When it comes to crafting up an anti-aging regimen, we all know that retinol reigns supreme. But, as this wrinkle-smoothing ingredient is notorious for being a bit harsh— think burning, scaling, and even dermatitis, according to the Clinical Interventions in Aging—some sensitive skin types may want to steer clear and swap retinol for this all-natural alternative: bakuchiol.
What Is Bakuchiol?
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, this derivative of the “babchi” plant is also dubbed as a “phyto-retinol.” “It is marketed as a ‘retinol alternative,’ she said. “One problem with retinol is that you can still get sensitive to it… This new ingredient is another gentle approach to those who can’t tolerate retinol.”
So, is bakuchiol really the next big thing in skincare? It’s still tough to say. While Dr. Ciraldo notes that a study has shown the natural ingredients ability to increase collagen production and improve the look of lines and wrinkles, she suggests that there is still more research to be done on the ingredient.
“The only way to prove the claim that bakuchiol is as effective or gentler than retinol would be with a double blind or half face study showing that it gives similar results to retinol,” she said. “However to date there is just one study, which seems to be sponsored by the manufacturer of bakuchiol, that was carried out as regular clinical testing without any comparison of efficacy and safety profile compared to retinol.”
But, if your skin is just too sensitive for old-fashioned retinol, then Dr. Ciraldo advises giving bakuchiol a try. To reap the pore-minimizing and wrinkle-smoothing benefits of this all-natural ingredient, check out some of our favorite bakuchiol-infused products, below.
Envy Medical Dermal Balance Moisturizer
With the anti-aging benefits of bakuchiol, and the soothing effects of chamomile-derivative Bisabalol, this moisturizer is a godsend for anyone with sensitive, uneven skin.
Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum
For an added skin-smoothing boost, slather on some of this serum: it’s infused with bakuchiol, moisturizing squalane, and water-retaining hyaluronic acid to plump and firm skin.
Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil
This oil may feel light as air on skin, but it’s packed with hydrating skin-revivers. Containing a blend of sea buckthorn berry, bakuchiol, rosehip and sweet almond extracts, this oil is filled with strengthening antioxidants and gives your skin a refreshed appearance.
Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment
Through the powerful trifecta of bakuchiol, retinol, and collagen, this nighttime serum will help repair and refine skin while you catch up on your beauty sleep.
Oskia Super 16 Serum
There’s not one, but a whopping 16 nutrients and bio-actives blended into the formula, which work hand-in-hand to rejuvenate your skin from day to night.
OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème
If your skin is feeling a little rough in texture, then slather this AHA-filled creme on at night to awaken with a smooth and supple finish.
REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream
Bring back the firmness and elasticity to your skin, sans the over-stripping qualities of retinol, through this moisturizer. Not only does it contain all of the benefits of bakuchiol, but it’s also infused with hydrating jojoba and olive oils to keep skin silky smooth.