A Plant-Based Alternative to Retinoids

Bakuchiol 101

Bakuchiol 101

A Plant-Based Alternative to Retinoids

Bakuchiol vs Retinoids
Fast Fact Card

Type of Ingredient Antioxidants Hydrating compound
Chemical class A synthetic form of Vitamin A. Plant-based ingredient mimicking the effects of retinoids.
Use Visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
Dosage Start with twice a week at nighttime only. Twice a day.
Who Should Use It? In general, anyone looking to reduce the signs of skin aging. Those with eczema or rosacea that's flaring should not use Retinol. Bakuchiol is safe for all skin types (oily, dry, and combination).


Bakuchiol (pronounced as ba-koo-heel or baku-chee-yal) is a plant-based ingredient mimicking the effects of Retinoids without the irritating side effects. It is a botanically-derived phytochemical that is effective in skin ailments.

It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and collagen-stimulating properties. Due to these medicinal properties, Bakuchiol is recommended for treating fine lines and wrinkles, lack of elasticity, loss of firmness, pigmentation, and age spots. It is also well suited for premature signs of aging and is used as a natural alternative to retinoids in anti-aging treatments. It is available as a facial oil (a mixture of essential oils), serum, and in night creams.

Oxidative stress leads to visible signs of aging. Bakuchiol has antioxidant properties that disrupt melanin synthesis. Benefits to expect include protection from free radical damage, increased collagen and elasticity, reduced depth and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Retinoids are an umbrella term for compounds such as Retinaldehyde, Retinoic Acid, Retinol and Retinoid Esters (retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate). Retinol is a relatively mild compound that is often available over the counter, whereas Tretinoin is a pure Retinoic Acid therefore, a strong compound available only with a prescription and can be very irritating. Retinoid compounds are chemically related to Vitamin A and are used in anti-aging products.

Retinaldehyde, a precursor of Retinoic Acid, is used in various Avène products due to its potent, yet gentle properties. It slows down the formation of wrinkles and promotes skin cell turnover and works well with other ingredients in the products e.g., Vitamin C, Vitamin E.

Topical Retinoids reduce visible signs of aging. Retinoids stimulate the formation of collagen and thereby reduce fine lines or wrinkles. It is also useful in treating acne and hyperpigmentation. Retinoids can help in maintaining a youthful glow on the skin. Regular use is recommended for six to twelve months.

While using Retinoids some precautions are necessary. Exposure to sunlight must be minimized as the risk of sunburn increases. Retinoid creams are therefore used at night. This night routine might not be feasible for everyone.

Bakuchiol 101

How To Use It?

  • Bakuchiol is safe to use twice a day - apply it in the morning and at night. Due to Bakuchiol's natural composition, it's safe to use with other products in your skincare regimen.
  • Retinoids are typically used at night as a night cream. Specific products such as Benzoyl Peroxide are best avoided while using Retinoids as they can cause irritation.

Bakuchiol 101

When To See Your Dermatologist

Bakuchiol and retinoid skincare regimes are effective in 12-weeks. Consider consulting your dermatologist in case of these scenarios:

  • If you're looking for a prescription-strength Retinoid, a dermatologist can evaluate your skin and prescribe further treatment.
  • If you use Bakuchiol or Retinoids and experiencing redness and irritation.
  • If you're pregnant and looking to incorporate these ingredients into your routine. It is best to consult your dermatologist and OB-GYN to discuss if Bakuchiol would be a good option for you.