Bakuchiol – A Plant-Based Alternative to Retinol

  • November 9, 2023
  • 3 Minutes
Enter Bakuchiol, the gentle yet powerful plant-based alternative to Retinol, the renowned anti-aging champion. With customers being increasingly conscious of their choices and demanding more eco-friendly products, the search for natural and effective alternatives to the ingredients we know and love is a constant quest

Retinol in Skincare

Retinol. A word that has taken over headlines in the skincare industry. And there’s a reason. We now have scientific proof of how Retinol improves all major aging signs: wrinkles under the eyes, fine lines, and tone evenness. If there is one ingredient I always recommend, it’s Retinol. In this article, I’ll go over why you should start using this form of Vitamin A in your skincare routine today. We’ll discuss its many benefits and how it helps with photoaging, hyperpigmentation, acne, and skin tone.

Why Choosing Bakuchiol for Skincare

Retinol has been celebrated for its remarkable anti-aging properties for decades. However, its notoriety for causing skin sensitivity and irritation has led to the search for gentler alternatives that care for your skin and our planet.

This is where Bakuchiol, a natural compound derived from the Babchi plant (Psoralea Corylifolia), has emerged as an MVP in skincare. Studies have shown that it’s equally powerful as animal-based Retinol (yes, traditional Retinol is mainly found in chicken and beef liver) while having a considerably less ecological impact.

Decorative picture of a macro of bakuchiol ingredient
Shadow of a woman's hand holding a fields of yarrow skincare product
Bakuchiol based facial oil being sampled out of a bottle

Bakuchiol is Perfect for Sensitive Skin

One of the standout qualities of this ingredient is its gentle nature. Unlike Retinol, it doesn’t come with the risk of skin irritation, redness, or flakiness. This makes Bakuchiol a superb choice for those with sensitive skin who desire the benefits of Retinol without the potential downsides.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Bakuchiol

This ingredient doesn’t fall short when it comes to anti-aging properties. Here’s how it helps turn back the clock on your skin:

  • Smoothing Wrinkles: it stimulates collagen production, a key element in maintaining skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improving Skin Texture: its regular use can lead to smoother and more refined skin, reducing the look of enlarged pores and uneven skin texture.
  • Firming Skin: it helps preserve and enhance skin’s firmness by increasing collagen production and restoring your skin’s youthful vitality..
woman washing her hands
Decorative picture of a beautiful young woman with freckles
macro of a foliage decorative pattern

Anti-Acne Power

Bakuchiol’s magic against acne lies in its ability to prevent clogged pores. With clean pores, there’s no obstruction to your skin’s natural sebum. Therefore, there are no pimples or blackheads. You may still see some blemishes for the first couple of weeks of treatment, or your skin might even look worse. Don’t worry! This is what we call the retinol purge.

If you stick with it, you’ll see clearer skin down the road. Remember that skincare is about consistency. You should wait 6-8 weeks to see clearer results.

Bakuchiol is Suitable for All Skin Types

Bakuchiol is friendly to all skin types, making it an inclusive choice for anyone looking to improve their skin. Whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin, it can be incorporated into your skincare routine with confidence.

Unlike Retinol, Bakuchiol doesn’t cause the peeling, dryness, or sensitivity that can discourage some from using Retinol-based products. This means you can enjoy the benefits of youthful skin without the uncomfortable side effects.


This natural marvel has also a distinctive ability to promote a more even skin tone. It can help reduce the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and redness, leaving your skin looking fresh and radiant.

How Do I Start Using Bakuchiol?

Integrating Retinol into your skincare routine is not hard. Many products, from creams to serums, are widely available. When it comes to this natural alternative, it might be slightly more complicated.

You must research and find brands that ensure their products are 100% plant-basedFields of Yarrow takes the extra step from animal-based Retinol to plant-based Bakuchiol in all our products. For example, this Ginseng, Camellia & Peptide Revitalizing Eye Serum will illuminate the area under your eyes and make you feel at peace knowing no animals were hurt in its manufacturing.

Ginseng, Camellia & Peptide

Revitalizing Eye Serum

Ginseng, Camellia & Peptide is a luxurious eye serum carefully crafted with a power-packed fusion of natural ingredients.

The Best Botanical Products

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Tips and Tricks to Start Using Bakuchiol

  • Start Slow: Even though it’s safer than traditional Retinol, give your skin some time to get used to it. Begin by introducing it into your nighttime routine a few times a week. As your skin adjusts, you can increase the frequency.
  • Patch Test: It’s always a good idea to perform a patch test on a small skin area to ensure you don’t experience any adverse reactions.
  • Combine with Sunscreen: Although it is safer, combining it with sunscreen is always a good idea if you plan to use it during the day. Better to do it at night, though.
  • Pair with Hydration: it can be more effective when used in conjunction with a hydrating moisturizer. Try the Floral Fusion Antioxidant Crème to ensure your skin stays nourished, supple, and deeply hydrated.

Because Retinol is an animal-based ingredient, at Fields of Yarrow we prefer using Bakuchiol over Retinol. Specifically, considering the need to hydrate your skin properly when using Bakuchiol based skin care products, here is a list of products featuring this ingredient, and the hydrators that you can pair them with.

Bakuchiol’s effectiveness is backed by scientific research. It mimics the positive effects of Retinol on the skin without the associated irritations, making it a safer and more reliable alternative. 


What is Bakuchiol, and how does it compare to Retinol?

Bakuchiol is a plant-based compound often considered a natural alternative to Retinol. It is used in skincare for its potential anti-aging properties, with claims of being less irritating than Retinol.

What are the potential side effects of Bakuchiol compared to Retinol?
Bakuchiol is often touted as a gentler alternative, with fewer reported side effects like redness and peeling compared to Retinol. However, individual reactions can vary, and some may still experience sensitivity with Bakuchiol.
Is Bakuchiol a natural alternative to Retinol, and is it as effective?
Bakuchiol is considered a natural alternative to Retinol due to its plant-based origin. Its effectiveness, while promising, may not be as established as Retinol, which has decades of research supporting its anti-aging benefits.
Can Bakuchiol and Retinol be used together in a skincare routine, or should they be used separately?
Combining Bakuchiol and Retinol in a skincare routine can be effective, but I wouldn't advise it; it multiplies the risk of developing side effects and reactions, so always patch test your experiments. Personally, I don't feel the need to add Retinol to my routine, since Bakuchiol is pefectly effective.
Are there any specific age groups or skin types for which Bakuchiol is more suitable than Retinol?
Bakuchiol may be suitable for individuals of all ages and various skin types, particularly those with sensitive skin. Retinol is often recommended for mature skin, but it can also benefit younger individuals with specific concerns. Personal preference and skin reactions play a role in choosing the right product.

About the Author

Souhela Ferrah
Souhela Ferrah

Researcher, mom and founder of Fields of Yarrow

Growing up in the south of France, Souhela Ferrah was surrounded by flower fields. As the daughter of a pharmacist, and with her educational background as chemist, she grew up with a strong affinity with nature and understood its power very well. Thanks to her family, her hometown and her travels around the world, she found inspiration in natural healers, herbalists and nature itself. And this was enough to motivate her to start the awarded honest skincare brand, Fields of Yarrow.
Tags: anti acne / anti aging / bakuchiol / retinol / sensitive skin

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