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November 10, 2021

Bakuchiol - the uses and benefits for your skin

Often hailed as retinol’s gentler sister, bakuchiol is a naturally-derved ingredient that has been shown to offer the benefits of retinol without the side effects!

This powerful ingredient is less irritating to the skin, working to treat fine lines, breakouts and dark spots…but does it really work as well as retinol? Read on to find out everything you need to know about bakuchiol.

What is bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a vegan ingredient derived from the leaves and seeds of the psorela corylifolia plant, also known as the babchi plant. Bakuchiol has its roots in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine, being used for centuries to treat a range of ailments. It is a potent antioxidant often used as an alternative to retinol to promote healthy skin aging. 

But why is bakuchiol so good for the skin?

Bakuchiol is not only powerful but is suitable for a wide range of skin types. With anti-inflammatory properties, it has the ability to soothe and calm the skin, whilst helping to protect against premature skin aging and environmental aggressors. It also boasts antibacterial properties.

Bakuchiol vs retinol - what is the difference?

Retinol is is a derivative of vitamin A and is the 3rd strongest form of retinoid. It works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by promoting skin cell turnover to stimulate collagen production. This process can cause skin irritation meaning that retinol is not suitable for all skin types. In addition to this, the skin adjusts to retinol. This means that in order to continue seeing incremental benefits, you will need to up the strength.

Bakuchiol on the other hand, offers similar benefits but is gentler on the skin. As it is not vitamin A based, it is less irritating to the skin whilst still working to improve skin tone and texture by stimulating collagen production. This can help to reduce the visible signs of aging.




Vitamin A derivative

Derived from the leaves and seeds of the psorela corylifolia plant (babchi plant)


- Stimulates skin cell turnover and collagen production
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Helps to prevent premature skin aging

- Brightens skin

- Clears and reduces breakouts

- Fades dark spots and hyperpigmentation

- Stimulates skin cell turnover and collagen production
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Helps to prevent premature skin aging

- Brightens skin

- Clears and reduces breakouts

- Fades dark spots and hyperpigmentation
- Protects against environmental stressors

- Soothes the skin

Frequency of use

2-3 times per week - you may apply less frequently to begin with to allow your skin to acclimatise

Up to twice per day

Time of use



Side effects

- Skin irritation

- Redness

- Itching

- Increased sensitivity to the sun

- Dry skin

No known side effects

5 bakuchiol skin benefits

1. Increases collagen production

Collagen is responsible for the elasticity and plumpness of our skin; the production of which decreases with age. Bakuchiol works to stimulate collagen production by expediting skin cell turnover, which can help to re-plump and smooth the skin over time.

2. Reduces signs of ageing

The reduction in collagen is often responsible for the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Environmental stresstors can also lead to premature skin aging. Bakuchiol works to prevent and repair premature ageing in a manner similar to that of retinol. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restore firmness, refine skin texture and even out skin tone without any of retinol’s drawbacks.

3. Protection against environmental stressors

Bakuchiol is a rich source of antioxidants, which work to counteract free radicals and defend the skin from pollution and other environmental stressors such as UV rays and harsh weather conditions.

4. Soothes skin

Ideal for those with sensitive skin, bakuchiol has soothing and calming properties. It works as an anti-inflmmatory making it especially beneficial to those who suffer from conditions such as rosacea and acne

5. Evens skin tone and texture

As an antioxidant, bakuchiol fights against oxidative stress that can result in dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Not only can it lighten existing dark spots but it can also help to protect against new ones forming for a bright and even complexion.

How to use bakuchiol for the skin

Bakuchiol can be found in a variety of forms, most commonly in serums and moisturisers. Bakuchiol should always be applied topically to cleansed skin. Whilst retinol can only be used around 2-3 times per week, bakuchiol is gentle enough to be used up to twice per day (AM and PM). Even though bakuchiol can provide some protection against UV damage, it should always be used in conjunction with an SPF during the day.

Bakuchiol skincare products

If you’ve tried retinol and find that it’s too harsh for your skin, it might be time to give bakuchiol a go. Here at facetheory, we only incorporate the very best, scientifically-proven ingredients into our skincare products.

Explore our skincare products containing bakuchiol.

Bakuluronic Moisturiser M1

Our Bakuluronic Moisturiser combines 2% bakuchiol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, vitamin e and ferulic acid to create a potent formula for maximum results. A lightweight day cream, it helps to retain the skin’s moisture balance, defend against environmental aggressors and reduce the visible signs of aging.

When to use bakuchiol

Bakuchiol can be used everyday, in both the morning and evening. It is generally well-tolerated by all skin types due to its gentle nature. Those who suffer from certain conditions may see additional benefit after incorporating bakuchiol into their skincare routine.


Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and swelling. Bakuchiol’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce swelling, soothing the skin and easing symptoms when flare ups strike.

Aging skin

The reduction in collagen is one of the main causes of lines and wrinkles. For those with aging skin, incorporating an ingredient such as bakuchiol into your skincare routine could be the answer. B stimulating collagen production, not only can it help to prevent further signs of aging but it can help to reverse the visible signs too!

Sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, finding skincare products that are gentle enough on your skin but still effective can be difficult. Retinol is usually too harsh for those with sensitive skin and can result in irritation, dryness and redness. Bakuchiol is powerful yet has no known side effects, making it a perfect alternative.

Acne-prone skin

For those with acne, bakuchiol can have a number of benefits. There is limited research to show that bakuchiol can be effective in treating mild breakouts. It also helps to protect against free radicals and environmental stressors that could result in breakouts, whilst reducing inflammation and redness of current blemishes. Finally, as it increases skin cell turnover, bakuchiol can help to fade and prevent acne scars.


Is bakuchiol suitable for my skin type?

Bakuchiol is well tolerated by all skin types. Whether your skin is oily, dry or sensitive, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of bakuchiol without any of the unwanted effects associated with retinol. As with all products, if any irritation does occur, discontinue use.

Can bakuchiol be used with other products?

Bakuchiol is compatible with most ingredients and can safely be incorporated into your skincare regimen. Due to its soothing properties, it can reduce irritation caused by stronger exfoliants such as AHA, BHA, PHA and retinol. Using it in tandem with a chemical exfoliant can help facilitate skin cell shedding and renewal.

How often should I use bakuchiol?

You can use bakuchiol up to twice per day. Unlike retinol, bakuchiol is photostable, so it is suitable for day and night use. It is also gentle on the skin so shouldn’t cause irritation with frequent use.

Should I use bakuchiol as an alternative to retinol?

If you have sensitive skin, or find that retinol causes unwanted side effects, bakuchiol is the perfect alternative; clinically-proven to provide similar results without causing irritation.

Is bakuchiol as effective as retinol?

Bakuchiol is a natural, gentler alternative to retinol. It is a great option for those with sensitive skin or those who have suffered unwanted side effects due to retinol. In terms of effectiveness, it provides very similar benefits.

Are there any side effects to using bakuchiol?

There are currently no known side effects to using bakuchiol on your skin, and it is generally well-tolerated by most skin types. Carry out a patch test on a small area of skin before use and discontinue use if irritation occurs.