What is bakuchiol? It comes from the Asian babchi plant with a long history in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s a natural alternative to retinol because it smoothes wrinkles and reduces discoloration, but it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin. Even acne-prone complexions and persons with rosacea can use bakuchiol.
Is bakuchiol better than retinol? Many would say yes because not only is it less irritating, but it’s also rich in antioxidants, acts as an anti-inflammatory, fights acne, and has antifungal properties. It can be used day or night because it’s not affected by sunlight. Moreover, it’s generally safe to use during pregnancy whereas retinol is not.
A recent study comparing retinol to bakuchiol monitored a small group of users for twelve weeks. While both products significantly diminished wrinkles and dark spots, those who used retinol reported stinging and scaling while those who used bakuchiol did not (1).
|The best bakuchiol products||Why we love them|
|Burt's Bees Retinol Alternative Refining Facial Wash||
|Burt's Bees Renewal Dark Spot Corrector with Bakuchiol||
|Burt's Bees Renewal Firming Face Cream||
|Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum||
|Acure Radically Rejuvenating Dual Phase Bakuchiol Serum||
|Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum||
|OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème||
|Boscia Cherry Blossom and Bakuchiol Resurfacing Lip Repair||
|Paula's Choice CLINICAL 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment||
- 1 Best Bakuchiol Products in 2021
- 1.1 Burt’s Bees Retinol Alternative Refining Facial Wash
- 1.2 Burt’s Bees Renewal Dark Spot Corrector with Bakuchiol
- 1.3 Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Face Cream
- 1.4 Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum
- 1.5 Acure Radically Rejuvenating Dual Phase Bakuchiol Serum
- 1.6 Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum
- 1.7 OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème
- 1.8 Boscia Cherry Blossom and Bakuchiol Resurfacing Lip Repair
- 1.9 Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment
- 2 Conclusion
Best Bakuchiol Products in 2021
Burt’s Bees Retinol Alternative Refining Facial Wash
There’s nothing like starting off with an affordable bakuchiol face wash. In fact, Burt’s Bees offers a Skin Renewal Collection with cleanser, serum, and moisturizer that contain bakuchiol. Each product is 99% natural, dermatologist-tested, and paraben-free. The face wash doesn’t have sulfates, either.
The cleanser is creamy and doesn’t create a lot of lather. There’s no artificial fragrance, either. It’s an ideal formula for mature, dry skin and sensitive faces.
It exfoliates without stripping the skin’s natural moisture, preparing the face for the next step – the serum we reviewed below.
- Creamy, gentle exfoliating cleanser made for dry skin and sensitive faces
- Features bakuchiol and vitamin E
- 99% natural with no sulfates or parabens
- Dermatologist-tested and fragrance-free
Burt’s Bees Renewal Dark Spot Corrector with Bakuchiol
They call it a dark spot corrector, but it’s also a serum. It blends bakuchiol with vitamin C to smooth wrinkles and brighten the complexion.
Just like with retinol, bakuchiol takes time to work. It may take anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks to see a significant improvement. Still, in time, it reduces wrinkles, fades fine lines, and erases acne scars.
The serum also has a pleasant side effect of making the skin look younger and more radiant overall. The bakuchiol is paired with excellent moisturizers like hyaluronic acid and squalane. Furthermore, it has cica (Centella asiatica), a potent healing herb.
Although the formula is dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic, and free of petrolatum, parabens, and phthalates, it’s not fragrance-free. It has masking fragrances, too. Fortunately, it’s still 98.6% natural and cruelty-free.
Did you also know that Burt’s Bees is Carbon Neutral Certified and does not add to landfills?
- Infused with bakuchiol, squalane, hyaluronic acid, and cica
- Smooths lines and wrinkles, erases dark spots
- 6% natural
- Free of petrolatum, parabens, and phthalates
- Not fragrance-free
Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Face Cream
This bakuchiol moisturizer can be used morning and night as it doesn’t sensitize the skin to UV rays or breakdown in sunlight like retinol does. It’s lightweight and quick-absorbing with no greasy or tacky feel after application.
Besides the retinol alternative, the firming cream has other potent anti-aging ingredients like plankton, apple, hibiscus, sodium PCA, and vitamin E. Of course, there are no parabens or petrolatum.
Be patient as it will take a few weeks of daily use to see a dramatic difference. Take a photo so you can compare the bakuchiol before and after and see the progress.
- Bakuchiol moisturizer can be used morning and night
- Enriched with vitamin E and natural extracts
- Contains no petrolatum or parabens
- Not fragrance-free
Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum
Retinol is notorious for causing redness and stinging, but bakuchiol doesn’t cause irritation. In fact, it might even calm redness. Just ask any of the users with rosacea who’ve had smashing success with this serum.
A four-week study with over one hundred participants proved that it works as promised. For example, 85% of the users said that their skin looked smoother and brighter. And 91% of them said that they experienced no irritation from it.
The formula blends bakuchiol with tremella mushroom, turmeric, eggplant, and basil, which is why it has a slight herbal aroma and lavender color. However, there are no harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients like fragrances, parabens, or other synthetics.
The fragrance-free serum can be applied morning and night to plump dry skin and erase lines and wrinkles. Pat two or three drops onto clean skin then wait for a few minutes before applying moisturizer.
