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Bakuchiol Or Retinol? Which Is The Better Option

Of late, there has been plenty of conversation around retinol and bakuchiol – there are those who would wax eloquent about the benefits of retinol for skin and then there would be those who would say that this is a chemical product at the end of the day. It is interesting to note that retinol has been around in the world of skin care for quite a few years now and this derivative of Vitamin A is often considered an anti-ageing magic potion! Studies have shown that usage of retinol can help improve cell turnover and reduce those first lines of ageing. 

But what about bakuchiol? Even though this ingredient works like retinol, it is actually plant based, which is why it has been gaining so much love, across the board. 

So, before you can choose bakuchiol or retinol, wouldn’t it be wise to understand a little bit more about both of them?




What is it?

A derivative of vitamin A, which is available as an over-the-counter product to help reduce the first signs of aging. However, this is not a product that all skin types are able to tolerate and it could lead to dry flaky skin. 

A derivative from the psoralea corylifolia plant, this is an extremely potent antioxidant and is also known to work on similar lines like retinol. However, unlike retinol, there are pretty much no side effects. 

Are there any side effects?

One would normally not use retinol for sensitive skin because it can cause skin irritation, especially if the adjustment period is not taken into consideration. It is always better to start with a really low strength and then work your way up to higher concentrations. You might even want to use it only a few times a week, rather than daily. Because it’s a vitamin A derivative, it is often not considered suitable for pregnant or lactating mothers.  

Unless you have extremely sensitive skin, there should not be any problems, because bakuchiol has become what one would call a ‘globally tolerated ingredient’! 

How does one use it?

Ideally, with both products, you should start off with a patch test, to ensure that the product will not harm your skin. So rather than starting off straight on your face, you should test the ingredient on your arm or even the back of your ear. 

Make sure that you wash and dry your face first and it is important to remember that the usage of retinol for skin should be exclusively at night. This is so because retinol can increase skin sensitivity to sunlight. You should start by using a pea sized amount, three times a week and then after observing the resistance of your skin, you can go up to five times a week. Always follow up with a good quality moisturiser. 

Given that bakuchiol benefits skins of all types and the chances of irritation are extremely low, you can start using it for two days from the very beginning. Moreover, bakuchiol can be used in the mornings as well, because there is no sun sensitivity. In addition, when you combine bakuchiol with niacinamide or squalane, there is instant moisturisation, giving you skin that you will fall in love with. 


So, how do you choose which is the best option for your skin? How do you solve the whole bakuchiol vs retinol debate?

Vitamin A derivatives, such as retinol, have proven to be really effective in treating the first signs of ageing and they are also known to be faster in terms of showing effects. However, they could also damage your skin, which is perhaps why people are now turning towards the more natural alternative. 

What makes bakuchiol a better choice is perhaps its lack of photosensitivity – retinol can break down when it interacts with sunlight and lose its efficacy, but no such issues with bakuchiol. This means that you can use it day or night, while retinol can be used only at night time. On the other hand, bakuchiol cannot be used with glycolic acid unless properly formulated, because it could lead to the degradation of the same. Bakuchiol works best with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and squalane. 

How do you choose one for your skin? Unless you have really sensitive skin, you could actually give either a try. The benefit of using bakuchiol is that it works for almost all skin types, including sensitive and acne prone ones. 

At indē wild, we combined bakuchiol with its best friend, squalane and also tripeptide complex to give you the perfect night time skin care formulation. So, while you reap the bakuchiol skin benefits of younger looking skin, you also get skin that is moisturised, nourished. And while you enjoy your beauty sleep, our serum will work overnight to give you refreshed and rejuvenated skin in the morning!