What is Bakuchiol?
It is a natural organic compound extracted from a plant, Psoralea corylifolia, better known as babchi, which is gaining popularity in cosmetics for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits. It is usually used as the natural, vegan alternative to retinol since it has been discovered that it has the same effects on the skin, with the advantage of being less irritating and suitable for pregnant and lactating women.
It was first extracted and isolated in 1966 by Mehta et al. from the Babchi seed and was called Bakuchiol based on its Sanskrit name, Bakuchi.
The plant Psoralea corylifolia is mentioned in “The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India” (Part- I Volume – I) published by the Department of Ayush, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and in “Common Medicinal Plants of Ayurveda” in the National Health Portal.
The entire plant treats various conditions as a laxative, aphrodisiac, and diuretic. But the seeds commonly called Babchi, have significant medicinal properties, particularly for skin diseases. They have been used internally or topically to treat leucoderma or psoriasis and leprosy.
Unfortunately, Babchi seed extract could not be used in cosmetics due to the presence of phototoxic phytocompounds. That is why, despite showing many properties and being known for more than 45 years, the first commercial use of Bakuchiol in cosmetics did not occur until 2007, when it was possible to obtain Bakuchiol with more than 99% purity as an alternative to seed extract. from babchi.
There is only one safe and pure Bakuchiol producer in the world, registered by the European Union by REACH (EC # 685-515-4), which provides us with our active Bakuchiol for oils and serums. It is very important to know the difference between Bakuchiol and babchi oil, which is not the same, since many brands or products try to confuse the consumer to join the trend, and the most important thing is that the expected benefits would not be obtained.
Retinol has been, par excellence, the best anti-aging cosmetic active ingredient with proven effectiveness in promoting collagen formation and cell renewal, with exfoliating, depigmenting and firming benefits.
There are clinical studies that already prove the effectiveness of Bakuchiol by comparing it with the effects and benefits of retinol, classifying it as an analogue and natural replacement that is kinder to the skin and the environment.
Results: Bakuchiol and retinol both significantly decreased wrinkle surface area and hyperpigmentation, with no statistical difference between the compounds. The retinol users reported more facial skin scaling and stinging.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photoageing and is better tolerated than retinol. Bakuchiol is promising as a more tolerable alternative to retinol.
This study shows that bakuchiol, like retinol, reduces wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, with bakuchiol being less irritating since it does not cause peeling or burning. They also conclude that it improves photo aging.
Results: Bakuchiol is a meroterpene phenol abundant in seeds and leaves of the plant Psoralea corylifolia. We present evidence that bakuchiol, having no structural resemblance to retinoids, can function as a functional analogue of retinol. Volcano plots showed great overall similarity of retinol and bakuchiol effects on the gene expression profile. This similarity was confirmed by the side-by-side comparison of the modulation of individual genes, as well as on the protein level by ELISA and histochemistry. Retinol-like functionality was further confirmed for the upregulation of types I and IV collagen in DNA microarray study and also show stimulation of type III collagen in the mature fibroblast model. Bakuchiol was also formulated into a finished skin care product and was tested in clinical case study by twice-a-day facial application. The results showed that, after 12 weeks treatment, significant improvement in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall reduction in photo-damage was observed, without usual retinol therapy-associated undesirable effects.
Conclusion: Based on these data, we propose that bakuchiol can function as an anti-aging compound through retinol-like regulation of gene expression.
In this clinical study they prove that Bakuchiol works as an anti-aging compound through a mechanism similar to retinol, in the regulation of genetic expression in collagen types I and IV, significantly improving lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and general reduction of photoaging damage, and without having the side effects of retinol, being able to act as a functional analogue of retinol.
Anti acne benefits
Just like retinol, bakuchiol has incredible antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits for acne-prone skin, helping to reduce lesions and blemishes, without irritating.
It was found that a lotion with 1% bakuchiol and salicylic acid achieved a 67% reduction in acne in 6 weeks of use. It was found suitable for use in adolescents and adults with oily and sensitive skin.
Other in vitro studies indicate anti-cancer properties by inhibiting epidermal growth factor that induces neoplastic transformation of cells. Also, potential applications have been demonstrated to treat psoriasis, normalizing keratinocytic activity, and in pigment disorders through the inhibition of melanogenesis.
It is rare to find a natural molecule with so many studies supporting its effectiveness. You can find this wonderful active ingredient in our anti-acne pimple control serum products and in our Bakuchiol Booster facial oil.