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Le bakuchiol, le nouvel actif contre le vieillissement cutané

Bakuchiol, a new active ingredient against skin aging.

Even though retinol remains an active ingredient with undeniable effects on reducing wrinkles, its irritating potential prevents sensitive skin from using it. In recent years, bakuchiol has emerged, and its regenerative virtues are not to be overlooked.

Skin aging, an inevitable phenomenon.

  • The internal causes

    Age is one of the primary factors that affect cellular functions and the structure of the skin. The production of collagen or elastin decreases, as does blood flow. This means that the skin, not receiving the necessary oxygen and proteins, loses its suppleness and sags. The youthful, rosy glow of the face then gives way to a more dull, grayish complexion.

    Genetics also plays a role in skin aging. Thus, skin type or ethnicity influences the rate at which wrinkles and fine lines form on the face. For instance, Asian or dark skins are predisposed to uneven pigmentation (brown spots), and fair and sensitive skins to early aging.

  • External Causes

    Exogenous factors responsible for skin aging are all attributable to oxidative stress. This process is explained by the presence of free radicals in the body that deteriorate cellular structure. Over time, the body's ability to capture and neutralize these free radicals decreases. This is when the components of skin cells become altered. Even though our body naturally produces free radicals, certain external factors stimulate this phenomenon even more: UV rays from the sun (photoaging), pollution, diet, smoking...

Bakuchiol or the ally of sensitive skin against skin aging.

The bakuchiol is a recent active ingredient, first used in cosmetics in 2007. It is a phenolic meroterpene abundant in the seeds and leaves of the Psoralea corylifolia (Babchi). Also known as "Bakuchi", this plant endemic to the Himalayan region has been listed for hundreds of years in the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia.

Several studies have defined it as a natural alternative to retinol, both being derivatives of vitamin A. Bakuchiol thus effectively combats the signs of skin aging, with fewer side effects than retinol (irritations, stability issues, photosensitivity, etc…). Those with sensitive skin who cannot tolerate retinol can turn to bakuchiol. This ingredient works on several levels to prevent wrinkles or reduce those already present on the skin's surface:

  • Limiting the degradation of collagen and elastin.

    These two proteins are key components of the connective tissue that makes up the dermis. They strengthen the skin and increase its elasticity and firmness. Unfortunately, over time, they are degraded by enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), and more specifically collagenase and elastase. Topical application of bakuchiol inhibits the activity of these enzymes, preventing them from causing harm. Moreover, researchers have demonstrated its potential to stimulate retinoid receptors responsible for the synthesis of type 1 collagen in the dermis.

  • Neutralize free radicals.

    As previously explained, free radicals are highly reactive unstable molecules that degrade healthy cells and proteins in the body, accelerating its aging. Bakuchiol neutralizes these molecules, thereby blocking their harmful effects on the skin.

  • Combating pigmentation spots.

    The appearance of brown spots is linked to the aging of the skin and/or exposure to external aggressions such as pollution and UV rays. As a reminder, hyperpigmentation is defined as a disruption in the pigmentation process : the melanin, pigment responsible for the natural coloration of the skin, is overproduced in certain areas which leads to the appearance of brown, red, or pink spots that can sometimes be unsightly. Bakuchiol regulates melanocytes and reduces the intensity of pigmented spots on the skin surface.

Can we combine retinol and bakuchiol?

This combination is relevant as it allows for the accumulation of the benefits of both compounds. Moreover, a study has shown that when bakuchiol and retinol are combined, bakuchiol stabilizes the retinol, thereby extending its effectiveness. The anti-inflammatory effects of bakuchiol would also enable the skin to better tolerate retinol.

Even though this combination can indeed be beneficial for combating wrinkles, we do not recommend it at all for sensitive skin. However, if your skin tolerates retinol well, during your evening routine, you can apply our wrinkle and imperfection serum. This serum also contains plant-based polypeptides capable of working in synergy with retinol to promote the synthesis of type I collagen.

As a reminder, unlike bakuchiol, the retinol is photosensitizing: it increases the skin's sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, it should only be used in the evening, while bakuchiol can be applied in the morning without any risks.


  • BOJANOWSKI K. & al. Bakuchiol: A Retinol-Like Functional Compound Unveiled Through Gene Expression Profiling and Clinically Proven to Possess Anti-Aging Properties. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2014).

  • REITER P. & others Prospective, randomized, double-blind evaluation of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoaging Clinical Trial. British Journal of Dermatology (2019).

  • LEVY S. & al. Clinical Evaluation of a Nature-Derived Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (2020).


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