- Potent natural formula with no added synthetics like fragrances or parabens
- Blends bakuchiol with eggplant, basil, turmeric, and tremella mushroom
- Safe for sensitive faces including persons with rosacea
- Pricey, but worth it – bakuchiol is one of the primary ingredients
Acure Radically Rejuvenating Dual Phase Bakuchiol Serum
This serum also includes bakuchiol as one of the main ingredients instead of an afterthought. It’s non-irritating, non-sticky, and non-greasy. Instead, it leaves the skin with a dewy radiance that transforms a dry complexion. Users say it makes the face feel like silk.
Similar to the more expensive Herbivore serum, it includes basil, turmeric, and eggplant. This trio works alongside bakuchiol to deliver plenty of antioxidants and moisturizers to rejuvenate the skin.
Like all products from Acure, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and contains mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde, or parabens. Happily, several of the key ingredients are certified organic, too.
The natural ingredients have a way of separating so be sure to shake the bottle before dispensing it.
- Affordable alternative to Herbivore’s serum
- Features bakuchiol, turmeric, basil, and eggplant to rejuvenate the skin
- Several ingredients are certified organic
- Free from mineral oil, petrolatum, parabens, and formaldehyde
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Remember to shake the bottle
Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum
Can you mix niacinamide with bakuchiol? That’s exactly what this serum does. It also contains squalane and hyaluronic acid, two excellent moisturizers that plump the skin.
Niacinamide is vitamin B3. It reduces redness and treats acne in conjunction with bakuchiol that makes lines less noticeable.
The serum also uses rosehip seed oil and bitter orange peel oil to brighten the complexion and rejuvenate the appearance. The same botanicals give it a slight floral scent.
A couple of pumps in the morning and at night only take a few moments to absorb. It wears well underneath makeup and sunscreen, but you may need an additional moisturizer if you have dry skin.
On the bright side, this bakuchiol product is cruelty-free and vegan, with no artificial fragrances, parabens, or PEGs. The bottle contains approximately one hundred forty-four pumps so it should last up to three months if applied once a day.
- Serum with niacinamide and bakuchiol
- Packed with moisturizers like squalane and hyaluronic acid as well as botanicals
- Plumps the skin and smoothes lines
- Can be applied twice daily even on sensitive skin
- No parabens, artificial fragrance, or PEGs
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- None, as even the natural scent fades within minutes
OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème
When you have combination skin, it’s hard to find a good moisturizer. This face cream is made for you, but it’s also helpful for all other skin types. It’s an all-in-one solution for mature faces.
It’s an exfoliating night cream with bakuchiol and alpha-hydroxy acids. The glycolic and lactic acids provide a gentle way to remove dead cells and even the texture. They make it easier for the bakuchiol to resurface and rejuvenate the skin. Meanwhile, edelweiss and shea butter condition and firm while licorice and lemon erase discoloration.
What’s nice is that the night cream makes the most of the skin’s repair cycle. Plus, it’s vegan and free of phthalates and parabens.
- Night cream for mature skin, ideal for combination complexions
- Has bakuchiol and alpha-hydroxy acids to resurface
- Uses edelweiss, shea butter, licorice, and lemon to firm and renew
- Contains no parabens or phthalates, also vegan
- Not fragrance-free
Boscia Cherry Blossom and Bakuchiol Resurfacing Lip Repair
There are lots of bakuchiol moisturizers and serums targeted at the entire face. But what about the lips? After all, they wrinkle and shrink and get dehydrated, too.
This lip product doesn’t taste great, but that’s kind of a bonus. At least you won’t be tempted to lick it off. It features bakuchiol, lactic acid, and cherry blossom to work wonders on your lips. It feels like a lip gloss – kind of sticky and moist. While you wear it, it gets rid of dead skin and rehydrates the lips, leaving them plump and soft.
- Bakuchiol, lactic acid, and cherry blossom exfoliate and plump lips
- Not tasty (but that reduces the temptation to lick it off)
Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment
If you want to get started with retinol, but are worried that a low concentration just won’t do the job, this is the treatment you need. It’s actually more like a lightweight lotion, but those with dry skin may still wish to add a moisturizer over top.
It blends a small amount of retinol with bakuchiol to give you visible results with minimal (or no) irritation. Part of its magic comes from peptides that help restructure the skin and boost its youthfulness.
When surveyed, 94% of users said that the treatment visibly increased elasticity. Then, 90% said it made their skin texture better.
Fortunately, it’s suitable for all skin types, especially those with signs of aging as it gradually fades dark spots and deep wrinkles. And since it’s from Paula’s Choice, it’s fragrance-free and paraben-free.
- Lightweight lotion that improves texture and elasticity, also fades hyperpigmentation
- Gentle introduction to retinol, made more potent with bakuchiol
- For all skin types
- Fragrance-free and paraben-free
- None – although persons with sensitive skin may experience a small amount of redness or stinging
Stop suffering from the stinging and redness caused by retinol. You can get the same results with bakuchiol. This plant-derived retinol alternative is gentle enough for sensitive skin and effective enough to take on deep wrinkles and acne scars.
We hope our reviews of the best bakuchiol products helped you find the perfect selection for your needs today. Give them a few weeks to work and prepare to be amazed.
1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.16918 Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing, by S. Dhaliwal,I. Rybak,S.R. Ellis,M. Notay,M. Trivedi,W. Burney,A.R. Vaughn,M. Nguyen,P. Reiter,S. Bosanac,H. Yan,N. Foolad,R.K. Sivamani, published June 27, 2018, accessed November 24, 2021