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Bakuchiol [Best Retinol alternative during pregnancy?]

Getting pregnant involves a lot of adjustments in your daily life. And modifying your skincare routine is probably one of them. Especially if you use retinol or other retinoids on the face as they should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

So what is the best retinol alternative during pregnancy? The plant-derived ingredient Bakuchiol has been getting a lot of attention lately, could it be worth trying? And is it even comparable?

Since I got pregnant myself, I was eager to find out. Because I do want to give my skin the best I can during this precious time.

In this post, I’ll share what I have learned about Bakuchiol. Plus, I’ll give you my review of the product that has become my favorite. Indeed Labs Bakuchiol reface pads.

This is what my post will cover:

Why i think Bakuchiol is the best retinol alternative during pregnancy and review of Indeed labs bakuchiol reface pads.
My favorite retinol alternative. These Bakuchiol pads are so mild but still effective, that I think everyone would benefit from using them.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is derived from the corylifolia plant and has its roots in Chinese and Indian Medicine. As a skincare ingredient, it has been shown to have several positive effects when used regularly.

Some of the benefits of Bakuchiol include reducing skin colorations from sun exposure and reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Bakuchiol seems to promote collagen synthesis. And at the same time stop the degradation of it.

Thanks to the strong antioxidant power, Bakuchiol also protects from further skin damage. And as a side note, it has even been shown to improve retinal health and slow down retinal degeneration.

Another interesting quality of Bakuchiol is that it’s very soothing for the skin, and helps calm redness and irritation of all kinds.

Bakuchiol vs Retinol

Bakuchiol has no structural resemblance to retinol. Which makes it safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But it still seems to affect gene expressions with great similarity of retinol. Such as upregulation of collagen.

In studies, Bakuchiol has been shown to give significant improvements in skin texture and skin tone. It reduced wrinkle depth, increased elasticity and firmness, and decreased hyperpigmentation. And without the common side effects that are associated with retinol.

In other words, Bakuchiol does seem to be able to give similar results as retinol. But it is not as well-studied (yet). Retinol, however, is one of the best-studied skincare ingredients when it comes to anti-aging. And is considered by most dermatologists to be the gold standard for combating fine lines and wrinkles.

Tip: See this post to learn more about retinol. It also includes a review of the retinol product I personally love and used before I got pregnant.

What is also worth taking into consideration is that Bakuchiol has a very soothing effect on the skin. And this really sets it apart from Retinol. Bakuchiol can therefore be a very promising alternative for anyone who has difficulty tolerating retinol. Even if you are not pregnant or breastfeeding.

It can also be used in combination to help soothe your skin and tolerate retinol better.

Tip: If you want to learn more about highly sensitive and/or irritated skin, see my post about skin barrier repair.

*Please note, this post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission if you purchase through any of those links. You can read my full disclosure here.  

Is Bakuchiol the best Retinol alternative during pregnancy?

So, Bakuchiol does not work in an exact way as retinol. But it does share many of the same outcomes. Such as improved firmness (more collagen and elastin), better texture, and better skin tone.

But it is not chemically similar to retinol, which is a good thing since that would mean it would not be safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Personally, I have not seen an ingredient with more similarities to Retinol, and still being as safe and gentle to the skin, as Bakuchiol. So for me, it was a no-brainer to test it out as I got pregnant.

Bakuchiol can be found in many different skincare products. Such as serums, oils, and creams. I’ll get back to a few examples in a while. But first, I want to mention the product that I personally have found to be the best option for me.

Indeed Labs Bakuchiol Reface Pads – my review

This is the first Bakuchiol product that I’ve tested. And that I am still using since I fell in love with it.

It is a jar with cotton pads (100 % cotton) soaked in a mix of Bakuchiol and other very beneficial ingredients such as Allantoin, Niacinamide, and Synsave H.

The mix of ingredients is not just good for anti-aging, but also for acne.

Indeed labs Bakuchiol Reface Pads. My favorite retinol alternative during pregnancy.
Since I have found these Bakuchiol pads to be the best retinol alternative during my pregnancy, I made sure to buy quite a few of them. Each jar contains 30 pads and therefore lasts about a month.

The complete ingredient list is:


As you can see, Bakuchiol is number three on the ingredient list. Which means it has a lot of it.

Bakuchiol reface pads from Indeed Labs. What the cotton pads look like.
The cotton pads are super gentle to the skin. And well-soaked in the ingredient mix of Bakuchiol, Niacinamide, Allantoin, and more. For me, one pad can be used for the whole face, neck, and hands.

The pads should be used once per day. I like to use it in the evening, but sometimes I actually use it twice a day as well. They do not smell anything, and they absorb quickly into your skin.

One pad goes quite a long way and I personally use it on my whole face, my neck, and even my hands. That gives a good bang for your buck.

I fell in love quickly with these pads. My skin got incredibly calm, any redness I had disappeared and the softness and natural glowiness I got made me keep using it. So I did, and I have now been using it for about 5 months.

With the results I am seeing, I don’t think I will go back to retinol even after I am done nursing. I have never had such calm and non-reactive skin before. And the glow, the improvement of my melasma, and how it makes my skin feel, I just see no reason to ever stop.

