Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Natural Beauty

Meet Bakuchiol: The Retinol Alternative

Move over retinol: bakuchiol is the newest wonder ingredient in anti-aging skin care—and it’s popping up in all types of beauty products.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Although new to skin care labels, bakuchiol has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to cure various skin diseases. Bakuchiol comes from the Psoralea corylifolia plant grown on the plains of India. It was first isolated in 1966 from the seed of the plant and was called bakuchiol based on the plant’s Sanskrit name, bakuchi.

The seeds and leaves contain essential oil, flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, and coumarins, giving bakuchi antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also being studied for its chemoprotective power.

Bakuchiol seed oil is capable of some serious damage control:

  • It deeply penetrates the skin to target dark spots and areas of hyperpigmentation.
  • It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the skin and increasing the synthesis of hyaluronic acid.
  • It minimizes enlarged pores, boosts firmness, and helps to calm acne and sensitive skin.

Bakuchiol has become a popular swap for retinol primarily because it is much less irritating, while retinol can cause drying and peeling. Bakuchiol has some additional advantages:

  • It’s more stable than retinol and can increase retinol’s stability.
  • It is safe to use during the day, while retinol isn’t safe to use during sun exposure.
  • It can be combined with other anti-aging powerhouses, while retinol shouldn’t be used with alpha-hydroxy acids or vitamin C.

Freshen and revive your look by choosing anti-aging and brightening skincare with the magical effects of bakuchiol. Here are a few of our favorites to try:

  1. Turn back time with Trilogy Bakuchiol + Booster Treatment. This natural retinol alternative is a two-week remedy that reduces fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, dryness, and elasticity. Bakuchiol (4 percent) smooths and tones, squalane hydrates, omega-rich hemp and rosehip oils moisturize and nourish, and softening meadowfoam seed oil leaves skin feeling silky and pampered.
  2. Exfoliate and invigorate your skin with Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Toner. This pH-balanced, alcohol-free skin prep also removes impurities, rebalances skin, and helps shrink pores. Bakuchiol and retinol work together to smooth skin. Glycolic acid exfoliates dead skin, sea kelp extract detoxifies, and vitamin A-rich papaya helps hydrate, leaving skin looking brighter and feeling refreshed.
  3. Address signs of aging with Pacifica Clean Shot Retinoid + Bakuchiol 3% in Seawater. In addition to bakuchiol, this serum boasts Granactive, an advanced retinoid complex that can be less irritating than retinol. And it smells great thanks to the addition of jasmine.
  4. Renew and protect your skin with Acure Radically Rejuvenating Dual Phase Bakuchiol Serum. The top layer is an antioxidant-rich essence, and the bottom is a moisturizing serum. For radiant skin, shake to mix bakuchiol and rejuvenating eggplant, holy basil, turmeric, neem, and red algae extracts.
  5. Refresh your skin as you sleep with Sagely Naturals Brightening CBD Night Cream. Bakuchiol seed oil, moisturizing hyaluronic acid, meadowfoam seed oil, and vitamin C-rich camu camu awaken your skin’s glow with antioxidants and moisture. Broad-spectrum CBD hemp oil also soothes and smooths skin structure and tone. In the morning your skin will look and feel revived.

Related: Are You Getting Enough Vitamin A?