Bakuchiol - A Retinol Alternative?

bakuchiol for acne

The gift that keeps on giving, Bakuchiol.

Bakuchiol came to the scene in 2006 by Sytheon. It is a well studied and scientifically backed ingredient that suits several skin types. 

It has anti-aging, acne-reducing, and complexion enhancing properties. It is also boasted as a natural alternative to retinol.

  • Anti-aging: Bakuchiol increases collagen production and our cell turnover rate. More specifically collagen types 1, 3, and 4. Collagen aids in the elasticity and firmness of our skin. Reduced collagen can lead to wrinkle formation. 
  • Acne-reducing: Bakuchiol is clinically proven to be more efficient than salicylic acid (we love salicylic acid over here too!). It is also proven to reduce acne by 48% after 6 weeks of use. #WOW

  • Enhanced texture/complexion: Given the aforementioned, a decrease in acne, wrinkles, and an increase in the firmness and elasticity will help support enhanced texture. 

Is Bakuchiol a Retinol Alternative?

Studies have shown Bakuchiol to offer comparable results to retinol but without the harsh side effects. But what does that mean? Let's talk about Retinol.

Retinol is a type of retinoid and derivative of Vitamin A. It is highly effective in addressing various skin concerns like wrinkles, dull skin, and acne (it helps unclog pores). Retinol can be said to have anti-aging properties as it helps exfoliates the skin, increase collagen production as well as cell turnover.  There's a reason why retinol is celebrated in the realm of skincare.

The downsides to retinol is that it isn't compatible with certain ingredients we may find in our skincare products like Benzoyl Peroxide, AHA's, BHA's, and Vitamin C. Dermatologists will advice their patients on the proper use of retinol. However, people who purchase retinol products over the counter may not be aware of the aforementioned.

Retinol takes some getting used to. Therefore one must ease it into their skincare regimen to allow the skin to get used to it. In addition to increasing our skin's sensitivity to the sun, retinol can cause inflammation, redness, dryness, and more. 

A motivating factor in using Bakuchiol is that we get all of the same benefits as Retinol but without any of its harshness. 

Caution: Not every product that claims to have Bakuchiol is authentic. It is advised that Bakuchiol at just 0.5% of a formulation is effective enough to get desired results, however, a maximum of 1% of it can be used in formulations. 

Be weary of products that offer more than 1% "Bakuchiol". It is more than likely not Bakuchiol or if it is, it is being used incorrectly. Babchi extract and oils are not Bakuchiol. If "Bakuchiol" is not in the ingredient listing, it isn't in the product in amounts that give you the benefits of bakuchiol.

As you guessed, Bath Thyme Bakery has skincare products with Bakuchiol coming down the pipeline. Stay tuned for future announcements. 

What do you guys think about Bakuchiol? 


Chaudhuri RK, Bojanowski K. Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2014 Jun;36(3):221-30. doi: 10.1111/ics.12117. Epub 2014 Mar 6. PMID: 24471735.


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