Everyone talks about it, everyone wants to try it on his or her own skin, we are talking about bakuchiol. But what is it exactly? And what are its benefits? Today we talk about it based on the most recent scientific research.
Bakuchiol, what is it
Bakuchiol is a natural substance, in particular a monoterpene, isolated for the first time in 1966 from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, also called babchi or bakuchi plant. The plant has been known for centuries to the Ayurvedic tradition, which indicates it as a remedy for various skin disorders. And this time too, tradition understood what science was only able to demonstrate centuries later.
The benefits of bakuchiol, what science says
Based on scientific studies, bakuchiol has anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (Shoji et al, JBC, 2024).
Bakuchiol also has properties similar to retinol, showing action comparable to retinol when it comes to improving the appearance of the skin, reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, or dark skin spots (Dobos, Cosmetics and Toiletris, 2024 - Dhaliwal et al, Br J Dermatol, 2019). The merit is due to the fact that bakuchiol acts with mechanisms similar to retinol, modulating the same receptors and regulating in a similar way the synthesis of the extra cellular matrix, which is the substance in which the tissue cells are immersed, a sort of scaffolding of the skin, and collagen (Dobos, Cosmetics and Toiletris, 2024). However, compared to retinol, bakuchiol shows a more powerful antioxidant action, greater stability, even in light, which makes bakuchiol a product that can also be used during the day, and is better tolerated, without causing irritation, itching and flaking of the skin, as is more likely to happen when using retinol (Dobos, Cosmetics and Toiletris, 2024). Studies have shown that the constant application, for at least 3 months, of bakuchiol-based products allows for the reduction of expression lines, wrinkles and photoaging, with an improvement in the skin's elasticity, tone and homogeneity of the complexion. In addition to these properties, studies have also observed an increase in skin hydration (Nizam et al, F1000Res, 2023 - Chaudhuri et al, Int J Cosmet Sci, 2014). Finally, bakuchiol helps fight acne. The use of products containing 1% bakuchiol has been shown in studies to reduce acne by 57% after a month and a half of treatment. Not only that, bakuchiol also helped reduce post-inflammatory dark spots caused by acne (Chaudhuri et al, Cosmeceuticals and Active Cosmetics, 2015).
Bakuchiol, how to use it and applications
Bakuchiol can be found pure in the best-stocked shops and online and thus added to your DIY preparations. However, pay attention that the product is of quality and follow the indication not to exceed the dosage of 1% when adding it to the other ingredients of your cosmetics. Bakuchiol should be added to oily ingredients and never at high temperatures above 50° C.
Alternatively, you can use ready-made products that contain bakuchiol. The offer is wide and ranges from serums to creams.
Bakuchiol, side effects
Bakuchiol is used in cosmetics as a natural, better tolerated and safe alternative to retinol. Bakuchiol is effective without causing flaking or irritation. However, in rare cases and only in very sensitive skin, a slight redness was observed at the beginning of treatment with bakuchiol (Nizam et al, F1000Res, 2023).