Is bakuchiol better than retinol

When it comes to skincare, searching for effective and proven ingredients is a never-ending quest. One such comparison that has gained significant attention in recent years is the battle between bakuchiol and retinol.

Bakuchiol, a natural plant-derived alternative, has emerged as a potential game-changer in anti-ageing skincare. Meanwhile, retinol, a vitamin A derivative, has long been hailed as a gold standard for reducing fine lines and wrinkles and promoting skin rejuvenation.

This blog post delves into the fascinating face-off between bakuchiol and retinol. We will explore their similarities and differences.

Whether you're new to skincare or a skincare enthusiast, this comprehensive comparison will equip you with the knowledge to decide which ingredient might be best suited for your unique skincare needs.

So, let's dive in and unravel the fascinating world of bakuchiol and retinol, uncovering the science behind their claims and exploring their potential to transform your skin.

bakuchiol leaf

What is Bakuchiol oil?

Derived from the seeds and leaves of the Psoralea Corylifolia plant, a species native to India and used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, Bakuchiol Oil is quickly becoming a coveted component in many skincare formulations. 

Bakuchiol Oil is a natural, plant-based compound that boasts many benefits for the skin. It's often dubbed as the "natural alternative" to Retinol, owing to its similar actions but with a gentler, less irritating approach.

So, what makes Bakuchiol Oil special? Its unique range of properties makes it a one-of-a-kind skincare ingredient:

  • Anti-Ageing: Much like Retinol, Bakuchiol has powerful anti-ageing properties. It promotes cell turnover, helping to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of skin ageing. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found Bakuchiol to be on par with Retinol in reducing signs of photoaging, with fewer side effects.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Bakuchiol has potent antioxidant properties, helping to combat free radicals and oxidative stress that can contribute to skin ageing and damage. This sets it apart from many other anti-ageing ingredients, including Retinol.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: The oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can help soothe skin irritation and reduce inflammation, making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin types or those with inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, or eczema.
  • Stability: Unlike Retinol, which degrades under sunlight, Bakuchiol is photo-stable, meaning it remains effective even when exposed to light or air. This makes it a suitable ingredient for both day and night skincare routines.
  • Compatibility: Bakuchiol doesn't react adversely with other skincare ingredients. This contrasts with Retinol, which can cause reactions with certain ingredients, such as Vitamin C or exfoliating acids.

In conclusion, Bakuchiol Oil offers a potent yet gentle alternative to traditional anti-ageing skincare ingredients. It merges the best of nature and science, providing a unique and powerful solution for maintaining a healthy, youthful complexion.


retinol oil


What Is Retinol

Suppose you're a skincare enthusiast or curious about maintaining a healthy, youthful-looking complexion. In that case, you've likely heard of the term Retinol. Often hailed as the gold standard in over-the-counter anti-ageing skincare, Retinol has been on the lips of dermatologists and skincare experts for years. But what exactly is Retinol?

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, a nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining the health of our skin, eyes, and immune system. Retinol is part of a larger family of compounds known as retinoids in skin care. Other family members include retinoic acid (tretinoin), retinyl palmitate, and retinaldehyde, each with varying potency and side effects.

As one of the most extensively researched skincare ingredients, Retinol has stood the test of time for a good reason - it works. It effectively reduces visible signs of ageing, including fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It also improves uneven skin tone, smooths skin texture, and boosts radiance.

Retinol works its magic by accelerating skin cell turnover. As we age, our skin's natural cell turnover process slows down, leading to a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface, resulting in dull skin, clogged pores, and a rough texture. Retinol helps reveal fresher, younger-looking skin underneath by encouraging quicker cell turnover.

Moreover, Retinol also boosts the production of collagen, a protein that gives our skin its firmness and elasticity. Increased collagen production helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It provides the skin with a more youthful appearance.

However, Retinol has its drawbacks. It can be irritating, especially for those with sensitive skin or new to using it. Common side effects include redness, dryness, peeling, and increased sun sensitivity. This is why it is generally recommended to start with a lower concentration and gradually increase as your skin acclimates to the product. Moreover, due to its sun sensitivity effects, Retinol is typically recommended for use in the evening, followed by broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day.


model with clear face


How do they improve the skin? 

