Nervous to Try Retinol? Bakuchiol is A Gentler Alternative
You might have to Google the pronunciation of bakuchiol — it's OK, we did too — but this skin-care ingredient is more than just a mouthful. It's been making its way into more serums, face creams, and skin tonics as of late, and for good reason: it's a gentler version of another workhorse ingredient called retinol.
Ahead, experts break down what bakuchiol is and its benefits, and we also gathered some of our favorite products that include the ingredient.
What Is Bakuchiol?
Like the vitamin A derivative, it also has the ability to significantly decrease the appearance of fine lines and hyperpigmentation, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. (Dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, says it's worth noting that the study compares bakuchiol to retinols, not prescription-strength retinoids, so if you need something stronger, you may have to stick to your prescription.)
Bakuchiol vs Retinol
Retinols have a history of being too harsh for skin because of how potent they are, making bakuchiol an effective alternative. "It has the advantage of being safe for sensitive, irritated skin, and can be used across a variety of skin types," Zeichner says. It also has one particular leg up on retinol: "Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are all ones that retinol is lacking. Bakuchiol has the same molecular targets as retinol, while being more stable."
Ahead, check out our favorite products containing the ingredient.
Best Moisturizer With Bakuchiol
Made for normal skin types, this product is perfect for moisturizing the skin while also combatting uneven texture. It's a lightweight formula that works best for those who aren't looking for an overly thick moisturizer.
Best Serum With Bakuchiol
Technically a serum-meets-moisturizer, this formula from Innbeauty Project is made to deeply hydrate all while improving skin's texture and firmness. It's made with bakuchiol, but also hyaluronic acid, which plumps skin.
Best Facial Oil With Bakuchiol
The Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil can save even the driest of skin from winter flakes and dry patches. It will leave your skin glowing, and it's perfect for when you want a smooth base before applying makeup.
Best Retinol and Bakuchiol Treatment
If you're interested in combining both retinol and bakuchiol ingredients, we'd recommend trying this hybrid product from Paula's Choice. Use it a few times a week to start, followed up with moisturizer.
— Additional reporting by Renee Rodriguez