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Bakuchiol: Chemical Structure, Benefits, Comparison with Retinol, Scientific Research, Skincare Usage, Product Reviews

Last updated: Aug 2023
In this article:

Bakuchiol: What is it and its Chemical Structure

Bakuchiol has gained widespread attention in the skincare industry for its potential anti-aging and skin-rejuvenating properties. In this guide, we will explore what bakuchiol is and delve into its chemical structure.

Chemical Structure

Bakuchiol is a natural compound belonging to the class of phenols, specifically prenylated phenols. It is derived from the seeds of the Babchi plant, scientifically known as Psoralea corylifolia. This plant is native to Eastern countries such as China and India and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Bakuchiol is a colorless or pale yellow solid with a characteristic odor.

The molecular formula of bakuchiol is C18H24O, indicating that it consists of 18 carbon atoms, 24 hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. It has a molecular weight of 256.39 g/mol. What makes bakuchiol unique is its chemical structure, which is similar to retinol, a derivative of vitamin A. However, unlike retinol, bakuchiol is not classified as a retinoid compound.

Bakuchiol contains a phenolic ring with a prenyl group attached to it. The prenyl group is composed of three isoprene units, which are C5H8 moieties. This specific arrangement gives it its distinct properties and enables it to interact with various biological targets in the skin.

The Benefits of Bakuchiol in Skincare

In recent years, bakuchiol has been extensively studied for its potential benefits in skincare. It is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and collagen-stimulating effects on the skin. Additionally, bakuchiol has shown potential in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and improving skin firmness, making it a popular alternative to retinol for those with sensitive skin.

While further research is needed to completely understand the mechanisms of action and benefits of bakuchiol, it is generally considered safe for topical use and does not cause the same irritation or sensitivity that can be associated with retinol.


In conclusion, bakuchiol is a natural compound with a unique chemical structure that resembles retinol. It has gained popularity in the skincare industry for its potential anti-aging and skin-rejuvenating effects. Its prenyl phenol structure allows it to interact with various biological targets in the skin, offering promising benefits. Whether you want to incorporate bakuchiol into your skincare routine or simply expand your knowledge on the subject, understanding its chemical structure is a crucial step.

Benefits of Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol is a naturally derived ingredient that has gained significant popularity in recent years for its numerous benefits for the skin. From reducing acne to improving the overall complexion, bakuchiol has become a go-to ingredient for skincare enthusiasts. In this guide, we will delve into the specific benefits of bakuchiol, with a focus on how it can help in reducing acne.

Reducing Acne

  • Bakuchiol offers a gentle and natural alternative to traditional acne treatments, with less harsh side effects.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties help to calm redness and irritation associated with acne.
  • Bakuchiol has antimicrobial properties that target the bacteria responsible for causing acne breakouts, preventing the formation of new blemishes and promoting healing.
  • It regulates sebum production, reducing the risk of clogged pores and acne development.

Compatibility with Different Skin Types

Bakuchiol is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin. It provides hydration while tackling acne, ensuring balanced and healthy skin throughout the healing process.

Incorporating Bakuchiol into Your Skincare Routine

To make the most of bakuchiol's benefits for acne, incorporate it into your skincare routine. Look for products specifically formulated with bakuchiol, such as serums, creams, or spot treatments. Apply these products after cleansing and toning the skin, preferably in the evening.

When introducing bakuchiol, start slowly and patch test the product to ensure compatibility. Gradually increase usage and observe how your skin reacts over time. Consistency is key, so give bakuchiol time to work and don't expect overnight results.


Bakuchiol offers a range of benefits for the skin, particularly in reducing acne. With its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and sebum-regulating properties, bakuchiol provides an effective and gentle solution for combating acne breakouts. By incorporating bakuchiol into your skincare routine, you can enjoy a clearer and healthier complexion. Remember to consult with a dermatologist if you have severe acne or any concerns regarding its usage.



Retinol and its derivatives have long been known for their anti-aging properties and ability to improve skin texture and tone. However, with the rise of new skincare ingredients, it is important to understand how retinol compares to them.

