Bakuchiol | Nature’s retinol alternative

Bakuchiol | Nature’s retinol alternative

Retinol. For some decades now, it’s been lauded as a skincare and age-defying powerhouse.

Promising quick and multitudinous results, it is known to speed up cell renewal, unclog pores, brighten skin tone, enhance skin texture, smooth lines, diminish hyperpigmentation and address free radical damage. A highly desirable list, yes? No surprises then that those experiencing acne, pigmentation problems and premature skin ageing concerns have all been pointed towards retinol to treat their skin worries.

However, retinol doesn’t come without its risks. In recent years, there have been increasing reports of retinol’s highly undesirable effects on skin. And, while formulations have improved, reports of reactions continue.

Concerns over retinol

By increasing cell turnover, retinol essentially removes several layers of skin. With thinner skin comes reduced elasticity, increased dryness, peeling, flaking, sensitivity and inflammation. In addition, tolerance of retinol takes time and therefore much care is needed to avoid using retinol too often, in too high doses or during the day. We think you’d agree, retinol is sounding far less desirable now…

An age-old alternative to retinol

When it comes to skin, we’re passionate about protecting it; reviving it with natural moisture to leave it balanced, conditioned and radiant. Retinol was therefore never going to be a solution for us. Naturally, we turned to Chinese Medicine with our quandary... Bakuchiol was its answer.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol (also known as Psoralea Corylifolia Extract) is a phytochemical extracted from the seeds of the Babchi plant. It’s been used for centuries (if not longer) in both Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to help reduce inflammation and treat several skin conditions, such as psoriasis, vitiligo and eczema. Most recently, however, it’s creating quite the buzz in skincare circles due to findings that it is the first natural and safe true alternative to retinol – matching all the benefits without any of the disadvantages.

The beauty benefits of Bakuchiol

A natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, Bakuchiol mimics the effect of a retinol by stimulating cell turnover (which in turn stimulates collagen), diminishing hyperpigmentation, moisturising skin, smoothing fine lines, refining skin texture, boosting radiance and enhancing skin firmness.

You don’t just need to take our word for it either. A 2018 study cited in the British Journal of Dermatology clinically assessed the effects of Bakuchiol against retinol applied topically over a 12-week study. Results showed that both decreased the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation, yet only retinol testers experienced stinging and scaling on their skin.

Further studies have since found that Bakuchiol doesn’t merely help rejuvenate existing signs of skin deterioration, but also helps prevent future damage. What’s more, Bakuchiol is a vegan ingredient, safe for use during pregnancy and safe before sun exposure (it isn’t photo-sensitising like retinol). Therefore, almost all skin types – including those with sensitive skin or rosacea – can use products containing this ingredient during the daytime, benefitting from its gentle yet remarkably effective skincare qualities.

Dermatology M products containing Bakuchiol


Our much-loved daily cream is an excellent choice for mature skin. Uniting Bakuchiol with steam-distilled Rose Otto Essential Oil, Safflower Seed Oil and Shea Nut Butter, it powerfully moisturises and rejuvenates skin, evening skin tone while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.

Another daily essential for mature skin (but also perfect for dry or dull complexions) is this 100% natural facial oil. A power-packed blend of Bakuchiol and Vitamin E with Rosehip and Hemp Oils, it sinks in fast. Skin feels softer, firmer and more supple, lines are noticeably smoother and a youthful glow is revived.

It’s a myth that oily or spot-prone complexions can’t use oils. This 100% natural facial oil is dermatologist designed especially for such skin concerns. Combining Bakuchiol, Prickly Pear and Rosehip with a synergistic anti-acne compound of Chinese herbs, it soothes as it helps clear spots, balance sebum and restore brighter, smoother skin.

Our light, antioxidant-rich face cream delivers daily hydration for combination or oily skin prone to spots. A specialist blend of Bakuchiol with Ji Xue Cao, Ma Chi Xian and Hyaluronic Acid, it gently soothes flare-ups, refines skin texture and helps stimulate cell regeneration.

Ideal for all skin types, though perfect for those prone to hyperpigmentation or dullness, this brightening face cream comes to skin’s rescue while you rest. Its expert formula of Bakuchiol, stabilised Vitamin C and Bai Lian energises and rejuvenates as it nourishes, reviving smoother, softer, more radiant skin by morning.

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