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:
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.
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.
The complete ingredient list is:
AQUA (WATER), NIACINAMIDE, CAPRYLYL/CAPRYL GLUCOSIDE, BAKUCHIOL, HYDROXYACETOPHENONE, PHENOXYETHANOL, ALLANTOIN, HEPTYL GLUCOSIDE, SODIUM BENZOATE, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CITRIC ACID, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, POLYGLYCERYL 6 OLEATE, DISODIUM EDTA, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, SODIUM SURFACTIN, HEPTANOL
As you can see, Bakuchiol is number three on the ingredient list. Which means it has a lot of it.
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.
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!
Until next time, love your skin!