One key difference between retinol and other skincare ingredients is their origin. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, while many new ingredients are chemically synthesized or derived from natural sources like plants. This distinction is important for those seeking natural or organic skincare products.

Mechanism of Action

Another difference lies in their mechanism of action. Retinol works by stimulating the production of collagen and increasing cell turnover, leading to improved skin texture and reduced wrinkles. It also has antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from free radicals. In comparison, some new ingredients claim to directly target specific skin concerns, such as reducing hyperpigmentation or minimizing pores. These ingredients often have a more targeted action and are formulated to address specific skincare needs.


The level of potency is also a differentiating factor. Retinol is a well-studied ingredient, and its concentration can range from 0.01% to 1%. Its potency can lead to skin sensitivity and irritation, especially in higher concentrations. On the other hand, new ingredients often come in lower concentrations, making them more suitable for individuals with sensitive skin or those who are new to active skincare ingredients.

Timeline for Results

Moreover, retinol is a long-term commitment. Its benefits are cumulative and require consistent use over time for noticeable results. It takes several weeks or months to observe improvements in skin texture and reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Some new skincare ingredients claim to provide faster results, with visible differences within days or weeks.


Lastly, considering cost is essential. Retinol products can vary significantly in price, and quality does not always correlate with price. New ingredients can offer more affordable options for those seeking effective skincare on a budget.

In conclusion, while retinol remains a gold standard ingredient in skincare, new ingredients offer alternatives that may better suit individual needs or preferences. Understanding the differences in origin, mechanism of action, potency, timeline for results, and cost can help individuals make informed choices when selecting skincare products. It is always advisable to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional to determine the best ingredients for a personalized skincare routine.

Key Findings of Scientific Studies on Bakuchiol

  • Scientific studies have shown that Bakuchiol is an effective natural alternative to retinol in skincare.
  • In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, both Bakuchiol and retinol significantly reduced wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity.
  • Another study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that Bakuchiol improved skin firmness, elasticity, and smoothness, making it a valuable ingredient in anti-aging formulations.
  • Bakuchiol has also shown potential in treating acne. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry found that it has potent antimicrobial activity against acne-causing bacteria, as well as the ability to reduce sebum production and inflammation.

The Safety Profile of Bakuchiol

  • Bakuchiol is considered a safe alternative to retinol, which can cause skin irritation and sun sensitivity for some individuals.
  • In a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Bakuchiol demonstrated no significant skin irritation or sensitization, even at high concentrations.
  • Research has also shown that Bakuchiol has photostability properties, meaning it remains effective when exposed to sunlight. This is important as many retinoids can become ineffective when exposed to UV rays.
  • Overall, Bakuchiol can be safely used by individuals with sensitive skin without causing adverse reactions.

How to Use Bakuchiol in Skincare

Bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol, has gained popularity in the skincare world for its anti-aging and skin-brightening properties. If you're interested in incorporating this ingredient into your skincare routine, here's a guide to help you get started.

1. Choose the Right Bakuchiol Product

  • Look for products specifically formulated with bakuchiol. It can be found in serums, moisturizers, and oils.
  • Read the product label carefully to ensure it contains a sufficient concentration of bakuchiol for optimum results.

2. Perform a Patch Test

  • Before using bakuchiol on your entire face, it's essential to perform a patch test.
  • Apply a small amount of the product on a discreet area of your skin, like your forearm or behind your ear.
  • Wait 24 to 48 hours to check for any adverse reactions such as redness, irritation, or itching.
  • If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use immediately.

3. Cleanse and Tone

Begin your skincare routine by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt and impurities. Follow it up with a toner to balance your skin's pH levels and prepare it to absorb the bakuchiol product better.

4. Apply Bakuchiol Product

Take a pea-sized amount of your chosen bakuchiol product and apply it to your face and neck. Massage it gently into your skin using upward motions. Allow the product to absorb fully before moving on to the next step.

5. Moisturize

After using the bakuchiol product, follow up with a moisturizer suitable for your skin type. This will help seal in the bakuchiol and provide additional hydration to your skin.

