Tuesday 21 May 2019

What The F*** Is Bakuchiol?!

You may have heard of bakuchiol. Dubbed the natural alternative to retinol, bakuchiol is a relatively new compound that has fast become the new star in skincare...

Bakuchiol is an active molecule found in extracts of the seeds and leaves of the babchi plant - officially known as the Psoraleaa Corylifolia. Native to Eastern Asia, the babchi plant has been used for many years in traditional Chinese and Ayurveda medicine, mostly as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial treatment.

This interesting ingredient caught the attention of the beauty industry a few years ago, after an article, discussing bakuchiol’s similar functionality to retinol, was published. Bakuchiol in not structurally similar to retinol, however it does carry similar properties. Bakuchiol can stimulate type IV and type I collagen, as well as stimulate the synthesis of type III collagen in mature skin. Studies on skincare products containing bakuchiol have shown the ingredient to be very effective - significantly improving fine lines, wrinkles, and elasticity. The wonder ingredient has also been shown to brighten and smooth skin, boost firmness, and treat pigmentation.

These results have helped to support bakuchiol's popularity, however what has sealed the deal isn't just its similarity to retinol. It's that bakuchiol does the same job as retinol without bringing with it any of the nasty side effects. Unlike retinol, bakuchiol isn't an unstable ingredient and it won't cause skin sensitivity, irritability, or photo-sensitivity. Importantly, bakuchiol can also be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women.

It's worth mentioning that, although bakuchiol doesn't carry the same side effects as retinol, it does require you to apply an SPF after use.

Due to its ever growing popularity, bakuchiol can be found in many skincare products. You can find it in the BYBI Bakuchiol Booster (£12.00 feelunique.com), Bioderma Sebium Global Cover (£14.99 feelunique.com), and Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil (£82 feelunique.com).

A favourite of mine is the Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle™ Retin-ALT Power Serum (£50 Boots). Interestingly, this serum is purple. Why? I'm not entirely sure, however I believe it's to help colour correct the complexion. Regardless, I'm a sucker for novelty and the colour disappears into the skin on application, leaving nothing but a beautiful pearly iridescence shimmer behind. The serum has a lightweight consistency and a smooth texture, blending into the skin effortlessly and quickly, instantly hydrating and perking up the skin. After weeks of using this daily, my skin has become clearer and brighter, and my fine lines are less obvious.

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