Anti-Aging Skincare Ingredients: Retinol vs. Bakuchiol

In this blog post you’ll learn what retinol and bakuchiol are, their side effects, the differences between them, some tips to help you decide which one is right for your skin type and skin condition, and natural skincare products you’ll absolutely love!

When it comes to anti-aging skincare products, you’ve most likely heard that retinol is the holy grail ingredient. If you’ve tried it, you know that there is a period of adjustment; as you get used to the flakiness, redness, and irritation it can cause with regular use. Who wants that?

Sure, some people tolerate it very well, but if you’re like most women whose skin is sensitive, you’re probably thinking there must be a better alternative. So, in this blog post you’ll learn what retinol and bakuchiol are, their side effects, the differences between them, some tips to help you decide which one is right for your skin type and skin condition, and natural skincare products you’ll absolutely love!

What Is Retinol?

Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that stimulates cell turnover, which naturally slows down as we get older. The ingredient is a cell-communicating ingredient that "tells" skin cells to make healthier, younger cells and can enhance the production of new skin cells. To be very clear, it is not an exfoliant and does not have the ability to remove the dead cells on the surface of skin. It gets confusing is because retinol causes flaking for the most part. Flaking is not the same thing as exfoliating the skin.

The anti-aging benefits are jaw-dropping, designed to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, dullness, brown spots and to refine the skin, unclogs pores, giving you a much more evened-out complexion.

Retinol is available in over-the-counter products, but you may also obtain a prescription from your doctor for a stronger version. If you don’t have the patience to wait several months to see the results, a prescription retinol may be a better choice because you’ll see the effects in just a few weeks.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol (pronounced buh-koo-chee-all), is a natural alternative to retinol and has taken the clean beauty space by storm. It is a plant-based ingredient that comes from the seeds and leaves of the babchi tree. Bakuchiol is being touted as a gentle, plant-based alternative.

Bakuchiol acts similarly to retinol and has been shown to upregulate and stimulate collagen — it also works as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.

When using bakuchiol people can expect to see effects in approximately six weeks if they use the ingredient twice a day. According to a study, applying bakuchiol twice a day for 12 weeks resulted in a significant improvement in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, and firmness.

What Are the Side Effects of Retinol?

As mentioned above, those who use retinol typically need to realize that there is an adjustment period. If you are impatient, retinol is not for you. If you use too much, too often it can result in skin irritation: redness, flaking, burning, stinking, and dryness.

What Are the Side Effects of Bakuchiol?

The beautiful thing about bakuchiol is there is no adjustment period. It is a universally tolerated ingredient especially for people with extremely sensitive skin.

How to Use Retinol

  • Make sure your skin has been cleansed and dried before application.
  • Retinol should be used exclusively at night.
  • Start slow. For over-the-counter products, use a pea-sized amount of product and to start by using it one to two times a week and work up to three times a week. Your skin needs to get used to it and over time, the use can be increased as your skin builds up its tolerance to retinol. Many people will only tolerate retinol three to five times a week.
  • If your skin becomes too flakey, sensitive, or red, it could be that you're using too high of a dose, or the use could be too frequent. If this is the case, use it less or opt for bakuchiol instead.
  • When using retinol serum, follow up with a moisturizer.
  • When using retinol anytime during the day, a sunscreen is a must because retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. As always, apply sunscreen every two hours to prevent irritation.

How to Use Bakuchiol

  • Use bakuchiol serum every second day for the first 2-4 weeks. After that, you can begin incorporating this product into your daily skincare routine using it morning and night after cleansing and toning.
  • If you don't notice any signs of irritation, you can go up to a nightly dose after two to three months.
  • Always remember to apply sunscreen afterward if you use bakuchiol in the morning.

Which Ingredient Is Right for You: Retinol or Bakuchiol?

The anti-inflammatory properties of bakuchiol are perfect if you have super sensitive skin (rosacea, perioral dermatitis, or with eczema) or are prone to irritation. The antibacterial properties of bakuchiol are also great for those with acne or oily skin. The bottom line is that if you’re starting your anti-aging skincare journey choose bakuchiol. It will give you the peace of mind you so deserve.

Pure Fiji Bakuchiol Skincare Products


    As you can see bakuchiol is a better choice than retinol for vegans and all skin types. It doesn’t interact with other actives and unlike retinol products, bakuchiol is gentle enough to be layered.

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