Retinol is the Oprah of skin care: trusted, beloved and widely known. And while the superstar ingredient is still your best bet for addressing fine lines and wrinkles, there is another ingredient we’re starting to see crop up everywhere: bakuchiol.
Pronounced “back-uh-heel,” it comes from the Babchi plant (or as it’s more formally known as: Psoralea corylifolia) and has traditionally been used for a variety of skin conditions in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
Studies directly comparing the two ingredients showed that while “both significantly decreased wrinkle surface area and hyperpigmentation,” bakuchiol “is better tolerated than retinol.” Translation: It works similarly to retinol but is much gentler on the skin.
Bakuchiol also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which can help brighten skin and calm inflammation. In short: It’s not surprising that many popular brands are starting to include the potent plant in their newest launches.
Some of our favorites: Ole Henriken Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Créme ($55); Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum ($78); Strivectin S.T.A.R Light Retinol Night Oil ($99)