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Le bakuchiol, le nouvel actif contre le vieillissement cutané

Bakuchiol, a New Active Ingredient Against Skin Aging

Retinol remains an active ingredient with undeniable benefits and effects on the mitigation of wrinkles, but its irritant potential prevents sensitive skin from using it. In recent years, bakuchiol has hit the market, and its regenerative properties should not be underestimated.

Skin Aging – An Inevitable Phenomenon

  • The internal causes

    Age is one of the first factors to affect the cellular functions and structure of the skin. The production of collagen or elastin decreases, as does blood circulation. This means that since the skin is not supplied with the necessary oxygen and proteins, it loses suppleness and becomes flabby. The rosy glow of the face, which is a sign of youth, is replaced by a sallow, gray complexion.

    Genetics also play a role in skin aging. Skin type or ethnicity affects the rate at which wrinkles and fine lines form on the face. For example, lighter skin tones and more sensitive skin types tend to suffer premature aging faster.

  • External causes

    The external factors responsible for skin aging are all due to oxidative stress. This process is explained by the presence of free radicals in the body, which damage the cell structure. Over time, the body's ability to capture and neutralize these free radicals decreases. Then the components of the skin cells change. Even though our body naturally produces free radicals, this phenomenon is further stimulated by certain external factors: UV rays from the sun (light aging), pollution, diet, smoking, etc.

Bakuchiol Against Skin Aging

Bakuchiol is a new active ingredient that was first used in cosmetics in 2007. It is a phenol abundant in the seeds and leaves of Psoralea corylifolia (Babchi). Also known as "bakuchi," this endemic plant from the Himalayan region has been anchored in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years.

Several studies have defined it as a natural alternative to retinol, both of which are derivatives of vitamin A. Bakuchiol thus makes it possible to effectively combat the signs of aging without the side effects of retinol (irritation, stability problems, photosensitization, etc.). Sensitive skin that cannot tolerate retinol can therefore turn to Bakuchiol. This will act on several levels to prevent wrinkles or soften existing wrinkles on the surface of the epidermis:

  • Limit the breakdown of collagen and elastin

    These two proteins are key components of the connective tissue that makes up the dermis. They strengthen the skin and increase its elasticity and firmness. Unfortunately, they are degraded over time by enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), particularly collagenase and elastase. Topically applied bakuchiol inhibits the activity of these enzymes, preventing them from causing damage. In addition, researchers have demonstrated its potential to stimulate retinoid receptors, which are responsible for the synthesis of type 1 collagen in the dermis.

  • Neutralization of free radicals

    As explained earlier, free radicals are unstable, highly reactive molecules that degrade healthy cells and proteins in the body, accelerating aging. Bakuchiol neutralizes these molecules, blocking their harmful effects on the skin.

  • Combating pigmentation spots

    The appearance of pigmentation spots is related to skin aging and/or exposure to external aggressions such as pollution and UV rays. As a reminder, hyperpigmentation is defined as a disorder of the pigmentation process: the pigment melanin, responsible for the natural coloration of the skin, is overproduced in certain areas, resulting in the appearance of brown, red or pink spots, sometimes unsightly. Bakuchiol regulates melanocytes and softens the intensity of pigmentation spots on the skin surface.

Can Retinol and Bakuchiol Be Combined?

This combination is useful because it combines the benefits of the two compounds. In addition, a study has shown that when bakuchiol and retinol are combined, the bakuchiol stabilizes the retinol, prolonging its effectiveness. The anti-inflammatory effect of bakuchiol would also make the skin tolerate retinol better.

While this combination may indeed be helpful in fighting wrinkles, we definitely do not recommend it for sensitive skin. However, if your skin tolerates retinol well, you can apply our serum for wrinkles and blemishes during your evening routine. This serum also contains plant polypeptides that, in synergy with retinol, can promote the synthesis of type I collagen.

As a reminder, unlike bakuchiol, retinol is photosensitizing, which means it increases the skin's sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, it is used only in the evening, while bakuchiol can be applied in the morning without risk.

Sources

  • BOJANOWSKI K. & al. Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2014).  

  • REITER P. & al. Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing Clinical Trial. British Journal of Dermatology (2019).

  • LEVY S. & al. Clinical Evaluation of a Nature-Based Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (2020). 

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