Baku-who? Bakuchiol the latest anti-ager, (pronounced “bake-u-heel”) is an exciting plant-derived compound that exhibits retinol-like anti-aging effects. It is a member of the monoterpene family. Specifically, it has been proven to boost collagen synthesis and increase cell turnover. This can bring benefits, such as fewer wrinkles, reduced fine lines, and diminished sun spots.
It is said that Bakuchiol is the latest anti-ager and can give you the benefits of retinol without the harsh side effects (redness and flaking). This makes it perfect for people with sensitive skin. Furthermore, Bakuchiol also has antibacterial activity against a number of pathogens. Therefore, Bakuchiol is best for those who have acne-prone skin and are sensitive to other retinols.
As a nightly user of retinol, I have to say that I don’t experience redness or flaking. However, I have tried Retin A, a stronger synthetic retinoid, and did have those issues.
What Are Retinoids? And Why Are They Good For Your Skin?
Lucky for us, scientists have studied retinoids in-depth so that we know which ones are best for our skin. Retinoids are a class of compounds that are related to Vitamin A. A previous post How Vitamin A Benefits Acne, Wrinkles and Collagen goes into greater detail about why Vitamin A is so good for you.
Naturally Occurring Forms of Vitamin A
These variants of Vitamin A (carotenoids) can be naturally extracted from plants, such as carrots. Their effects are mild to moderate when compared to the synthetics.
Retinal: Also known as retinaldehyde, this compound plays in important role in maintaining healthy vision. Retinal is a precursor to retinol and is activated within the skin. This allows for a more controlled delivery of retinoic acid. Regular usage has been shown to increase epidermal thickness and reduce coarse wrinkles. We can obtain retinal directly from animals or from plants via beta-carotene: beta-carotene + O2 → 2 retinal.
Retinol: Otherwise known as retinoic acid, is the principal form of Vitamin A. It works by encouraging new cell growth along with the regeneration of collagen and elastin. The active form of Vitamin A can be obtained from animals while the pro-vitamin (carotenoids) can be obtained from eating green leafy vegetables and fruits containing orange pigments. The compound is very effective for treating photoaging and acne; however, it is biologically unstable. Retinol deteriorates rapidly when exposed to oxygen and light.
Niara Beauty Retinol Cream is an excellent example of a retinol cream that most people can use every night to keep their skin healthy.
Synthetic Forms of Vitamin A
Synthetic forms of Vitamin A tend to be more potent and biologically stable than retinol. This is why they tend to be popular in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Retinyl Palmitate is a derivative of Vitamin A. It is converted into retinol after being absorbed into the skin. This makes it gentler and less irritating than retinol because the conversion is relatively slow. This cream features retinyl palmitate.
Retin-A (tretinoin): This is a strong retinoid. It is very potent for treating photoaging and has been well-studied. It is also known as all-trans retinoic acid.
Accutane (isotretinoin): Stronger than tretinoin, this is usually reserved for very severe conditions. It is typically taken orally.
Adapalene is a third-generation retinoid. It is much more stable than other retinoids but less strong than tretinoin. It also has a lower absorption rate into the bloodstream. This means that adapalene is less irritating and remains effective when combined with other skin care products. Additionally, it has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Adapalene is available over-the-counter as Differin gel.
Bakuchiol and carotenoids are similar in their origin since they both can be obtained from plants; unlike other retinoid derivatives they do not have to be manipulated in a lab to be active. Here is a serum containing bakuchiol. You would want to treat it like any other Vitamin A product and use it only at night. Applying sunscreen all day long after usage is essential due to its exfoliating nature.