Bakuchiol is a much-touted and sought-after ingredient due to its retinol-like properties, and there’s no sign of its popularity slowing down. But what exactly is it, what does it do, and why should you incorporate it into your routine?
What is it? Bakuchiol is extracted from the seeds of the babchi plant (Psoralea corylifolia), native to the Himalayan region. Babchi is an annual plant that grows in the wild and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. In its raw extracted form, Bakuchiol is a thick dark liquid with a texture and colour that is similar to golden syrup.
What does it do? Bakuchiol has noticeable effects on the skin with continued use, including a reduction in wrinkle surface area, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall photo-damage. The main advantage of Bakuchiol is that it doesn’t cause peeling and irritation, and it can be used during the day because it does not cause photosensitivity.
Does science back this claim? There are studies focused on the effectiveness of Bakuchiol as a treatment for photoaging. The most notable is a 12-week double-blind clinical study of volunteers using either Bakuchiol or retinol. It found that both groups saw similar results with no statistical difference between the two ingredients. However, the retinol group reported more scaling and stinging.
Is it right for me? If you are looking to combat the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and/or pigmentation but you cannot tolerate retinol, Bakuchiol is for you. Our Bakuchiol Antioxidant Oil is suitable for all skin types, but it’s particularly beneficial for those with dry or congestion-prone skin because the formula is non-clogging, free from sensitising essential oils, and it penetrates quickly, leaving no oily film on your skin.
How much Bakuchiol is the right amount? The effectiveness studies were carried out using 1% Bakuchiol, which is the percentage recommended by the manufacturer. That’s exactly how much we use in a base of Kalahari watermelon oil.
Why watermelon oil? We select our oils very carefully to ensure skin compatibility and beneficial values, not because they sound exotic. Although Kalahari watermelon oil does indeed sound very exotic, we've chosen it because it has a wonderful fatty profile that helps to retain moisture in the skin and reduce dryness.
High in linoleic acid, watermelon oil is very lightweight, thin and absorbs very quickly. At the same time, it is very nurturing due to the host of antioxidants, fatty acids (including omega 3, 6, and 9), vitamins and minerals. These properties make watermelon oil a great choice for all skin types, particularly those with blemish-prone skin. It also leaves behind a silky soft, non-greasy finish.
How should I use it? Bakuchiol Antioxidant Oil is most effective when used twice a day. You’ll see the best results after three months of continued use.
After applying water-based products including serums and moisturiser, dispense two drops (or more for drier skin) into the palm of your hand, press your hands together and gently but firmly pat your hands onto face and neck.
Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of using oils during the day. You can easily mix a drop or two in with your daily moisturiser. Take your usual amount of cream or lotion on clean fingertips or in the palm of your hand, add a couple of drops of Bakuchiol Antioxidant Oil, blend together, and apply as usual. It’s as simple as that.
Not a fan of moisturisers? As watermelon oil is nourishing on its own, you can skip locking it in with heavier duty treatments and opt to use the oil as is. After cleansing and applying a water-based serum (your skin needs hydration!), take a few drops of Bakuchiol Antioxidant Oil and apply to slightly moist skin. Using the same method as before, press the oil onto your face, paying particular attention to the areas you are looking to target. That’s it - quick and effortless!
Ingredients: Bakuchiol, Kalahari Watermelon Seed Oil
Looks like: pale straw
Smells like: fragrance free, mildly sweet
Feels like: delicate, easily absorbed, non-greasy
Price: £20 + free UK postage