 Bakuchiol and Retinol, while sourced from entirely different origins, have remarkable similarities when it comes to their beneficial effects on the skin. Each has unique properties that make them stand out. Here's how both of these powerhouse ingredients work to improve the skin.


  • Stimulates Collagen Production: Bakuchiol has been found to stimulate collagen production in the skin, a protein responsible for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. This assists in minimising the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, leading to smoother, younger-looking skin.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Bakuchiol boasts potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants assist in counteracting damaging free radicals in the skin, which are induced by environmental factors such as pollution and UV radiation. This aids in warding off early skin ageing and fosters a more vibrant skin appearance.
  • Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial: Bakuchiol's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help soothe the skin and can be beneficial In handling issues like acne and rosacea.
  • Improves Skin Tone and Texture: By promoting cell turnover and combating free radical damage, Bakuchiol improves overall skin tone and texture, leading to a brighter, more radiant complexion.


  • Promotes Cell Turnover: Retinol is a powerhouse at promoting rapid cell turnover. It promotes the removal of expired skin cells and the development of fresh ones, which may reduce the visibility of minor wrinkles, ageing spots, and fine lines.
  • Boosts Collagen Production: Much like Bakuchiol, Retinol stimulates collagen production in the skin. This can decrease the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles and enhancement in the skin's suppleness. 
  • Unclogs Pores: Retinol can help to unclog pores, making it a valuable ingredient for those dealing with acne or frequent breakouts. It can reduce the occurrence of blemishes and help promote a clearer complexion. 
  • Improves Skin ToneRetinol can aid in balancing skin colour, reducing the prominence of discoloured spots, irregular skin tones and dark patches. This may result in a more luminous and uniform skin texture.

 Bakuchiol and Retinol can benefit a skincare routine, providing powerful anti-ageing benefits and improving overall skin health. As always, when incorporating new active ingredients into your routine, it's essential to do so gradually and pay attention to how your skin reacts. 


How should retinol or bakuchiol be incorporated into a skincare routine? 

Suppose you're considering incorporating skincare products containing Retinol or Bakuchiol into your routine. In that case, knowing how to use them properly for maximum benefit is essential. 

Here's a guide to seamlessly integrating products with these active ingredients into your skincare regimen.

Skincare Products with Retinol

  • Use at Night: Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, using products containing retinol in your evening routine is best.
  • After Cleansing and Toning: Clean your face with a gentle cleanser and apply a toner (if you use one). You can apply the Retinol-containing product once your skin is clean and prepped.
  • Frequency: Start using the product once or twice a week, then gradually increase to every other night as your skin becomes accustomed to the ingredient.
  • Moisturise Afterwards: Because retinol can dry, you should always follow up with a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Sunscreen is a Must: Even if you use retinol only at night, you still need to protect your skin during the day with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.


Skincare Products with Bakuchiol

  • Use Day and Night: Unlike Retinol, Bakuchiol does not increase sun sensitivity, so that you can use it in your morning and evening routines.
  • After Cleansing and Toning: Apply your Bakuchiol product after your skin is clean and prepped with toner.
  • Follow with Moisturizer: While bakuchiol is less drying than retinol, keeping your skin hydrated with a moisturizer after applying any active ingredient is always good.
  • Can Be Combined: Bakuchiol is gentler and can often be combined with other skincare products and actives without irritating.


Remember to do a patch test first, regardless of whether you're using a product with Retinol or Bakuchiol. Apply a small amount of the product on a discreet skin area, wait 24 hours, and check for any reaction signs.


glowdrate facial oil vintage

Bakuchiol Vs Retinol

The skincare world is always on the hunt for the next miracle ingredient, and the latest one to hit the market with considerable buzz is Bakuchiol. As a plant-based alternative to Retinol, it's sparking interest from skincare professionals and enthusiasts alike. So, what are the differences between these two ingredients? Let's take a closer look at Bakuchiol vs. Retinol.

