Is this plant-based ingredient the new retinol?

While retinol is a wonder ingredient for most, those who suffer from sensitive skin cannot always tolerate it. In fact, it has been known to cause redness, patchiness, itchiness and flaky skin from time to time. Plus, it usually needs to be slowly introduced into a routine to build up tolerance, which can be a little frustrating.

Thankfully, that’s where plant-based alternative, bakuchiol, comes into play. With the wellness trend ever-growing across different aspects of our lives – from what we eat to what we put on our skin and more – now seems like the perfect time to invest in a more natural skincare alternative – one which delivers the same benefits as retinol.

To learn more about the ingredient currently shaking the skincare world, BD reached out to Medik8’s director of research, Daniel Isaacs, who answered some of our burning questions, while introducing the new Medik8 Bakuchiol Peptides Retinol Alternative Peptide-Infused Serum.

What is bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a natural, plant-based retinol alternative. It is derived from the seeds and leaves of the Indian Babchi Plant. It has been clinically proven to harness anti-ageing powers that are comparable to retinol, without any side effects that can sometimes occur with vitamin A use.

What are the benefits?

Bakuchiol is able to help prevent and restore signs of premature ageing, due to its antioxidant, collagen-stimulating and hydrating properties. Bakuchiol is also great for clear skin, as it uses its gentle anti-inflammatory powers to minimise the formation of blemishes and to calm the skin. Finally, it can help to minimise the synthesis of melanin and therefore brighten the skin tone.

Are there side effects?

There are no known side-effects to using bakuchiol.

What are the similarities and differences between bakuchiol and retinol?

Bakuchiol and retinol can both help to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They also help to speed up cellular turnover in the skin, giving it a smoother, softer surface. Retinol and bakuchiol also both help to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin – for a more youthful-looking, plumper complexion. They also can help to hinder excess production of melanin, leaving the skin evenly-toned and brightened.

Key differences are that as an ingredient, bakuchiol is a lot more gentle on the skin than retinol, working to naturally soothe and calm the skin. Bakuchiol is also photostable, and can be used day and night. Vitamin A on the other hand, may not be photostable but is often considered the ‘gold-standard’ in anti-ageing due to unparalleled results and scientific data.

Are there benefits to using bakuchiol over retinol?

Bakuchiol is proven to have the same anti-ageing powers as retinol, but without the side-effects. This makes it ideal for those who can’t tolerate vitamin A, are pregnant or nursing*, or those with extremely sensitive skin.

Bakuchiol is also photostable, meaning it can be used day and night, unlike most forms of retinol. This means that even if you do use vitamin A, our new Bakuchiol Peptides serum can elevate your anti-ageing results during the day, and your vitamin A choice at night. 

How and when should you use bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol can be used both day and night. We advise you to use our Bakuchiol Peptides serum after cleansing, applying six drops across the face, neck and décolletage.

What skin type is it most suited to?

Bakuchiol Peptides is suited to all skin types, in particular those whose skin is on the sensitive side, cannot use vitamin A, or are pregnant and nursing*. The formula helps with blemish, brightening and visible ageing concerns.

Can you mix bakuchiol with other ingredients and products?

Medik8’s Bakuchiol Peptides formula is enhanced with a blend of calming centella asiatica and brightening peptide precursors. Centella asiatica, also known as ‘cica’, has incredible anti-inflammatory action on the skin, perfect for visibly soothing and calming inflamed, sensitive skin. Brightening peptide precursors are able to help minimise the formation of melanin, resulting in a visibly brighter, more even complexion with less hyperpigmentation.

How did Medik8 come to discover bakuchiol and implement it?

One of the most buzz-worthy ingredients in skin care, bakuchiol is taking the industry by storm. Hailed for its anti-ageing powers that are comparable to the gold standard, retinol, bakuchiol can prove a worthy (plant-based) alternative for vitamin A. However, in true Medik8 style, we have taken bakuchiol to new heights with our latest peptide-infused innovation: Bakuchiol Peptides.

Bakuchiol Peptides contains 1.25% pure bakuchiol, and its powers are elevated with brightening peptide precursors and calming centella asiatica. Photostable, the lilac-hued formula is optimised for both day and night use and makes the perfect CSA-alternative for those who can’t tolerate vitamin A.

Click here to view the new Medik8 Bakuchiol Peptides listing and to download hi-res imagery.

*Of course, due to ethical considerations the Bakuchiol Peptides formula has not been tested on pregnant women, but there is nothing in the formula which is known to be an issue (eg vitamin A or high levels of exfoliating acids). If you are at all concerned, always consult your doctor.