Bakuchiol and Retinol

Bakuchiol vs. Retinol


Acne and skin changes that happen with aging (lines, wrinkles, dullness etc)...two of the most typical insecurities that we share as humans. 


We can’t avoid skin changes associated with aging, (yet) but we can take preventative action by using organic-ACTUALLY-good-for-you skincare and limiting/protecting our skin in the sun. Overexposure to the sun causes the skin to lose elasticity, wrinkle, and become hyper-pigmented i.e. dark spots; ultimately aging faster.

One well known solution to aging has been found through using retinoid products; which are derived from Vitamin A (a rich vitamin used for speeding up the skin's healing process, slowing the breakdown of collagen, and preventing acne). 



‘Retinoid’ is a term that covers several different vitamin A derivatives. No matter which type of retinoid you choose, the skin can ONLY process the pure vitamin A form of retinol, referred to as retinoic acid. Therefore, each retinoid differs by its potency and by its conversion method to retinoic acid. Those with sensitive skin may experience dryness or irritation, sending them through a cycle of product usage. So, it is important to understand the science behind your retinoid products and choose one that is fit for your skin type. 

With the most research and evidence against its anti-aging and antioxidant effects, Retinol is the most commonly sold form. Substances on the list like tretinoin and isotretinoin are pure forms of retinoic acid; which are the strongest forms available; by prescription only. Gentler forms of retinoids, like retinol esters, must convert into retinoic acid to get the desired results.  

The lower potency of the retinoid, the more steps it takes to reach its final form as retinoic acid. The lowest tier for retinol potency starts at .01% -  .03%. Mid-strength retinol products usually contain between 0.04-0.1% retinol, and clinical grade retinol doses lie between 0.3%-1%.


Historically, the clean beauty community has stayed far away from Retinol because of contamination with BHT  (butylated hydroxytoluene).  

BHT is a preservative chemical used in many skin care products and foods and is linked to health issues like stomach and bladder cancer, liver damage, and tumor production after long term exposure. 

There is a lack of transparency about BHT in typical retinoid skin care products, making it tough to avoid. However, clean retinol contains 0% BHT and is safe for use. Clean retinol is achieved by formulating skin care using organic ingredients that contain naturally occurring retinoic acid to product gentle effects of retinol.


Top 3 clean retinol products at AILLEA

Josh Rosebrook Active Infusion Oil

Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

  • The Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oireduces the look of early wrinkles with naturally occurring retinoic acid derived from rosehip seed oil (which comes from the seed pods of roses), while vitamins and minerals provide complete skin nourishment for youthful, healthy-looking skin. 

Maya Chia The Straight A Serum Advanced Gentle Retinol Serum

  • Maya Chia’s Straight A Serum includes Encapsulated Retinol (a safe derivative of Vitamin A without BHT) in its ingredients. Combined with two forms of “Botanical Retinols” – Bakuchiol and Moth Bean Extract – to significantly improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles, promoting plumper, smoother, more radiant, healthier-looking skin.



Bakuchiol has been used in skin care since the 1970’s but only recently hit the mainstream spotlight; bringing awareness and curiosity to more researchers. Bakuchiol is a natural ingredient derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant and could be the new, gentler alternative to retinol.

In fact, a 2018 study published in The British Journal of Dermatology concluded that bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photoageing and is better tolerated than retinol. As of today, no known side effects have been confirmed from using Bakuchiol. 


Top 3 products with Bakuchiol at AILLEA

plant genius line-filling eye balm

  • The Alpyn Beauty PlantGenuis: Line Filling Eye Balm is jam packed with antioxidants to heal the skin, plant-powered nutrients, and of course- bakuchiol to tie all of these amazing effects together with a bang!

calming midnight mask with melatonin and wild dandelion

  • The Alpyn Beauty PlantGenuis: Calming Midnight Mask has antioxidant-packed melatonin to heighten the skin’s natural repair process, wildcrafted Dandelion Leaf to detoxify and help refine skin texture, and...bakuchiol! 

plant genius melt moisturizer

  • The Alpyn Beauty PlantGenuis: Melt Moisturizer uses ceramides and squalane to help fortify the moisture barrier, vitamin C to brighten and protect against free radical damage, wild actives to nourish with essential vitamins, and Bakuchiol to help 


Retinol and Bakuchiol:

Bakuchiol and retinol produce very similar results with slightly different methods in slowing down the enzymes that cause a decrease in collagen and skin elasticity. Both retinol and bakuchiol penetrate deep to increase collagen production and reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and acne. Bakuchiol doesn’t decrease the oil glands, which is why it is less drying than retinol.

The choice between using well-known retinol and newly explored bakuchiol truly depends on your experience with using retinoids, your skin type, and your desired results. For someone who is a long time fan of retinol, bakuchiol may be a let-down. On the other hand, if you haven’t used many retinol products in the past, or you know that you have sensitive skin, then Bakuchiol may be a good start as a natural, gentle alternative. 



British Journal of Dermatology

Goop: Clean and non-toxic retinol

The Skin Care Edit: Bakuchiol Vs Retinol 

The Skin Care Edit: Retinoid vs Retinol

This Organic Girl: A Look at Retinol in Organic Skin Care

Skin Ingredients: hydroxypinacolone retinoate

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