Best used: AM or PM. Up to twice a dayCaution: Well toleratedBest for: Anti-aging, pigmentation
Comments: More powerful than retinol, less irritation than retinoidsMode of action:

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory

Science Score:


What is the science behind Bakuchiol?

The science behind this molecule is controversial. Like a retinol, bakuchiol triggers the genetic pathway in skin cells to create several types of collagen, hence it’s use in the treatment of skin health & anti-aging. 

Bakuchiol is also an antioxidant & has anti-inflammatory effects. There is however, a paucity of replicable results in the scientific literature, with only one good study which was published in a high ranking scientific journal; the British Journal of Dermatology. The study was performed in California, however some of the investigators had significant conflicts of interest. 

What skin conditions can Bakuchiol treat?

In theory, Bakuchiol can address- 

  • Dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation, improve skin quality
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines via stimulation of collagen fibres by cells in the deeper dermis
  • Speeds up skin cell regeneration: Bakuchiol sends signals to your cells that it’s time to ramp up collagen production and cell turnover.
  • Helps soothe & heal skin: By promoting cell turnover and healthy cell regeneration, bakuchiol may help soothe and heal your skin.

Is it really better than retinol-retinoids?

This is a controversial topic. From my understanding of basic science & biochemistry, retinoids (or retinoid like molecules) activate RAR receptors, this in turn activates gene transcription that produces clinical results. Now, from a clinical perspective, the side effects of retinoids are a by-product of the ‘positives’, namely increased cell turnover & exfoliative properties (this results in scale, flaky skin), increased in blood vessels (angiogenesis), this results in redness & skin irritation, photosensitivity (thin s.corneum & UVA action spectrum) results in sunburn. Bottom line- no side effects, possibly no significant clinical change in the skin. I do feel that more research is required to truly answer that question.

Is bakuchiol better than tretinoin?

Yes if you have sensitive skin, no if you do not.

Tretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that has the most amount of research behind it. It remains as one of the most powerful anti-aging topicals prescribed by dermatologists, however it can be trick to use & modulate.

Davin’s Skin Protip

Probably best used by trending skin care hoarders. My reasoning? Even though it has been shown to be effective in one major study published in a high-ranking dermatology journal, the jury is still out in regard to the real value of this retinoid-like molecule. My take on this? I suspect you would be better off using even ¼ dilution of a medically prescribed retinoid cream once a week! Regardless, Bakuchiol is cost effective & banal, so if you must, knock yourself out. 

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