6. Use Sunscreen

Incorporating bakuchiol into your skincare routine makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before heading outdoors to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

7. Start Slowly

If you are new to bakuchiol, it's best to start slowly and gradually increase the frequency of use. Begin by applying the product two to three times a week, preferably in the evening. Monitor your skin for any reactions and increase usage as your skin tolerates it.

Potential Side Effects

While bakuchiol is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience mild side effects. These can include redness, dryness, or a slight tingling sensation. If these side effects persist or worsen over time, consult a dermatologist for further guidance.

In conclusion

Incorporating bakuchiol into your skincare routine can offer numerous benefits. Remember to choose the right product, perform a patch test, cleanse and tone your skin, apply the bakuchiol product, moisturize, protect your skin with sunscreen, and start slowly. Enjoy the potential anti-aging and skin-brightening effects of this natural alternative to retinol!

Bakuchiol Products: A Guide to Understanding and Choosing the Right One

Bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to retinol, has gained significant popularity in the skincare world for its anti-aging and skin-enhancing properties. As a result, there has been an influx of bakuchiol products in the market, making it important to understand the different options available and their respective product reviews. In this guide, we will delve into bakuchiol products and provide insights on their effectiveness.

Reading Product Reviews: Key to Choosing the Right Bakuchiol Product

When considering bakuchiol products, it is crucial to read product reviews. These reviews offer valuable information about the product's performance, ingredients, and potential side effects. Look for reviews from reliable sources such as dermatologists or reputable skincare blogs.

Highly Regarded Bakuchiol Product: "Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum"

One highly regarded bakuchiol product is the "Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum" by a well-known skincare brand. Many reviewers praise its ability to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and even skin tone. Users have reported improvement in overall skin texture and clarity after consistent use. The lightweight texture and absence of traditional retinol-related side effects, such as dryness and irritation, make it a popular choice.

Another Effective Bakuchiol Product: "Youthful Radiance Bakuchiol Booster Serum"

Another bakuchiol product to consider is the "Youthful Radiance Bakuchiol Booster Serum." This product, formulated with a blend of antioxidants and hydrating ingredients, has received positive reviews for its ability to firm and brighten the skin. Users have noticed a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, as well as improved hydration levels. With its gentle formulation, it is suitable for all skin types.

Bakuchiol Moisturizer Option: "Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Face Cream"

For those who prefer a moisturizer with bakuchiol, the "Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Face Cream" is worth exploring. Reviewers have commended its rich texture, which provides intense hydration without leaving a greasy residue. The formula combines bakuchiol with nourishing botanical extracts, leading to plumper, smoother skin. Many users have reported visible improvements in fine lines and skin elasticity with regular use.

Considerations and Precautions for Bakuchiol Products

It is important to note that while bakuchiol is generally well-tolerated, individual results may vary. Some users may experience sensitivity or allergies to certain formulations. Therefore, it is advisable to perform a patch test before incorporating any new bakuchiol product into your skincare routine.

Summary: Choose the Right Bakuchiol Product for Youthful and Radiant Skin

In summary, the market offers numerous bakuchiol products that cater to different skincare needs. By reading product reviews from reliable sources, like dermatologists and trusted skincare blogs, you can gain insight into the effectiveness and advantages of each product. Whether you choose a serum, booster, or cream, bakuchiol has proven to be a beneficial ingredient in the pursuit of youthful and radiant skin.


  1. Bakuchiol is a plant-based, natural alternative to retinol, commonly used in skincare products.

  2. It has been shown to have similar benefits to retinol, such as:

    • reducing the appearance of wrinkles
    • reducing fine lines
    • reducing other signs of aging
  3. Unlike retinol, Bakuchiol is generally well-tolerated, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive skin.

  4. It has anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for individuals with acne-prone or problematic skin.

  5. Bakuchiol also helps to improve skin tone and texture, resulting in a smoother and more even complexion.

  6. Studies have shown that Bakuchiol can enhance collagen production, leading to firmer and more youthful-looking skin.