Bakuchiol: Does it make skin look younger?


In an article published by harvard

Retinoids, derivatives of Vitamin A, are widely considered to be one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients available on the market. They promote the production of collagen, a protein that minimizes fine lines and improves the overall appearance of the skin, as well as even out skin tone and fade age spots. However, these retinoids can also be harsh on the skin, resulting in side effects such as dryness, burning, stinging, peeling, and sun sensitivity.

Recently, a botanical extract known as bakuchiol has gained popularity as a potential alternative to retinoids. Bakuchiol is derived from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia, a plant that has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for years. This extract is marketed as a gentler alternative to retinoids and is used in serums and creams, often combined with other botanicals such as rosehip and seaweed.

While bakuchiol is said to stimulate collagen producing receptors in the skin, evidence supporting its effectiveness as an anti-aging agent is limited. A small study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that bakuchiol was as effective as retinol in reducing fine lines and improving skin color, but with less irritation. However, the study was small in scale, with only 44 participants.

Another study evaluated a product that combined bakuchiol with melatonin and the Vitamin C derivative, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate in a three-in-one anti-aging cream. The study found that after 12 weeks of once-daily use, participants had fewer wrinkles, increased skin firmness, and an overall improvement in skin quality. However, as this study used a combination of ingredients, it is uncertain whether the results were specifically related to bakuchiol.

In comparison to retinoids, which have been studied extensively since the 1980s in trials involving hundreds of participants, scientific evidence on the effects of bakuchiol is limited. This lack of evidence has led the authors of the British Journal of Dermatology study to acknowledge that further testing of bakuchiol is necessary.

While bakuchiol may be a promising alternative for those with sensitive skin or a preference for natural products, it is important to note that the scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness as an anti-aging agent is limited. Retinoids, while known to have some side effects, have a well-established track record in the field of anti-aging. Ultimately, it is important to consult a dermatologist before trying any new skincare product, and to keep in mind that the effectiveness of any product is subject to individual differences.