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Bakuchiol: The Natural Retinol Alternative for Sensitive Skin

Bakuchiol: The Natural Retinol Alternative for Sensitive Skin

Calling all sensitive skin states! If you want the benefits of retinol but want to avoid the harsh side effects, say hello to bakuchiol. A natural retinol alternative, bakuchiol has been proven to address signs of aging without any irritation or flakiness. Keep reading to learn more about bakuchiol vs. retinol and how you can use bakuchiol in your skincare routine.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is an extract from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia (don't worry, we won't be asking you to say that three times fast). This plant is native to India and has been a staple of traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for years due to its antioxidant properties. Today, you can find bakuchiol products like serums, moisturizers and more.

Bakuchiol flower ingredient and serum drop on glass display squares on a yellow background.

Benefits of Bakuchiol

We suggest using bakuchiol for anti-aging results, as studies have found several benefits you won't want to miss. Because bakuchiol appears to stimulate collagen-producing receptors, you're likely to see:

  • Fewer fine lines and wrinkles
  • Restored firmness
  • More even skin tone and texture

Not only that, but bakuchiol is calming, so you won't feel any negative side effects like irritation or flaking skin.

Bakuchiol v. Retinol: Which is Better?

Bakuchiol is being touted as the natural retinol alternative, but is it? Studies have shown that bakuchiol works through the same receptors as retinol and lead to the same results (see above the many bakuchiol benefits). But the reason some believe bakuchiol is better than retinol is due to the way the skin reacts to each ingredient.

Retinol is a powerful form of vitamin A, and while its better-aging effects have been studied and proven for decades, the negative side effects can't be ignored. If you use too high of a strength or apply retinol too frequently, you can expect:

  • Dryness
  • Peeling
  • Rash
  • Redness
  • Overall irritation

This retinization period can last anywhere from two weeks to three months—and even longer for those with sensitive skin who may not be able to tolerate it at all. Enter the chat: bakuchiol. With all the same benefits and none of the harsh side effects, bakuchiol is the natural retinol alternative that's vegan, clean, gentle, sensitive-skin friendly and most importantly effective.

Head shot of model applying beekman 1802's purple midnight milk mask onto her face using her fingers, on a purple background.

The Science Behind Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol benefits sound great, but have they been validated? What research has been done? Glad you asked! For starters, the National Library of Medicine has confirmed through a double-blind test that bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photoaging (think hyperpigmentation, dark spots, etc.) and it's better tolerated than retinol.

"Bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photoaging.

There was also a smaller study in the British Journal of Dermatology mentioned by Harvard Health which found bakuchiol to be just as effective at erasing fine lines and improving skin color as retinol but with less peeling and burning. These promising results were confirmed in another study where users reported improved skin smoothness after using bakuchiol-containing cleansers and moisturizers.

Finally, in another study by the National Library of Medicine, bakuchiol demonstrated high antioxidative efficacy. This feature sets bakuchiol in a league above retinol as vitamin A doesn't have nearly the same effect.

“Bakuchiol demonstrated high antioxidative efficacy in contrast to retinol.” 

Bakuchiol Skincare Products 

At Beekman 1802, we have 2 bakuchiol products including a serum and an overnight mask.

Up first, our better aging facial serum, Dream Booster.  

Bottle of Dream Booster Bakuchiol Serum with water ripples in the background.

This anti-aging bakuchiol serum reduces fine lines, plumps the skin, helps minimize the appearance of pores, is 4x gentler than retinol, and safe for everyday use. More on how to incorporate this natural retinol alternative later.  

Meet Midnight Milk, our Better Aging Overnight Hydrating Sleep Mask. 

Tube of Midnight milk better aging sleep mask on a purple textured background.

This better-aging sleep mask is the ultimate overnight cream for plumper, more youthful skin by morning. Best of all, you can sleep directly on your pillow with it, no rub-off!  

How to Incorporate Bakuchiol into Your Skincare Routine

Lucky for you, incorporating bakuchiol into your skincare routine is easier than ever. If you want to use a bakuchiol serum, like our Dream Booster, simply add a few drops to clean, dry skin after your nighttime cleanse. Then follow up with your remaining steps before moisturizer. You could even mix it with your favorite moisturizer (Bloom Cream, we’re looking at you!) for a 2-in-1 step.  

If you want to try our nighttime bakuchiol mask, you want to use it as your last step in your nighttime lineup. That means it goes on after you cleanse and moisturize. Our Midnight Milk is safe to use every day, but we suggest just trying it out 2-3 times a week at first.  

Routine graphic image that shows the Milk scrub cleanser as step 1, the dream booster serum as step 2, and the midnight Milk mask as step 3 from left to right.

No matter which bakuchiol products you choose to use, be sure to wear sunscreen the next day—and every day for that matter! 

Bakuchiol for Sensitive Skin

Unlike retinol, bakuchiol is not a vitamin A derivative. Retinol often causes noticeable and uncomfortable side effects because of its ability to accelerate cell turnover, however most skin types can’t handle the irritation. Bakuchiol, on the other hand, is a natural retinol alternative found in plants that offers the same results—with no side effects.  

At Beekman 1802, we’re obsessed with Kind skincare ingredients, and bakuchiol tops our list. Tolerated by all skin types, it’s the retinol alternative we’ve always wanted. If you’ve experienced rashes, itchiness, peeling, or burning from retinol, consider swapping for our gentler version: Bakuchiol.  

Anti-Aging Benefits of Bakuchiol

If you want to try bakuchiol for anti-aging results, get ready for some noticeable benefits. Studies have found that bakuchiol helps: 

  • Prevent fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduce the signs of age spots
  • Increase elasticity and firmness

This is all in addition to the acne-clearing benefits and antioxidant properties you'll receive when using bakuchiol, too. With no downsides, what are you waiting for

Bakuchiol: Before and After Photos

We know a picture is worth a thousand words, and we're letting these speak for themselves.

Before and after image of models skin after using midnight milk for one night, revealing hydrated skin.

User Reviews & Testimonials 

We know the power of bakuchiol, but it's our consumers feedback that really has us glowing:

“I have super sensitive skin and [I’ve had] no negative reaction at all.” - Catalina L 

“Wrinkles are smoothing out, [and my] skin is bright and healthy!” - Patti N 

“This mask is amazing. My 65-year-old skin absolutely loves it!” - Pamela M 

These happy customers are just a few of many people who have benefited from bakuchiol. Find your perfect bakuchiol product and let the benefits begin!  

The Final Word

At this point, you’ve heard about bakuchiol, understand the science, and see how to incorporate it into your skincare routine. Now it’s time to put this ingredient to the test. Shop Beekman 1802’s selection of Bakuchiol products and discover what kind skincare can do for you.

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