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A fan favorite of dermatologists and estheticians, bakuchiol has burst onto the skin care scene. It’s known as a natural alternative to retinol, but what exactly is bakuchiol?

In Dr. Fishman’s words, bakuchiol is “derived from the Psoralea corylifolia plant [also known as Babchi] and has its roots in Ayurvedic practices and natural Chinese medications.” She recently discussed the holy grail product with Tatler, explaining it is a “a plant-derived retinol-like skincare ingredient; that it is also a great antioxidant. Its mechanism of action and efficacy are very similar to those of the powerful skin exfoliator and collagen stimulator retinol, though bakuchiol tends to have less skin irritation associated with its use.”

As discussed by Dr. Fishman, bakuchiol has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties but has just recently been recognized by the mainstream beauty industry. The plant-based sister of retinol, bakuchiol offers all the benefits of retinol, with almost none of the side effects. According to a study by the British Journal of Dermatology, bakuchiol is just as effective as retinol at treating hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and fine lines. The only difference? Subjects using bakuchiol experienced less dryness and irritation. While retinol and bakuchiol utilize similar mechanisms to stimulate the skin’s production of collagen, unlike retinol, bakuchiol does not reduce the size of oil glands and makes the skin less sensitive to the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Once absorbed by the skin, bakuchiol causes the skin to produce cells at a faster rate and amps up collagen production. This can help decrease hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, and redness, without disrupting your skin’s pH or microbiome. Even better, bakuchiol increases skin firmness and can reduce the appearance of pores.

Bakuchiol is safe for all skin types – even those with sensitive skin. In fact, Dr. Fishman frequently recommends it to patients looking to improve the texture and tone of their skin but irritated by retinoids. According to Dr. Fishman “because it doesn’t cause as much irritation as a traditional topical retinol, bakuchiol may be used twice a day. Some evidence shows it to be able to soothe irritated skin, and bakuchiol tends to play well with other skincare ingredients.” Most skin care experts recommend combining the product with other hydrating products such as squalene and polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). While bakuchiol typically fits into any skin care routine, it is advised to avoid combining it with glycolic acid, as it could potentially degrade its formula. Bakuchiol is applied topically to clean dry skin as a serum or lotion, but prior to regular serums and moisturizers.

Ready to start incorporating bakuchiol into your skin care routine? At Aviva Plastic Surgery, one of our favorite bakuchiol products is the Isdinceutics Melatonik that can be purchased in office. Other fan favorites are the ZO Skin Care Skin Brightening Serum with Bakuchiol and Herbivore’s Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum.








To learn even more Bakuchiol, read Dr. Fishman’s full article with Tatler here.

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