A closeup Bakuchiol

Hero Ingredient: Bakuchiol

Active Ingredient: Bakuchiol

Derived from: The seeds and leaves of the Psoralea corylifolia plant (commonly known as Babchi)

Pronunciation: buh-KOO-chee-ol

Type: Natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, often used as an alternative to retinol in skincare products.

Other names: Babchi oil extract, Psoralea corylifolia extract

The Science Behind Bakuchiol and How it is Made

Chemical structure of bakuchiol

Bakuchiol, a natural compound derived from the seeds and leaves of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, has become the talk of the town in the skincare industry as a potent alternative to retinol. Its molecular structure allows it to exhibit retinol-like behavior without the associated irritation, making it suitable for sensitive skin. The primary mechanism behind bakuchiol's efficacy lies in its ability to upregulate collagen production and enhance cell turnover, similar to retinol, which leads to improved skin texture and reduced signs of aging.

The extraction process of bakuchiol involves isolating it from the Babchi plant through a series of steps. Initially, the seeds and leaves undergo drying and grinding. The resultant powder is then subjected to solvent extraction, where solvents like ethanol or methanol help isolate the bakuchiol compound. This extract is further purified using techniques such as chromatography to ensure high potency and purity. The final product is a concentrated bakuchiol extract, ready for incorporation into skincare formulations.

The Power of Bakuchiol in the Skin

Best for: All skin types, especially dry and mature skin

Known for its ability to promote collagen production and enhance cell turnover, bakuchiol effectively reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leading to smoother, more youthful skin.

Gentle on the skin

Unlike retinol, which can cause irritation, redness, and peeling, bakuchiol is gentle on the skin, making it an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin or those who cannot tolerate traditional retinoids. This gentleness allows for daily use without the common side effects associated with retinol.

Protects the skin from external damage

Additionally, bakuchiol offers powerful antioxidant properties that protect the skin from oxidative stress and environmental damage. These antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, preventing premature aging and maintaining the skin's youthful appearance.

Calms and soothes the skin

Bakuchiol's anti-inflammatory effects help to calm and soothe the skin, reducing redness and irritation. This makes it beneficial not only for anti-aging but also for conditions like acne and rosacea, where inflammation is a primary concern.

Gives brighter complexion

Furthermore, bakuchiol has been shown to help with hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, providing a brighter, more even complexion. Its ability to inhibit melanin synthesis makes it an effective treatment for dark spots and discoloration.

The natural origin and compatibility with all skin types make bakuchiol a versatile and effective ingredient in modern skincare formulations. It offers a holistic approach to achieving radiant, healthy skin without the drawbacks associated with synthetic retinoids.

Concerns on Bakuchiol

Despite its many benefits, bakuchiol does have some concerns and limitations to consider:

Allergic Reactions and Sensitivity

Although bakuchiol is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience allergic reactions or skin sensitivity. Symptoms can include redness, itching, or rash. It is always recommended to perform a patch test before using a new skincare product containing bakuchiol.

Possible Photosensitivity

There is some concern that, like retinoids, bakuchiol could potentially increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, although this effect is generally considered to be less pronounced. It is still advisable to use sunscreen during the day when using bakuchiol-containing products.

Limited Long-Term Research

While initial studies and anecdotal evidence support the efficacy and safety of bakuchiol, long-term research is still limited compared to well-studied retinoids. More extensive studies are needed to fully understand its long-term effects and potential side effects.

Interactions with Other Skincare Ingredients

Bakuchiol may interact with other active ingredients in skincare products. While it is generally considered safe to use with other common skincare ingredients, it's important to introduce it gradually into a skincare routine and monitor for any adverse reactions. This is the reason why it’s always important to test new skincare products first before fully using them.

Further Research on Bakuchiol

It is well-known that retinoic acid and its derivatives are used to treat various skin conditions, such as psoriasis and acne vulgaris, and are effective against signs of skin aging, like wrinkles. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISAand histochemical examinations have shown that both retinoids and bakuchiol can stimulate collagen formation by fibroblasts and promote the expression of the aquaporin-3 (AQP3) gene in the stratum corneum, maintaining hydration and reducing dryness. However, retinoid therapy often causes unwanted side effects, such as irritation, dryness, peeling, erythema, and a burning sensation, leading to non-compliance and therapy termination. Bakuchiol, in contrast, has excellent photochemical and hydrolytic stability and a favorable safety profile, allowing for daytime use due to its photostability.

Previous studies also compared the effectiveness and side effects of bakuchiol and retinol in addressing signs of skin aging. Their results showed that both substances significantly reduced wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, with no significant statistical differences. However, retinol users reported more scaly skin and a stinging sensation. This finding is also consistent with other studies, which also compared bakuchiol and retinol's anti-aging effects, showing significant improvements in fine lines and wrinkles, elasticity, firmness, and overall photodamage reduction with bakuchiol.

In Pure Culture, we believe in the power of our natural environment in providing us with effective skincare ingredients like bakuchiol, which is why we use it as an ingredient in True Moisture Silk Rose All-Over Matte Oil. This matte body oil is far more than a standard lotion. Enriched with five luxurious oils – Rosehip, Phyto-Squalane, Jojoba, Sunflower, and Olive – along with ultra-light emollients, it feels like a cozy spa treatment for your skin. It combines natural ingredients with cutting-edge science in one small bottle.

This is for you if:
1. Your body has naturally dry skin.
2. You have mature skin that needs extra nourishment.
3. You have flaky and rough spots like elbows, knees, and ankles.
4. You don’t like using lotion (or think it’s too sticky) in this high-humid climate.
5. You have tried body oils before but find them too heavy and greasy