Does Bakuchiol Compare To Retinol?

One ingredient has been on everyone's lips of late - Bakuchiol. Beauty companies claim it is an effective and less irritating alternative to retinol. But is it #skincarescience or just smart marketing? Watch the video below as Maleka talks to Marie from Sytheon to get all the facts. Sytheon is the market pioneer in the field. The company has been investigating the effects of Bakuchiol and perfecting the compound over the past 13 years.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is an ingredient found in the Babchi plant (also known as Psoralea corylifolia).

Sytenol is 99% pure Bakuchiol derived from the seeds using mononuclear extraction. Sytheon claims it is a safe, natural, and effective alternative to retinol without the side-effects we associate with retinol use (like sensitivity, irritation, flaking, and dryness).

Likewise, another claim is Sytenol treats photoaging. Photoaging happens due to sun exposure (UVA and UVB) and causes damage and irritation to the skin. It results in hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.

The science behind Bakuchiol

In cooperation with the University of California, Sytheon conducted a clinical study (read more on the difference between a clinical study and a consumer trial) to examine the effects of Bakuchiol and compare it with retinol. British Journal of Dermatology published the results.

It was a double-blind study conducted over 12 weeks on 44 volunteers and supervised by a dermatologist. One test group received a finished product with 0.5% retinol, while the other group used a product with 0.5% Bakuchiol.

The researchers assessed the results after four, eight, and 12 weeks. Statistically, the results were the same between the two groups regardless of whether they used Bakuchiol or Retinol. However, the group that used retinol had far more side-effects.

Do Bakuchiol and Retinol work together in a routine?  

Merumaya's Retinol Resurfacing Treatment contains a stabilised version of vitamin A, Retinyl Palmitate. The reason why Maleka included it in the formula is that it releases slowly into the skin. That way, it gives all the benefits without any of the side-effects associated with retinol (like redness, flaking, and sore skin).

Bakuchiol can be used alongside Retinyl Palmitate to boost its effects, and it also protects retinol against degradation.

Bakuchiol for spots & acne

Spot Treatment

Bakuchiol also had antioxidant properties, and Marie's company compared it against another popular antioxidant - vitamin E.

Lipids are the main component of sebum. Lipid peroxidation is a process of oxidative degeneration of lipids and one of the primary causes of acne.

The study shows Bakuchiol is 60 times more effective than vitamin E in blocking lipid peroxidation.

Sytheon conducted two studies to examine the effects of Bakuchiol on spots. One compared 1% Sytenol versus 2% Salicylic acid. The other measured the results achieved when testers used a combination of both ingredients. When used alone, Sytenol is more effective than Salicylic acid. But, a finished product that combined both Sytenol and Salicylic acid achieved the best results. The study showed incremental benefits, and after six weeks, over 70% of acne diminished.

One of the principles in creating MERUMAYA was to formulate products that combine ingredients that work in different ways to achieve similar results. As opposed to creating a highly active formula with a high concentration of just one ingredient, which would have the potential to irritate.

Concentrate Spot Treatment combines Sytenol, AC.Net, and Salicylic acid, and works as a highly active product with anti-inflammatory properties. It addresses four issues most common with acne - blocked pores, excess oil, the bacteria, and inflammation.  

Not all Bakuchiol is created equal

Science Mix

Bakuchiol in Sytenol is a monoextracted single molecule with over 99% purity. Yes, there are less expensive alternatives available, but do bear in mind that not all Bakuchiol is created equal. Sytheon analyzed Bakuchiol and Babchi oil available on Amazon. The analysis showed the concentration of Bakuchiol varied from 3% to 12%. The lower concentration isn't so much the issue. The problem is the analysis showed high levels of oil impurities.

Babchi plant contains psoralene, a photosensitiser, and a skin irritant. This means when you apply the product and go out in the sun, you can experience photosensitisation and irritation. Sytheon has a process to remove psoralene from its compounds. If you want to stay safe, use products from well-recognized brands whose products are safety tested. And keep in mind - all-natural doesn't mean better.

Bakuchiol in the form of Sytenol is available in MERUMAYA's Concentrated Spot Treatment. It was also available in the Overnight Recharge Cream (currently in the process of reformulation).

Maleka decided to include Sytenol in MERUMAYA's product because it is one of those ingredients that fit with her vision and goals for her skincare products. It helps us age youthfully. But, for those among us who suffer from spots and acne, it treats that, too.

Have you tried Bakuchiol? Are you happy with the results? Or do you prefer retinol?

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