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Where the ‘Bak’ Does Bakuchiol Come From?

It’s no secret that we’re a little bit obsessed with bakuchiol. It’s the natural, vegan alternative to retinol that’s gentle on all skin types (so no risk of red, peeling, and irritated skin), and has all the skin-plumping, collagen-boosting and fine line-smoothing benefits as the more famous ingredient. It’s why you’ll find it in our cult-favourite bakuchiol serum, Bakuchiol Booster, and concentrated eye cream, Eye Plump – and why we’ll always choose it over retinol.

Like with all our ingredients and formulas, we believe in being 100% transparent in where we get our bakuchiol from – and we only work with a supplier that sources it responsibly. And because we know the skincare industry is full of a whole host of ingredients and practices that claim to be sustainable, ethical, and efficacious, here’s the story of our bakuchiol. And it all starts with a plant called babchi (or Psoralea corylifolia, if we’re getting scientific).

What is the babchi plant?

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

So where does bakuchiol come from?

Babchi oil comes from those powerful seeds. Bakuchiol is an active chemical component found in the oil – and that’s what we use in our products.

How do we source responsibly?

. We scrutinise every ingredient that we choose to include in every one of our products, ensuring it delivers great skincare benefits with minimal impact to the planet.

The rise in popularity of bakuchiol has led to strains on the ingredient’s supply. Babchi has a low germination rate and unfortunately, there have been more cases of illegal harvesting of the plant. That’s why we believe the best bakuchiol is the one that is responsibly sourced, and harvested carefully to preserve ecosystems. 

We work closely with our bakuchiol suppliers in India, carefully chosen because they:

  • Promote sustainable farming practices, ensuring the babchi plant continues to exist in the wild
  • Harvest by hand to protect the plant
  • Work with a local foundation that help education and livelihood for girls and women
  • Continually invest in research to increase yield from seeds gathered, so we can use less
  • Ensure the finished  ingredient travel to the point of manufacturer by boat

Making sure it’s ethically sourced and environmentally grown is just one of the steps we’re taking to meet our carbon goals of becoming carbon negative. Just like your skin deserves to be looked after and cared for, so does our Earth.

Ready to swap your retinol? Shop all bakuchiol skincare online at BYBI.