It is also very affordable. And for that reason, I can really recommend anyone to give it a try.

You find Bakuchiol Reface Pads at ultra on this link. And if you live outside of the US you can buy it from lookfantastic on this link.

I have bought so many jars of these pads that they will last for quite a few months. But as soon as I run out, I would like to test some other Bakuchiol products too. The ones I have been looking into are the ones I’ll cover in the next section

Other products with Bakuchiol

The first serum I found interesting is The Tula skincare retinol alternative drops. Because I like the other ingredients that are focused on prebiotics and probiotics. It also contains some carotenoids which I know are wonderful for the skin (this post explains more).

Another serum that I find worth trying is the Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum from Herbivore. It has some really interesting ingredients in combination with Bakuchiol, such as tremella mushroom (a much better alternative to hyaluronic acid) and PHA (a mild but effective exfoliant). And the Bakuchiol itself is number three on the ingredient list which makes it earn its name.

If you prefer a facial oil, the Dream Booster Bakuchiol Beta-Retinol Better Aging Serum from Beekman 1802 is an affordable and promising one. Especially if you have a drier skin type. Bakuchiol is the fifth ingredient.


  • Bakuchiol is a plant-derived skincare ingredient with some promising properties. It is mostly hailed as a retinol alternative during pregnancy, nursing, or for people with very sensitive skin.
  • Bakuchiol is not as well studied as Retinol, but still has a lot of promising data when it comes to skin health and anti aging. For example, studies have shown that Bakuchiol increases collagen production (and visibly reduces lines and wrinkles), and improves skin tone. Bakuchiol is also very soothing to the skin and helps with irritations.
  • Using Bakuchiol is a great alternative not just for those of us who are pregnant or breastfeeding. But also for those who are very sensitive to retinol and get too many harsh side effects from using it. Or for individuals with dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis.

The product I personally use and love is the Bakuchiol reface pads from Indeed labs. I have seen such great results during these months using it, that I am probably continuing with it even after nursing.

I hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions about Bakuchiol or Retinol, please let me know in the comments below. Also, let me know you have tried Bakuchiol and how you like it. Would love to hear!

And for those of you who needs some Busy Mom skin hacks, this post gives my best tips!

Until next time, love your skin!

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Janice

    Welcome back and congratulations on the new baby! I trust anything you promote and have already placed an order with Ulta for the reface pads. Thanks for the heads up on this product.

    1. Ann

      Thank you so much Janice! πŸ™‚

  2. Kathleen

    Ann –
    Thank you for the wonderful information! I am not pregnant (nor do I plan to get pregnant) however, I have sensitive-ish skin and am in my early 40’s so need a little boost to the ol’epidermis.

    Do you use this with a Vit C serum? If so, in which order to do apply? I purchased the cleansing solution you recommended (awesome) and am still trying to figure out the order of operations. πŸ™‚

    Thank you again.


    1. Ann

      Thabk you so much and you are very welcome πŸ™‚ I do not use my vitamin c serum at this moment. But it would probably work just fine :).

  3. Thanks for the information! I had never heard of these before, but they will be good options to deal with some of the redness I have. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    1. Ann

      Thank you Kaybee! Glad to help πŸ™‚

  4. Grace This Place

    Such good info!

    1. Ann

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  5. Jean

    Ive never heard of this product but very interesting, I need to check our local store for this.

    1. Ann

      Hope you find it .) It might be easier online though.

  6. Pastor Natalie

    Thank you for sharing the alternative to retinol. This product sounds excellent. I also really appreciate that you included all the ingredients included especially for those with sensitive skin and allergies.


    1. Ann

      You’re very welcome Natalie πŸ™‚

  7. Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady

    I wish I knew about Bakuchiol 16 yrs ago when I was pregnant!!

    1. Ann

      Thank you for your comment, Cindy! πŸ™‚

  8. Mihaela

    Great alternative for the expectant mums out there!

    1. Ann

      Thank you Mihaela πŸ™‚

  9. Hydia

    Oh how I wish I knew about this during my pregnancy! My face was horrible. Thanks for sharing this for future reference!

    1. Ann

      You’re very welcome, happy to help! πŸ™‚

  10. Joanna

    This post is so timely! I was just thinking that my retinol seems to be giving me more dryness now that the weather is getting colder outside and drier inside. I was thinking about finding an alternative and here it is. I am very interested in trying out these pads or any other form of bakuchiol.

    1. Ann

      So happy to hear to help out! You will love it πŸ™‚

  11. Lee

    I had never heard of this skin product – Bakuchiol. I like that you describe it as having a soothing effect. I think of retinol as harsh to the skin. Thanks for including the ingredient list as this is important to me.

    1. Ann

      You’re very welcome Lee πŸ™‚

  12. Nancy

    I am so happy I read this post! I was literally googling “retinol alternatives during pregnancy” yesterday and this is so helpful. Indeed Labs is actually a Canadian company so their products are readily available at the local drugstore here. I will be picking up those pads today. I use their Lip Treatment already and absolutely love it! Thank you x million!

    1. Ann

      That is awesome Nancy! Happy to hear, and you’re very welcome! πŸ™‚

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