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The Difference Between Bakuchiol & Retinol

The Difference Between Bakuchiol & Retinol

Skincare enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest ingredients that promise to give them youthful, radiant skin. Bakuchiol and Retinol are two ingredients that are touted for their anti-ageing properties, but how do they differ, and which one is right for you? We’re here to help!

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is an oil extracted from the seeds and leaves of the Babchi plant. Similar to retinoids, bakuchiol works by stimulating collagen producing receptors in the skin, without the dryness and irritation that can often be associated with Retinol use. It's a natural plant based alternative to Retinol and is suitable for those with sensitivities to Retinol and can be used while pregnant and breastfeeding.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that is used in skincare products for its anti-ageing properties. It works by stimulating the production of collagen and increasing cell turnover, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, and promote a more youthful appearance.

Differences between Bakuchiol and Retinol

Side effects

One of the main differences between Bakuchiol and Retinol is the potential for side effects. Retinol is a potent ingredient that can cause irritation, redness, and peeling, especially when first starting to use it. Bakuchiol, on the other hand, has been shown to be much gentler on the skin and does not have the same potential for irritation.

Mechanism of action

While both Bakuchiol and Retinol have been shown to have similar benefits, they work differently. 

Retinol works by binding to specific receptors in the skin, which increases cell turnover and stimulates collagen production. 

Bakuchiol, on the other hand, works by increasing the production of collagen and elastin and by reducing the breakdown of collagen in the skin.

Which one is right for you?

The answer to this question ultimately depends on your skin type and personal preferences. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to irritation, Bakuchiol may be a better option for you. Bakuchiol is also pregnancy & breastfeeding safe.

Shop esmi’s Afterglow Rejuvenating Bakuchiol.

If you are looking for a potent anti-ageing ingredient and are willing to tolerate potential initial side effects, Retinol may be a better choice. Being kind to your skin is always at the forefront of esmi’s product development. To minimise side effects often associated with traditional retinol, try esmi’s ‘Encapsulated’ Retinol. Encapsulated Retinol has a slower release, allowing the active ingredient to penetrate deeper into the skin without causing irritation.

Shop esmi’s Encapsulated Retinol.

It's also worth noting that some people may choose to use both ingredients, alternating between them to reap the benefits of both.


If you have any questions on which product is best suited for your skin, chat to our qualified Skin Specialists for a FREE, LIVE skin consultation.