Retinol is one of those ingredients that has fantastic benefits like improving skin texture, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and evening out hyperpigmentation, but can also be a little more challenging to work with. Even more, some clients tend to be too nervous to even give it a go because of the possibility for it to cause redness irritation, peeling and sensitivity.
One ingredient that hit the spotlight in response to this is bakuchiol, also deemed "nature's retinol." Bakuchiol is a plant-based chemical compound mainly isolated from Psoralea corylifolia, or babchi, a plant used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Bakuchiol is more than just a retinol-alternative. In fact, scientists have been taking it seriously, researching its various beneficial properties in skin’s overall health. Here’s a look at three scientifically backed benefits of bakuchiol from Aimee Werner, founder Whish.
Related: Could Bakuchiol Be Retinol's Match?
1. Alternative Solution for Sensitive Skin
There’s a reason bakuchiol is touted as nature's less-irritating version of retinol. It has soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help to comfort skin and minimize issues associated with sensitivity and reactivity. It can also be used on sensitive skin types with present eczema/atopic dermatitis, rosacea and cosmetic intolerance syndrome.
2. Slows Photoaging Process
According to research, bakuchiol has the potential to stop photoaging before it starts, when applied topically. Clinically, bakuchiol is shown to improve signs of the photoaging process, which includes fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation, to a degree comparable to retinol, even after UV exposure. Plus, it works by increasing cell turnover (just like retinol), but doesn't have the same sensitizing effects that retinol does including flaking and peeling. In turn, it stimulates collagen production and improves skin laxity and bounce.
3. Can Ward Off Cancer-Causing Cells
Besides being used as a cosmetic ingredient for its antioxidant, anti-aging, and acne reducing effects, studies also show that bakuchiol has chemopreventive properties that inhibit and suppress the proliferation of skin cancer cells by targeting Hck, Blk, and p38 MAP kinase (enzymes that speed up chemical reactions in the body).
Retinol vs. Bakuchiol
One thing we do know about skin care is that there is no one size fits all formula. Both prove great benefits to the skin, so it really comes down to your treatment plan for your clients and your clients comfortability with these ingredients.