the brutal side effects.

Let’s take a no-BS look at the difference between this pair of pound-for-pound greats in the skincare arena! (No Big Pharma Sales Reps here… IYKYK)

Article at a Glance

Bakuchiol Vs Retinol

Choosing the Right Bakuchiol Skincare Products

How to Increase the Effects of Bakuchiol

What is Retinol?

Retinol, a.k.a. Vitamin A1, is a skincare heavyweight, tackling everything from wrinkles to acne. It speeds up cell turnover and boosts collagen, leading to clearer, younger-looking skin.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Side effects include sun sensitivity (making a gentle mineral-based sunscreen a must), potential irritation, dryness, and an initial acne breakout phase known as “purging.”

Also, it’s a no-go for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to the risk of harm to the developing fetus or infant.. you can see why we don’t recommend retinol here at Skorcha!

Bottom line: Retinol can do wonders for your skin in the long run if you are meticulous with your routine, but due to all the drawbacks is it really worth it? Maybe if there were no alternative… Enter Bakuchiol!

Meet Bakuchiol: The Natural Alternative

Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol , extracted from the seeds of the Babchi (Psoralea corylifolia) plant. For centuries, traditional Chinese and Indian medicine have valued bakuchiol for its abilities to prevent tumors and combat inflammation.

pivotal 2018 study[1] highlighted Bakuchiol’s effectiveness in reducing wrinkles and dark spots, mirroring retinol’s benefits without causing skin irritation, peeling, or sensitivity to UV damage…

This makes bakuchiol a gentler option for those seeking anti-aging skincare solutions without the adverse effects, offering a viable plant-based substitute that stimulates collagen production and accelerates cell renewal. It’s just easier to incorporate into a busy routine and actually works!

Is Bakuchiol Really as Good as Retinol?

Bakuchiol is making waves as a retinol rival, backed by studies from the International Journal of Cosmetic Science highlighting its similar anti-aging benefits without the harsh side effects. 

This natural powerhouse appeals to the clean beauty crowd and is a godsend for sensitive skin types, offering a gentle yet effective alternative.

Its ease of use and compatibility with all lifestyles, especially since it doesn’t increase sun sensitivity, make it a seamless addition to daily skincare routines. Bakuchiol stands out as a promising, natural, and gentle skincare solution for those seeking the anti-aging magic of retinol without the downsides.

See the 6 Key considerations in the Bakuchiol vs Retinol debate below…

Bakuchiol vs Retinol: What You Need to Know

When picking between bakuchiol and retinol for your skincare, consider a few key points:

Sensitive Skin? Go Bakuchiol! Choose Bakuchiol for a gentle touch that fights aging without irritating your skin.

Lifestyle: If you’re always on the go or love spending time outdoors, bakuchiol fits right in, no special instructions needed. Just work it into your routine morning & night.

Quick Results: Looking for fast improvements? Bakuchiol starts showing benefits in about six weeks, quicker than many over-the-counter retinol products. Prescription retinoids will show faster results but side effects are amplified.

Acne Concerns: For those fighting acne, bakuchiol helps without the initial breakout often seen with retinol, thanks to its antibacterial properties.

Sun Exposure: If you work or play in the sun, bakuchiol is safer as it doesn’t increase sun sensitivity or degrade in sunlight like retinol does.

Pregnant or Breast Feeding: Retinoids are definite no go when pregnant or breast feeding, however more study is needed for Bakuchiol around this subject so consult a medical professional.

In a nutshell, bakuchiol is your go-to for a no-fuss, sensitive-skin-friendly, and sun-safe option that works quickly on acne and aging signs. Just don’t forget sunscreen for ultimate protection. See 43 reason to use sunscreen every day here!

Choosing the Right Bakuchiol Skincare Product

When hunting for a bakuchiol product, first decide on the type—serums, creams, or peels. Bakuchiol serums are lightweight and go under moisturisers, while creams are richer and wrap up your routine. Peek at the ingredients list for additional actives. Some items blend bakuchiol with retinol or hydrators like squalene for amplified effects.

Consider your budget, too. If bakuchiol is new to you, perhaps start with a less expensive option to test your skin’s tolerance.

Be aware that not all derivatives from the Babchi plant are equally effective. Aim for products containing bakuchiol to ensure the best bang for your buck.

Concentration Matters

The concentration of bakuchiol in a product can make a big difference. For starters, look for products with a bakuchiol concentration of at least 0.5% to 2%.

This range is effective yet gentle enough for most skin types, offering a good balance between efficacy and risk of irritation.

Incorporating Bakuchiol Into Your Routine

Begin with a clean, dry face. Apply your bakuchiol product, followed by moisturizer. If you have sensitive or dry skin, applying moisturizer before bakuchiol can help reduce potential irritation.

Depending on how well your skin takes it, you can use bakuchiol twice daily, in the morning and at night. Since bakuchiol promotes skin renewal, always apply sunscreen in the morning to protect your rejuvenated skin.

How to Increase The Effects of Bakuchiol?

Think about boosting your skincare routine to meet your skin goals better. Adding products like hyaluronic acid for moisture and niacinamide to strengthen your skin’s barrier can enhance the benefits of Bakuchiol without overwhelming your skin.

