The reason retinol is so effective is that it acts at the molecular level. While it occurs naturally in the skin, today no plant-based option is available. There are retinol natural “cousins” and derivatives, but all fall short because they have limited molecular impact. However, another completely different molecule -- plant-based Bakuchiol -- has a very similar overall molecular effect in the skin and equivalent functionality to retinol. 

That functional similarity has been confirmed by various studies (we highlight a few below and reference others). More significantly, clinical studies have shown significant improvement in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall photo-damage as effective as pure retinol without retinol-like irritation (as shown below).

Bakuchiol is mainly obtained from the seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia, which is widely used in Indian as well as in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of diseases. Traditional medicine practitioners in India and China have utilized the plant for centuries. Psoralea corylifolia is known by a wide variety of names, suggesting its widespread use. For example, babchi, baguchi, babachi, Bakchi in Hindi; Boh-gol zhee in Korea.

Due to its long-time use in many medical applications, the botany, phytochemistry, and ethno-pharmacology, along with the various pharmacological activities of the plant are well documented (1).

What we like the most about Bakuchiol:

  • It reduces lines and wrinkles well by promoting skin renewal and enhancing collagen production (which starts to decline in your 20s-30s) as shown below.
  • It is a powerful anti-inflammation skin agent (see X results below) making it an ideal anti-aging agent for sensitive skin
  • It has strong antioxidant properties that can reverse some of the side effects of sun damage (shown below)
  • It is antimicrobial which can be helpful for acne-prone skin (see X)
  • It leaves skin looking fresh, smooth, soft, radiant and youthful. (per Clinical Tests below)

In simple terms, these volcano plots* represent the levels of DNA activation into key skin functional components -- primarily collagen and elastin and show great overall similarity between the retinol and bakuchiol profile. (2)



1 = Roughness & dryness;  2 = Fine lines/wrinkles;  3 = Skin tone;  4 = Skin elasticity/firmness;  5 = Radiance;  6 = Skin brightening;  7 = Eye area appearance. 
Source: Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects: Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoaging, Dhaliwal,*, et al