If you and retinol clash like Katie Hopkins and, well, the rest of the UK, it might be time to try Bakuchiol Sure, it sounds like new Pokémon character, but Bakuchiol (pronounced “bah-koo-chee-all), which comes from the Indian plant Psoralea corylifolia (babchi) is a gentler – but equally effective – alternative to its chemical counterpart. It’s also the hero ingredient in Boots’ new £7 beauty must-buy.
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat skin diseases, a 2018 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology by dermatologists from the University of California reported that this plant-based ingredient offered similar benefits to the vitamin A derivative retinol, – a beauty cult ingredient thanks to its ability to increase cell turnover, encourage collagen production and improve all-round anti-ageing of the skin. The only downside of the hard stuff is that, if you have sensitive skin, it can leave you looking less radiant, more Samantha Jones post-acid peel, causing redness, dryness, irritation and increased sensitivity to sunlight.
In the study, the researchers concluded that bakuchiol provides “a more tolerable alternative to retinol” while having a similar beneficial effect on photoageing (premature ageing of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV). Why? Bakuchiol works as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, making it ideal for those with dry, sensitive skin. One Boots bakuchiol reviewer agrees, saying: “I’ve used retinol products before but found them too harsh for my skin. Bakuchiol is an amazing alternative that’s left my skin soft, smooth and glowing.” Bakuchiol’s antibacterial properties also make it great for oily or acne-prone complexions. Unlike retinol, which is best applied at night when skin is away from sunlight, you can use bakuchiol both in the morning and in the evening, so it’s far easier to slot into your skincare routine.
Boots’ £7 bakuchiol, which promises to leave skin more radiant, healthier and smoother, is part of the newly-launched Boots Ingredients range, an ingredient-led budget skincare line set to give The Ordinary and The Inkey List a run for their money. As well as the bakuchiol, you’ll find all the beauty big players: hyaluronic acid moisturiser and serum, glycolic acid toner, hemp seed oil, salicylic acid serum, vitamin C serum, niacinamide serum and classic retinol. With prices starting at £5 and early rave reviews, it’s no wonder certain products are already sold out online. In case you needed any more convincing, there’s currently a 3 for 2 offer across the range – go, go, go!