Retinol vs Bakuchiol: Which is Better?

retinol and bakuchiol

In the ever-evolving world of skincare, the quest for ageless beauty remains a constant. Among the multitude of ingredients promising to turn back the hands of time, retinol and bakuchiol have emerged as noteworthy contenders. Let’s delve into these ingredients, exploring their pros and cons for your skin.

What is Retinol?

Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is a stalwart in the skincare arena. Sourced from animal products like liver, eggs, and dairy, this potent ingredient undergoes conversion into retinoic acid within the skin. It’s this retinoic acid that works its magic, stimulating cell turnover and promoting the production of new skin cells. The result? Diminished fine lines, wrinkles, and improved skin tone. Renowned for its efficacy, retinol is a go-to for collagen production, making it a formidable weapon against the visible signs of aging.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol takes a more natural approach to skincare. Derived from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, also known as the babchi plant, bakuchiol has gained recognition as a potential alternative to retinol. Although it doesn’t convert into retinoic acid like its vitamin A counterpart, bakuchiol is believed to share similar benefits. With touted anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, bakuchiol endeavors to address fine lines, improve skin texture, and offer a more youthful complexion.

guide to bakuchiol

Is Bakuchiol Better Than Retinol?

While retinol boasts a long history of research supporting its effectiveness, bakuchiol is gaining attention as a promising natural alternative. It offers similar benefits to skin as retinol does in terms of anti-ageing, as well as several additional benefits. Let’s compare the two:

Skin Irritation

One of the key considerations when choosing between retinol and bakuchiol is the potential for skin irritation. Retinol, in some cases, has been associated with dryness and sensitivity, especially during initial use. Retinol can cause irritation, redness, and peeling in some individuals.

In contrast, bakuchiol is often regarded as a gentler alternative, with users reporting less irritation. This gentleness makes bakuchiol an appealing option for those with sensitive skin or those who may have had difficulty tolerating retinol in the past.

retinol and bakuchiol

The Efficacy Debate

One area where retinol may have the edge is in the speed at which it takes effect. Bakuchiol may take longer to have an effect than retinol. But, a little longer for results is better than irritated skin if retinol isn’t working for you!

Natural Ingredient

Bakuchiol is also a preferable option for those who favour natural skincare, as it is derived from plants, whereas retinol is synthetically created. This distinction ensures that bakuchiol is vegan, a quality not shared by retinol.

UV Sensitivity

Retinol can heighten skin sensitivity to the sun, necessitating nighttime use, whereas bakuchiol lacks this effect, making it suitable for both day and night applications. The UV sensitivity of retinol also makes it more unstable to keep, meaning that your bakuchiol serum will likely last longer without going off compared to a retinol.

In the pursuit of radiant, youthful skin, the choice between retinol and bakuchiol isn’t one-size-fits-all. Patch-testing new products is a crucial step, allowing you to gauge your skin’s response.

Combined Retinol and Bakuchiol Skincare

Can’t choose between the two? Why not try a product with a bit of both?! There are many skincare products that include both retinol and bakuchiol, so you can get the best of both worlds – these tend to be effective but gentler than a pure retinol product. But if you do have sensitivity to retinol it’s probably best to stick to just bakuchiol.

some by mi retinol intense serum

Some By Mi Retinol Intense Reactivating Serum

The ultimate for people who want retinol/bakuchiol benefits, this serum contains retinol, retinal, AND bakuchiol for the ultimate boost of elasticity!

versed serum

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

This serum contains both Bakuchiol and encapsulated retinol to treat aging skin, dullness and problem skin.

My Favourite Retinol Products

These are the best retinol products that I have tried.

eve lom retinol serum

Eve Lom Time Retreat Radiance Repair Retinol Serum

A retinol serum to plump and hydrate skin for a smoother and firmer complexion. It contains Liposome Encapsulated Retinol to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, Prebiotic Oat Kernel Ferment to help prevent the signs of aging and AHA to exfoliate and smooth skin.

It makes my skin instantly smoother, softer and plumper. This is a premium product, but the glowy reset it offers my skin overnight might just make it worth it! If I want to use retinol, this is the bottle I reach for first. Compared to some retinol products, this one is gentle on my skin without compromising on its effectiveness. I have never experienced any irritation with this serum. It’s like a reset for my skin when I need a smoother and firmer complexion.

Beautaniq Retinol Serum

Beautaniq Encapsulated Retinol Serum

It contains 0.3% active retinol in microencapsulation and gluconolactone. The fact that the retinol is encapsulated makes it gentle and stable, slowly releasing overnight, reducing the amount of irritation.

This golden glowing serum is one of the best retinol product I’ve ever used. After one night using this serum, it was like I had brand new skin.

My skin was soft, plumped and smooth. Milia is one of my biggest skin concerns and it’s been really bad recently and this serum has really helped to diminish the bumps on my skin and get the texture of my skin more even.

I also experienced no sensitivity or irritation from this product, which is more than you can wish for from a retinol!

Best Bakuchiol Products

The best bakuchiol only product I have:

benton bakuchiol serum

Benton Bakuchiol Serum

With 2.5% Bakuchiol, this serum helps to smooth and soften skin, boost elasticity and give skin a healthy glow. The serum also contains niacinamide to brighten and adenosine to aid the appearance of wrinkles. It has a thick caramel colour.

I really like this serum, although it does have quite an intense smell (very earthy). It is a good alternative to retinol and makes my skin very smooth with an instant glow.

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