Bakuchiol, A Natural Alternative To Retinol

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Over the last decade particularly, retinol has been hailed as the holy grail of all anti-ageing hero ingredients used in serums, eye creams and moisturisers, and with good reason. Retinol, a form of vitamin A, encourages cell renewal and enhances collagen production to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles. However, retinol can be harsh causing signs of irritation including redness, itching and peeling. If you have sensitive skin, the chances are you will not be able to experience the powerful effects of retinol on your skin – until now. Bakuchiol is the latest plant-based, anti-ageing ingredient in skincare which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin and is considered a natural alternative to retinol.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a phenolic antioxidant oil extracted mostly from the seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia, also known as the Babchi plant. Bakuchiol Oil has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and has been used to treat numerous skin ailments including inflamed skin concerns such as eczema and psoriasis.

How does Bakuchiol work?

Although Bakuchiol bears no structural resemblance to retinol, it has been shown to work on similar pathways that retinol does, resulting in multiple benefits to skin.

The first published study testing Bakuchiol’s benefits for skin appeared in the International Journal for Cosmetic Science in 2014 and involved 17 women aged between 41 and 60 years who used a patented Bakuchiol material, Sytenol® A, at a strength of 0.5% for 12 weeks.

The results clearly showed that, after twelve weeks treatment, there were significant improvements in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall photo-damage. The results showed that Bakuchiol clearly targeted several cellular pathways similar to those targeted by retinol. (Chaudhuri & Bojanowski, Intern J Cosmet Sci, 36(3):221-230, 2014)

A more robust study involving 44 patients, published in 2018, provided further evidence of the similarity of Bakuchiol to retinol in reducing fine lines and pigmentation concerns, again without the dryness and skin irritation associated with retinol. (S Dhaliwal et al, British Journal of Dermatology 27/06/2018)

The researchers concluded “Bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photo-ageing and is better tolerated than retinol. Bakuchiol is promising as a more tolerable alternative to retinol”.

Who can use Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is ideal for those who prefer natural skincare, sensitive skin types as well as those with oily skin. Its benefits include its ability to enhance collagen synthesis, inhibit collagen degradation, enhance cell renewal, provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties means that it is helpful for everyone including teenagers suffering from acne to those in their 30’s and above looking to benefit from its anti-ageing properties.

How is GoW Super Bakuchiol Serum different?

Garden of Wisdom’s Super Bakuchiol Serum contains the patented well-defined pure Bakuchiol oil, Sytenol® A.  There are many Bakuchiol oils on the market of varying quality, some with low levels of Bakuchiol and others that may contain photosensitizers or residual solvents left behind after the extraction of oil from the seeds.

Sytenol® A Bakuchiol has been through extensive safety testing and this high purity ingredient has been used in several clinical studies including the first published study mentioned earlier.

Bakuchiol oil is structurally different from retinol and is therefore a suitable alternative to retinol during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. Since Sytenol® A is devoid of photosensitizers, Bakuchiol Serum can be used during the day unlike retinol which is know to cause sun sensitivity.

Until now, retinol has been the holy grail ingredient for smoothing wrinkles, acne prevention, fading age spots and rejuvenating ageing skin. Bakuchiol, I believe is the new plant-based anti-ageing hero to help achieve the same results without irritation, dryness and peeling effects of retinol.

What Do Vitamins Actually Do For Our Skin?

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Vitamins are some of the most frequently touted ingredients in skincare. Hailed for overhauling tired skin and giving our complexions a much-needed boost, vitamins have infiltrated our face creams and serums. We know they can deliver skin-boosting results, but you wouldn’t be alone if you’re still not entirely au fait with what vitamin A does compared to vitamin C and whether you should always use vitamin E. Read More…

Do You Really Need To Switch Up Your Skincare Every Season?

Spring On White

As the season’s revolving door swings into spring it feels only right to embrace the change by updating our skincare routine. In the same way that layers of your clothing get lighter and airier, logic would dictate the same goes for your creams and lotions. But is it a necessity for achieving healthy and glowing skin? The good news is that you don’t need to completely overhaul your winter skincare routine in a bid to fix any problems you now face. However, the devil is in the detail when it comes to perfect skin once the mercury rises. Here’s everything you need to know about trans-seasonal skincare. Read More…

How To Boost Your Overnight Skincare Routine

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New figures suggest that we’re honing in on our overnight skincare routines. Sleep has always been big business, but now we’re as obsessed with boosting our skin as we are with getting enough shut-eye. According to NPD UK, sales of night creams in the UK have risen sharply in the past year and the night-time skincare market was valued at £43 million between October 2017 and September 2018. Read More…

Everything You Need To Know About Dermarolling

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The idea of puncturing your skin with sharp 0.5mm long needles for three minutes, twice a week, might be enough to make some people squirm, but dermarolling, or microneedling, has received a lot of press in recent months. The technique isn’t necessarily new, but more experts are rallying behind it as a way of rejuvenating your skin quickly. So, what are the benefits?

First and foremost, what is a dermaroller?

It look like a medieval torture device, but the spiky, roller gadget can be hugely beneficial to your skin. Dermarollers have lots of small, sharp needles that you roll across your skin to create micro punctures. Needle length varies from 0.2mm to 1mm for both in-clinic and at-home dermarollers. Nannette de Gaspé’s Roller Noir has 0.5mm length needles to ensure it’s safe to use at home yet still offers collagen-boosting results.

What are the skincare benefits?

Microneedling creates thousands of tiny punctures to your skin, which not only help to slough away dry skin, but also turbocharges your collagen and elastin production. Essentially, microneedling makes your skin think it’s been injured and forces it into repair mode.

While you will notice your complexion looks fresher, don’t expect overnight success in terms of skin firmness as it can take around eight weeks for your skin to produce collagen.

How do you use it?

Experts recommend rolling upwards in a diagonal direction across your face at least twice, if not three times for the best results. Always roll on freshly cleansed skin and wash/spritz your roller with alcohol afterwards to avoid any bacteria build-up. Expect your skin to be a shade of pink for at least 15 minutes after you’ve rolled.

What’s the best skincare to use alongside your dermaroller?

If you usually apply your vitamin C or retinol serum in the evening, alternate these with your dermaroller. Reactive ingredients, especially exfoliating acids can be too harsh on skin after microneedling. Instead, opt for a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum or a soothing, nourishing formula to help replenish your skin. Remember you’ve just caused micro-injuries across your face, so be gentle.

How long will your dermaroller last for?

Similar to razor blades, over time the needles on your dermaroller will become blunt. However, this should take around six months if you’re using it a couple of times a week.

How I Found My Skincare Style

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All this recent talk about “skincare wardrobes” courtesy of Lisa Armstrong in her GoW article (here) and Gill in last month’s newsletter got me thinking about my own skincare style and how I found it. I get asked all the time about how to curate the perfect set of products, aka a skincare wardrobe and it is something I like to think I have pretty much perfected now, although it wasn’t an easy process. It took a lot of time, a lot of money spent and wasted and a lot of bad skin days before I truly realized what worked for me and why. Knowing this is what allowed me to formulate my current results driven skincare style, which is focused on ingredients and formulas that do the most for my skin. Read More…