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What is Bakuchiol?

Isolated from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia, a tree native to China with various uses in traditional medicine, it has been reported to have antitumor activity. According to the book A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter, bakuchiol is used as a germicide in skincare.

Bakuchiol is a meroterpene in the class terpenophenol. It is found in Psoralea corylifolia and in Otholobium pubescens. It was first isolated in 1966 by Mehta et al. from Psoralea corylifolia seed and was called Bakuchiol based on the sanskrit name Bakuchi of the plant.

It has been reported to have anti-cancer activity in pre-clinical models, possibly due to its structural similarity with resveratrol. It possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Bakuchiol isolated from P. corylifolia has shown activity against numerous Gram-positive and Gram-negative oral pathogens. It was able to inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans under a range of sucrose concentrations, pH values and in the presence of organic acids in a temperature-dependent manner and also inhibited the growth of cells adhered to a glass surface.

Bukachiol as a retinol alternative?

Apparently, it’s also now found use as a “plant-based retinol alternative”.
Despite having no structural ressemblance to retinol, Bakuchiol was found to have retinol functionality through retinol-like regulation of gene expression.

A randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical study with 44 volunteers demonstrated that Bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photoaging (wrinkles, hyperpigmentation) but has a better skin tolerance.


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