Ingredient Spotlight: Bakuchiol: Plant Based Retinol


Bakuchiol pronounced "buh-koo-chee-all" is 100% plant based and extracted from the seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia commonly known as Babchi. It has been used for many years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a multitude of diseases and skin ailments.

 Recently it has been studied specifically for its use in skincare. Bakuchiol is a phytochemical.  What is a photochemical? It is a compound found in plants that protect and prevent disease in the plant.  Antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamins are examples of phytochemicals.  Humans also benefit from phytochemicals when we consume plants or use their oils topically.

So what is so special about Bakuchiol?  Glad you asked because its pretty amazing!  Bakuchiol has been clinically shown to function like Retinol. Retinol is often prescribed for women with complaints of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots and is commonly found in anti-aging products. However Retinol is associated with some unpleasant side effects such as : redness, irritated skin, peeling and dryness.  Retinol also causes photosensitivity which means your skin becomes more susceptible to sunburn and UV damage when you use Retinol so its usually only used  at night.  Bakuchiol, however is safe to use during the day because it won't cause photosensitivity AND it doesn't cause any of the other side effects either.  

painting of Psoralea corylifolia leaves and flower


Even though it has a completely different chemical structure from Retinol, Bakuchiol is considered a Retinol alternative due to the results of clinical studies comparing the use of Retinol and Bakuchiol. In one study 44 women used a Bakuchiol cream twice a day  or a Retinol cream daily for 12 weeks.  The study revealed that both products "significantly reduced wrinkle surface area and hyperpigmentation" but some of the Retinol users complained of stinging and scaly skin. Another study revealed Bakuchiol increased levels of both Collagen I and Collagen II. 

One of the most significant attributes of Bakuchiol is its effect on oxidative stress. Skin cell oxidation is basically cell death and is the main cause of skin aging.  There are many factors affecting skin cell oxidation such as UV damage, environmental toxins, smoking, stress and poor diet.  Bakuchiol is a powerful antioxidant and can help slow down and  mitigate the effects of oxidation.

Bakuchiol also contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making it a great ingredient for those suffering from acne. Bakuchiol helps control the amount of skin bacteria as well as the integrity of the skin's sebum. Clinical studies have shown Bakuchiol is more efficient than salicylic acid in reducing acne. One study showed  it "reduced acne by 57% after using 6 weeks."




Bakuchiol could be a very promising alternative for those with sensitive skin who may have tried Retinol and were unable to continue use because of the side effects.  Although anyone can be allergic to anything, Bakuchiol has been shown to have an extremely low incidence of irritation.

Another important difference between Bakuchiol and Retinol is that Bakuchiol is vegan  whereas Retinol is often made from animal sources such as eggs, fish and liver.

If that isn't enough to get you excited about Bakuchiol, Whole Foods beauty buyers and other beauty experts recently released  their annual list of top five beauty trends in 2020 and guess what was number 1? Yup, Bakuchiol is at the top of the list.



Read labels.

At Rozetree Botanicals we use pure Bakuchiol. Bakuchiol is extracted from the babchi seeds  of the Psoralea corylifolia plant.  It is the only molecule extracted so the end product is over 99% pure Bakuchiol.  However, there is also a product called Babchi Oil which is not pure bakuchiol. It is the oil that is extracted from the Psoralea seeds so it only contains a tiny amount of Bakuchiol but it also contains compounds that can be harmful to the skin such as Psoralens which is phytotoxic.  In addition, the oil is often extracted with solvents such as hexane, some of which may remain in the oil. As a result, Babchi Oil is not recommended in skin care products. You may also see products with the ingredient "Psoralea extract". This is an extract from the seeds and fruit of the Psoralea corylifolia plant mixed with some other medium like water and/or glycerin.  Although safe to use it isn't pure Bakuchiol so you will not have the same results as compared to using a product with pure Bakuchiol. If you want to make sure your product contains pure Bakuchiol the label should say "Bakuchiol" or "Psoralea corylifolia" and not "Babchi Oil" or "Psoralea extract".

hand removing dropper from Bakuchiol Serum 


1. Bakuchiol acts like Retinol: decreasing fine lines, wrinkles  and hyperpigmentation.
2. Has antioxidant properties that protect skin from environmental damage and other factors that cause cell death.
3. Stimulates collagen improving skin firmness and elasticity.
4. Contains antibacterial and anti fungal properties that help with  acne.
5. It improves the appearance of your skin but without the negative side-effects of Retinol.

 Keep in mind that based on the studies it takes an average of 12 weeks of using Bakuchiol twice a day for the skin to show visible improvement. You can find pure Bakuchiol in our Ageless Fruit Serum.

Be well friends!


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