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Who should use Bakuchiol?

Unsure on if you should use bakuchiol, retinol, both or neither? Here's a handy guide on who should use bakuchiol!

First up, a bit of background. Bakuchiol is an active ingredient derived from the babchi plant which grows natively in India and Sri Lanka. The plant has skin healing properties that mean it has been used in Ayurvedic skincare and Chinese medicine for centuries. Bakuchiol is an active chemical component found in the babchi seed's oil.


Bakuchiol hit the headlines recently as a comparison to retinol (vitamin A) as their benefits to the skin are similar but studies have shown that Bakuchiol does not cause redness, irritation and sensitivity in the same way retinol can.

It therefore makes for a wonderful and powerful skincare ingredients that's suitable for most, but here's a guide on who should use bakuchiol:

Sensitive skin

You should definitely consider using bakuchiol if you have sensitive skin that doesn't get on with retinol. If you find that retinol causes your skin redness and irritation then bakuchiol could be a great alternative; they are actually completely different in their composition and bakuchiol is more gentle and less generally irritating. Always remember to patch test first! 

Maturing skin

Bakuchiol's star benefit, much like retinol, is its ability to improve the look and condition of maturing skin concerns. You should use bakuchiol if you are looking to target lines, wrinkles, uneven texture, sagging and creasing. Its ability to increase cell turnover, which stimulates collagen production, promotes youthful, bouncy skin.

Oily or acne-prone skin

Bakuchiol has strong calming properties so can actually help to soothe acne-prone skin, and as an oil itself is non comedogenic so won't block the pores or cause the skin to over-produce oil. You can therefore get its wonderful firming benefits whilst also regulating oily skin!

Those pregnant or breastfeeding

As there are recommended limits on vitamin A intake during pregnancy, it is not generally advised that pregnant women use retinol. Bakuchiol doesn't contain vitamin A in any form, so won't affect your intake. It is therefore generally considered safe to use in pregnancy and when breastfeeding but of course if you are ever in doubt then contact your GP!

Those already using retinol

You can still introduce bakuchiol into your routine if you're already using retinol, in fact some studies have shown that bakuchiol can enhance the positive effects of retinol through its calming and antioxidant properties; helping skin to tolerate the retinol. Either pair with the retinol in your routine or use on your retinol off days!