Retinol is a type of retinoid and a derivative of Vitamin A. It is widely used ingredient in cosmetic industry for anti-aging, anti-wrinkle treatments. It is a strong antioxidant and used in many skin care products like serums, moisturizers, treatments etc. However, this highly active ingredient brings some side effects like irritation, scaling to some, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Bakuchiol has recently captured limelight as a natural alternative to retinol offering similar benefits, but without the irritation. Bakuchiol is 100% natural, obtained from seeds of babchi plant (Psoralea corylifolia), which is widely used in Indian and Chinese medicine to treat variety of diseases.

Bakuchiol promotes collagen and helps in skin cell repair. It does not present the sun exposure risk as retinol. Furthermore it helps in treating acne as well.

Comparison between Retinol and Bakuchiol –

Retinoids become unstable when exposed to light, hence this calls for opaque packaging or use of encapsulated form or addition of stabilizers in order to keep them stable and active in the products. Bakuchiol is pretty stable and does not require opaque packaging or stabilizers when used in products.

Where Retinoids are strong antioxidants, they are not suitable for every skin types. Bakuchiol is equally effective as retinol and does not cause skin irritation or dryness and is suitable for all skin types.

Bakuchiol is 100% natural, vegan and compatible with most of the ingredients in skin care, and is miscible with a wide variety of emollients like Caprylic/capric triglycerides, vegetable oils, esters etc. 

Earlier, Retinol used to be my go-to ingredient for anti-aging or anti-wrinkle products. Recently I discovered Bakuchiol, and because of its benefits and safety profile, I prefer this ingredient over Retinol. I have used Sytenol A (INCI- Bakuchiol) from Sythenol. It can easily be added to emulsions after emulsification and does not need specific packaging and stabilizers to remain effective. I would highly recommend Bakuchiol to be used in anti aging products as a natural alternative to Retinol.  

Anjali Hardikar

Director – Antrim Cosmetic Solutions Inc.