Meet Bakuchiol: The Ingredient the Skin-Care World Is Fanning Out Over

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 “buh-koo-chee-ul,” 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.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...