Origin and Nature

The most fundamental difference between Bakuchiol and Retinol lies in their origins. Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is a synthetic ingredient created in labs. On the other hand, Bakuchiol is a natural compound extracted from the seeds and leaves of the Psoralea Corylifolia plant, a herb native to India.

Mechanism of Action

Both Bakuchiol and Retinol stimulate cell turnover and collagen production, effectively combating signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. However, they achieve these effects through different mechanisms. Retinol binds to retinoid receptors in your skin cells to stimulate cell turnover. Bakuchiol, however, has a different molecular structure and doesn't operate on the skin via the retinoid receptors. But intriguingly, it has been shown to produce similar anti-ageing results.

Tolerance and Side Effects

Retinol is well-known for causing side effects like dryness, redness, irritation, and increased sun sensitivity, especially in early or sensitive skin use. Bakuchiol, conversely, is gentler on the skin, with significantly lower chances of irritating, making it a suitable choice for individuals with sensitive skin or those who find Retinol too harsh.


Retinol is highly sensitive to light and air, which can cause it to break down and lose effectiveness. It's typically recommended for use in the evening due to its photosensitivity. On the flip side, Bakuchiol is photostable, which remains effective even when sunlight makes it suitable for day and night use.

Synergistic Compatibility

Retinol can be tricky to incorporate into a skincare routine, as it doesn't play well with other active ingredients like vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and certain acids. Bakuchiol doesn't have this issue - it's compatible with most other skincare ingredients, making it a versatile addition to any skincare routine.

In conclusion, both Bakuchiol and Retinol offer impressive skincare benefits, primarily in anti-ageing. However, Bakuchiol's gentleness, stability, and compatibility make it a promising alternative for those who can't tolerate Retinol or prefer a more natural skincare approach. Always consult a dermatologist or a skincare professional before introducing new ingredients to your skincare routine.


Side Effects Of Retinol 


  • Skin Irritation: Skin irritation is one of Retinol's most common side effects. This can include redness, dryness, flakiness, and a stinging or burning sensation upon application. These symptoms are usually more pronounced in the initial period of using Retinol as your skin adjusts to the ingredient and typically diminishes over time.
  • Increased Sun Sensitivity: Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, making it easier for your skin to burn or tan. It's essential to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF daily when using Retinol, even on cloudy days, to protect your skin from UV damage.
  • Purging: When you first start using Retinol, you may notice a sudden increase in breakouts, known as skin purging. Retinol speeds up skin cell turnover, causing the skin to exfoliate and bring congestion to the surface faster than usual. The purging period typically lasts 4-6 weeks. 
  • Dryness and Peeling: Retinol can cause the skin to dry and even peel, especially at higher concentrations. This effect is usually more noticeable during the first few weeks of use. It tends to subside as your skin acclimates to the product. 
  • Skin Discolouration: In rare cases, Retinol may lead to changes in skin colour. This is more common in people with darker skin tones.

If you are new to Retinol, starting with a lower concentration and gradually increasing as your skin adjusts is recommended. Use it initially once or twice a week, then slowly increase the frequency as tolerated. It's also important to pair Retinol with an excellent moisturiser to combat potential dryness and always follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day.

In conclusion, after a thorough review of the scientific studies, personal experiences, and dermatologist insights, it's clear that there's no definitive one-size-fits-all answer to whether bakuchiol is better than retinol. The answer depends mainly on an individual's skin type, tolerance, goals, and preferences.

Retinol, a tried-and-true ingredient, has been a gold standard in skincare for decades with its well-documented anti-ageing, pore-refining, and skin-smoothing benefits. However, it can also come with specific side effects, such as skin irritation and increased sensitivity to sunlight.

On the other hand, bakuchiol, a 'natural alternative to retinol', has been praised for its ability to provide similar benefits to retinol but with less potential for irritation, making it a suitable option for those with sensitive skin or who prefer plant-based skincare products.

This discussion reveals the importance of knowing your skin and its needs. Consult a dermatologist or skincare professional to make an informed decision considering your unique skin type and condition. While the beauty world continues to evolve and provide more options, it's critical to remember that every skin is fantastic and will respond differently to different products.

Stay informed, keep exploring, and above all, love the skin you're in!