Many of you are familiar with the benefits of retinoids, but today's SK Note is dedicated to its functional analogue, bakuchiol. Find out what bakuchiol is, what are its benefits, how to use it, and whether it is truly comparable to retinoids.

Retinoids is the name for an entire group of ingredients that contain derivatives of vitamin A. In cosmetic products for home use, the most commonly used derivatives of retinoic acid are retinol, retinyl esters and retinaldehyde, which are partially converted into retinoic acid in the skin through a metabolic process. Retinoid molecules work by binding to specific receptors in the skin and activating them. Retinoic acid does not require metabolic activation and binds directly to the receptors, so it has a stronger effect than derivatives that have to go through a metabolic process. But, it also brings a greater possibility of side effects. With regular use, retinoids reduce hyperpigmentation and accelerate the process of cell turnover, which results in an even skin tone, reduced wrinkle depth, a refined appearance of pores and a smooth stratum corneum, all while reducing acne.

Retinoids are the only ingredients that reprogram cellular function, simultaneously targeting both wrinkles and acne. These truly are super-ingredients that provide excellent results, but it is necessary to keep in mind that retinoids can cause dryness, redness and irritation. Therefore, proceed with caution when introducing retinoids into your routine. It is extremely important to introduce them gradually, starting from mild (retinyl esters, retinol) to stronger forms (retinaldehyde) while monitoring side effects, which are a sign that our skin does not tolerate a certain form or concentration of retinoid. Unfortunately, not every skin is a good candidate for retinoids, so some individuals never get out of the adjustment phase, or have side effects that don't go away.

Why and when to choose bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a compound extracted from the plant Psoralea corylifolia, special in that it is a functional analog of retinoids that behaves like retinoids, but has no structural similarities with them. Although their function is comparable, the mechanism of action is not, so bakuchiol does not cause the side effects that retinoids carry with them.

BakuchiolAlthough retinoids and bakuchiol show a comparable modulatory effect on gene expression, compared to retinoids, bakuchiol is significantly less irritating, is not photosensitizing, so it does not make the skin sensitive to the sun. It is also suitable for use during pregnancy and the nursing period, as well as on sensitive skin. As such, bakuchiol is intended for skin that does not tolerate retinoids, is prone to acne and hyperpigmentation, and skin with visible signs of aging.

Clinical studies have shown that after 12 weeks of using bakuchiol, the following has been confirmed:

  • significant improvement of fine lines and wrinkles
  • firmer and more elastic skin
  • reduction of inflammatory changes
  • less photodamage and
  • more even skin tone

While in vitro experiments have shown that bakuchiol:

- It has a strong antioxidant effect, protecting the skin from oxidative stress, acting as an inhibitor of linoleic acid peroxy radicals, DPPH radicals and glutionyl radicals, and prevents the peroxidation of lipids and proteins.

- It inhibits the production of nitric oxide induced by lipopolysaccharide and prostaglandin E2, having an anti-inflammatory effect.

- It has an antimicrobial effect, including on C. acnes, which is the main cause of inflammatory acne.

- Normalizes the hyperproduction of sebum by reducing the synthesis of 5-alpha-reductase, which converts circulating testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, one of the main culprits of excessive sebum production.

- Causes increased synthesis of collagen types I, III and IV.

- Strengthens the protein synthesis of the extracellular matrix and the layer that connects the dermis and the epidermis, which gives the skin firmness, elasticity and suppleness.

Skintegra’s Architect is a reparative serum emulsion for problematic skin that shows first signs of aging. The main active ingredient in Architect is precisely bakuchiol in a concentration of 1%. In addition to bakuchiol, Architect contains ectoine and panthenol that intensively hydrate the skin, strengthening its protective barrier, while green tea extract, resveratrol and caffeine have an anti-inflammatory effect and protect the skin from oxidative stress. Thanks to its specific serum emulsion texture, Architect can be used alone or as a base for other products, depending on your skin type.

Although bakuchiol has a significantly lower irritative potential compared to retinoids and there are no contraindications when combining any product with Architect, it should be emphasized that it is an ingredient that has a strong effect on the skin. It’s best to be careful when combining it with other active ingredients. Initially, we recommend you use Architect once a day, and then, if the skin tolerates, it can be used twice a day.

Although not everyone's skin tolerates this combination, bakuchiol can also be used with acids. Research shows that the combination of bakuchiol and salicylic acid gives an even better effect on acne-prone skin.

Also, it is possible to alternately combine Architect with retinoids. Research has shown that these two ingredients work very well together because bakuchiol has a stabilizing effect on retinoids and increases the skin's tolerance threshold for them.


  1. Chaudhuri, Ratan & Bojanowski, Krzysztof. (2014). Bakuchiol: A Retinol-Like Functional Compound Revealed by Gene Expression Profiling & Clinically Proven to have Anti-Aging Effects.. International journal of cosmetic science.
  2. Chaudhuri, Ratan. (2015). Bakuchiol: A Retinol-Like Functional Compound, Modulating Multiple Retinol and Non-Retinol Targets.
  3. Sadgrove, Nicholas & Oblong, John & Simmonds, M. (2021). Inspired by vitamin A for anti‐ageing: Searching for plant‐derived functional retinoid analogues. Skin Health and Disease.
  4. Jafernik, Karolina & Halina, Ekiert & Ercisli, Sezai & Szopa, Agnieszka. (2020). Characteristics of bakuchiol - the compound with high biological activity and the main source of its acquisition - Cullen corylifolium (L.) Medik. Natural Product Research.

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