The New A Game – Bakuchiol

by Sophie

Bakuchiol – also known as the natural alternative to retinol – is having a major boom in the beauty industry right now. Why? Because vitamin A (retinol) has long since been the it-ingredient when it comes to potent anti-aging solutions. But like all good things in life, we have to compromise and sacrifice to reap the rewards. 

In this case, in order to be endowed with angelic smooth skin; one must organise in advance, a couple of weeks where having dry, flaky, red, irritated skin would be a relatively OK problem to deal with. Before you are kind of like an initiation ritual to make you (look) virtuous. 

Derived from the lilac-hued Indian Babchi plant, Psoralea Corylifolia, bakuchiol has proven to provide collagen stimulation and skin rejuvenation similar to that of vitamin A. “Bakuchiol is a monoterpene phenol with a retinol-like functionality. Even though bakuchiol has no structural resemblance to retinoids, it can act as a functional analog of retinol,” Brooke Taylor, House of Camille Business Development Educator, explains. 

The main attraction for bakuchiol is that it is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as those with sensitive skin who can not otherwise tolerate vitamin A. It has an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect to minimise the formation of blemishes and also brightens the skin-tone by minimising melanin synthesis. This means that you can use bakuchiol day and night to ramp up the effects.

Unlike retinol’s strictly nocturnal usage, bakuchiol is sun-safe and can feed your skin with antioxidants to help protect your skin. “Retinol is the absolute gold standard for anti-ageing results and we always recommend it whenever we can as we know it just can’t be topped. However, if you simply can’t use retinol, we recommend Bakuchiol to deliver retinol-like results, but without the retinol,” Taylor says. 

Medik8 is a leading expert brand when it comes to vitamin A. Their Bakuchiol Peptides, 30ml, $109, includes a lipo-amino acid which easily penetrates into the skin to help block the melanin stimulating hormone (MSH). Working as a brightening peptide precursor (INCI undecylenoyl phenylalanine), it helps to control tyrosinase activity for an even complexion with less hyperpigmentation. 

Centella Asiatica, best known by the common name Cica, is a trending K-beauty ingredient that is growing in popularity as an all-in-one solution for sensitised skin. “Cica lends its anti-inflammatory properties to help calm sensitive skin types. It also works as the perfect support ingredient in addition to bakuchiol to heal compromised skin,” Taylor says. “By stimulating collagen synthesis, it can also reduce the appearance of scar tissue and minimise irritation and redness.”

Another key ingredient they harness is inka omega oil, one of the world’s highest sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids among all of the oily seeds. Derived from a native climbing plant found in the humid highlands of the South American Andes, the seeds have a very high oil content of 35-60% in which 90% of it is unsaturated. Organic and extracted using only cold processing techniques, the omegas are exceptional at replenishing and restoring the skin’s natural barrier. 

For those with lipid dry skin, the perfect balance of alpha-linoleic acid (omega 3), linoleic acid (omega 6) and oleic acid (omega 9) from the inca oil will help rebuild the integrity of your skin’s first line of defence. 

As of late, there have been more and more product launches from New Zealand skincare brands that house bakuchiol. Essano recently launched the Wrinkle Rescue Natural Retinol, 20ml, $24.95, as part of their concentrated serums. To boost the omega content, rosehip and jojoba oils are used to support the bakuchiol. 

Another affordable option is the Glow Lab Age Renew Retinol* Booster Oil, 20ml, $35. Tocopherol is blended with rosehip, marula rose geranium leaf, coconut, sunflower seed and pracaxi seed oils, in this all-natural elixir. 

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