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Bakuchiol vs Retinol: which should you be using?

Retinol and other retinoids have risen to prominence in many skincare routines and seem to be here to stay. Hailed for its anti-ageing and plumping properties, this ingredient is quickly becoming a holy grail. But: many have noticed increased skin irritation whilst their skin adjusted to the new routine, often complaining of flaking skin, redness and increased skin sensitivity. The reason? Retinol is just too strong for some. If you're looking for a gentler, but equally effective solution, read on to discover the plant-based alternative, bakuchiol. 

What is Retinol?

A highly potent ingredient, retinol is a derivative from vitamin A. Whilst one study reported showing promise in the treatment of skin ageing, it also went on to state that irritant reactions can cause many patients to prefer going without the treatment. This is because these molecules are incredibly strong; they work by increasing skin cell turnover rate to clear away old cells and make way for new ones. They also thicken the deeper layer of our skin which is where wrinkles tend to start, hence their ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

What is Bakuchiol?

This wonder ingredient is nature’s retinol: a plant-derived anti-ageing ingredient that is suitable for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. It comes from the Babchi plant, where the bakuchiol is extracted from the seeds, and has been shown to have similar benefits to retinol.

Babchi grows natively in India and Sri Lanka and has a distinctive purple flowering head and large green leaves. This plant has powerful skin healing properties and has been used in Ayurvedic skincare (as well as traditional Chinese medicine) for centuries. The whole plant can be used, but when it comes to the skin, most of its power lies in the seeds.

How does Retinol and Bakuchiol differ?

Retinol increases cell turnover, which means it promotes removal of old cells to make way for new ones. Whilst this sounds great for delivering youthful skin, it can be pretty intense for our skin, hence the irritation.

On the other hand, bakuchiol stimulates collagen production. This vital protein is found all throughout our body and is what gives our skin its elasticity and plumpness. Elasticity in skin fades as we age due to a reduction in collagen production, so by adding this into your skincare routine you can start to counterback the ticking age-clock. 

A scientific study published in 2014 reported that when applied twice a day for 12 weeks, bakuchiol resulted in significant improvement of lines and wrinkles, elasticity, pigmentation and firmness. That sounds like a win for all of us with sensitive skin!

Are there any side effects of using Retinol or Bakuchiol?

If retinol is introduced into a skincare routine too quickly, it can cause skin irritation, such as redness, dryness and flaking. It takes a while for skin to get used to such a potent ingredient, especially if your skin isn’t normally able to handle irritants. Users must also wear plenty of sunscreen due to retinoids making skin far more sensitive to the sun. 

Bakuchiol is suitable for all skin types; it's naturally healing and scientifically proven. No irritating side effects here.

Want to give bakuchiol a try for yourself? Find it in our Bakuchiol Booster, designed to be used each night before bed so you can wake up with radiant skin, every day. Enjoy retinol-like benefits without the drawbacks.

If you have any questions or need personalised advice, we are here to help you. Simply email care@bysarahlondon.com today.


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