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You might have seen the name Bakuchiol crop up recently in the beauty industry, and with good reason. It’s touted to be the next best alternative – or perhaps even better – than retinol, an anti-ageing favourite ingredient.

There’s nothing this vitamin A derivative cannot do — apart from its anti-ageing benefits, it resolves acne issues and dark spots, helps reduce skin texture issues and boosts hydration. The one caveat to retinol’s domination is that it can be quite a harsh ingredient so those with very sensitive skin tend to react poorly to it. That persistent problem is now a thing of the past with the entry of Bakuchiol, an all-natural alternative to retinol that is steadily revolutionising the skincare mainstream.

bakuchiol skincare singapore
Image: Courtesy Getty Images

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is an extract sourced from the Psoralea corylifolia plant. It has been historically used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines, though modern science began to delve into its benefits and uses in the early 80s. Its cosmetic viability arose after clinical studies proved that Bakuchiol mirrored retinol’s characteristics when applied on the skin, and so, brands began adopting Bakuchiol into their skincare formulations as a “clean” alternative.

Why should you try Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol-based skincare definitely has a market with people who have struggled with retinol but would like to experience the compound’s potential. Beyond that, it is also an all-natural alternative that fits right in with the current wave of green, clean beauty being on the tip of everyone’s tongues and vanity tables.

This gentle, floral extract also one-ups retinol because it is suitable for both day and night time use, unlike retinol being a before-bedtime-only product due to it increasing the skin’s photosensitivity. With bakuchiol, you have a natural anti-ageing product that serves to hydrate, reduce blemishes, and combat a myriad of other woes without the pain points of its chemical counterpart. There’s little to argue against integrating Bakuchiol into your skincare routine, STAT.

Where to get started with Bakuchiol?

India initially was not on this all-natural retinoid bandwagon as much as the west yet, but there are a few indie labels that have created products with this ingredient like Earth Rhythm, Daughter’s Earth and Dr. Sheths. For those looking at mainstream labels, there are a number of brands bringing products with the star ingredient that are available to Indians via Cult Beauty and Sephora USA. Cult Beauty specially allows shipping to India at a nominal price of 40 Pounds (Rs 3,500 approx) and regularly has deals and discounts to work around. Factor in the pricing though, this ingredient doesn’t come cheap.

The best products to look at when looking for Bakuchiol?

Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil, Rs 7,000 approx 

Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil

Oils are nourishing and come with deeply replenishing benefits and this one contains Bakuchiol, so expect plump skin at once. The fact that being an oil, it’s also lightweight and deeply penetrative makes it a winner on all counts.

Makeup Revolution Skin 1% Bakuchiol Serum, Rs 1,500

the all-natural retinoid,

Though not much is said about this serum, Makeup Revolution is leading the way in being the first to have a Bakuchiol serum available on Nykaa. It reduces fine lines and pigmentation without irritating your skin – and hat for use is a winner.

Ren Skincare Bio Retinoid Anti-ageing Cream, Rs 3,900 approx 

Ren is known for its anti-ageing prowess, and their Bio-Retinoid cream takes that claim a notch further. This cream utilises only plant-based anti-ageing ingredients, which includes Bakuchiol, top of microalgae extract to lift the skin and white beggar’s tick flower for smoothening wrinkles.

Qurez Bakuchiol with Hempseed, Vetiver and Turmeric, Rs 599

Qurez Bakuchiol

This is relatively a new label in the market and Qurez is known for its spectacular sunscreens. Bakuchiol is a new addition to their roster. It is known to even out and brighten uneven skin tone, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, plumps up your skin cells, and minimises large pores.

The Inkey List Bakuchiol 1%, Rs 900 approx

bakuchiol

The Inkey List is a brand focused on minimalism, both in design and in their approach to formulations. Their Bakuchiol cream is a daily-use moisturiser with the plant-based active as the hero — simple, clean and effective in both make and method.

Dr. Sheth’s Rosehip & Retinoid Power Emulsion, Rs 1,200

Known to be a hit already, Dr. Sheths emulsion is a lightweight cream that tackles pigmentation, dull skin and moisture-deprived skin. The Bakuchiol formulation works with the granactive retinoid beautifully to give you healthy, glowing skin overnight.

Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum, Rs 6,200 approx

Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum

Retinol without the harsh effects? Biossance has always been a label that is natural and effective so the fact that it works with Bakuchiol makes it a powerful serum.  Say goodbye to fine lines and wrinkles and it also gives your skin an even tone and takes care of pigmentation.

Daughter Earth Serum Absolut Bakuchiol and Blue Light Rescue, Rs 2,195

The new and intuitive Bakuchiol serum from Daughter’s Earth has been getting rave reviews as it combats the signs of ageing, pigmentation and dryness all at once with their 46 adaptive and high-performance botanicals.

Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum, Rs 4,500 approx

This is the serum that started the hype with it’s lilac bottle and Instagram-friendly additions. Bakuchiol features in this serum beautifully without any side effects – all-natural and everything botanical. The unique bit about this serum is it’s bouncy, jelly-like texture with other effective ingredients like tremella mushroom.

Earth Rhythm Skin Smoothening Serum with Bakuchiol Extract, Rs 1,650

When it comes to ingredients, this serum really does come with a whole lot of benefits. It contains blue tansy and grapeseed oil alongside Bakuchiol that helps soothe, tone and plump while reducing dark spots and fine lines.