Consider professional treatments like facials, chemical peels, or micro-needling for an extra push towards your goals. These can help your products work better and should be chosen with advice from a skincare expert to match your skin type and needs, especially when using bakuchiol.

Lifestyle plays a big part in skin health. Eating a diet full of antioxidants, exercising, getting enough sleep, and managing stress not only boosts overall health but also supports your skincare routine. By taking care of your skin from the inside out, you’ll see the best results and elevate your skincare to new heights.

Alternatives to Choosing Bakuchiol vs Retinol

If bakuchiol or retinol isn’t quite right for you, or you’re looking for other ways to tackle aging, uneven skin tone, or acne, there’s no shortage of effective alternatives.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can brighten your complexion, lessen pigmentation, and boost collagen production while gentler than retinol.

Peptides are a fantastic choice for those seeking anti-aging benefits without irritation. They encourage your skin to ramp up collagen production, leading to a firmer and more youthful appearance.

For exfoliation, AHAs and BHAs are game-changers. They smooth skin texture, diminish fine lines, and keep pores clear, perfect for acne-prone skin. With options available in various strengths, you can easily tailor these alternatives to your skin’s needs and tolerance levels.

Just remember to introduce them slowly and monitor your skin’s response, ensuring you find the perfect match for your skincare routine.

Wrapping It Up: My Skincare Journey From Roofer to Skincare Buff

So, we’ve dug deep into bakuchiol vs retinol to help simplify your choice, especially if you’re tackling sun damage or aiming for that youthful glow. 

Why trust me? I’ve spent a decade under the sun, first on rooftops, then door-to-door, which really put my skin to the test. That experience sparked my quest to repair the damage and maintain healthy skin without the fuss.

I’ve experimented, learned heaps, and now I’m here to pass that knowledge on to you. Bakuchiol stood out for me as it’s effective yet gentle on the skin. Whether you’re considering bakuchiol, sticking to retinol, or somewhere in between, the key is finding what resonates with your skin. Listen to it, keep your routine straightforward, and you’re well on your way to great skin.


What Are The Downsides Of Bakuchiol?

While bakuchiol is widely celebrated for its gentle properties, it’s not entirely immune to potential side effects, especially for new users. Some individuals may experience mild sensitivity issues, such as redness, dryness, or a slight stinging sensation when first incorporating bakuchiol into their skincare routine. These reactions are typically temporary and can be minimized by gradually introducing bakuchiol to your regimen.

Is it OK to use bakuchiol everyday?

While bakuchiol generally plays well with others, avoiding combining it with glycolic acid is advisable. The interaction between these two ingredients may compromise bakuchiol’s efficacy in your skincare routine.

Can I layer vitamin C with bakuchiol?

Combining bakuchiol with vitamin C can yield impressive results for your skin. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties help brighten the complexion and shield against environmental stressors, effectively complementing bakuchiol’s anti-aging benefits.

Can you mix hyaluronic acid with bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol’s gentle nature makes it a perfect partner for hyaluronic acid. While bakuchiol targets signs of aging and improves skin texture, hyaluronic acid provides deep hydration, leaving your skin feeling plump and nourished. Together, they form a powerhouse duo, ensuring your skin remains hydrated and radiant.

Can I mix niacinamide with bakuchiol?

Mixing niacinamide with bakuchiol can be highly beneficial for your skin. Bakuchiol offers smoother, calmer skin, while niacinamide helps fight acne and strengthens the skin’s barrier. Together, they provide a comprehensive solution for healthier, happier skin.

Does Bakuchiol work as well as retinol?

Research comparing bakuchiol and retinol published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science confirms that bakuchiol delivers results similar to retinol without the associated side effects. This makes bakuchiol a promising alternative for achieving anti-aging benefits without the drawbacks commonly associated with retinol therapy.

Is Bakuchiol Pregnancy Safe?

Retinol is a no-go if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, but the verdict on bakuchiol during pregnancy isn’t clear yet. There’s a lack of research specifically on pregnant women, so it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding bakuchiol or any new skincare product to your routine.

What not to use with bakuchiol?

While bakuchiol generally plays well with others, avoiding combining it with glycolic acid is advisable. The interaction between these two ingredients may compromise bakuchiol’s efficacy in your skincare routine.

Can I use retinol and bakuchiol together?

Combining bakuchiol with retinol is safe and beneficial for your skin. Research suggests that this duo complements each other well, with bakuchiol’s calming and stabilizing effects enhancing the performance of retinol. Together, they offer a potent blend that promotes skin renewal and resilience, making them valuable allies in your skincare arsenal.

Mick Wadley

Mick Wadley – Founder of Skorcha

After a decade in the scorching sun as a roofer and going door-to-door in sales – I was forced to take my skin health seriously following a skin cancer scare before the age of 30.

So began my passion for suncare, which is both effective and natural. Crafted for adventure and endurance sports, Skorcha formulas are non-greasy, have no eye sting and absolutely no bullshit (100% Organic).

My goal is to share what I’ve learned about skin health and safe ingredients, inspiring happier, healthier lives through adventure, organic goodness and conservation!

Help us plant a mangrove tree with every Skorcha product sold to protect fragile marine ecosystems and support underprivileged communities around the world.

Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health. Skorcha recommends that you consult with your healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition.