Bakuchiol — or Psoralea corylifolia— comes from the bakuchi seed and it comparable to resveratrol. Traditional medicine practioners in India and China have utilized the plants for centuries. It’s listed as a Category I ingredient, which means it’s generally considered safe (Cosmetics and Toiletries).[Read More: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Resveratrol and Anti-Aging]
However, recently, it’s been getting attention for its potential benefits in the treatment of acne. But I first read about Bakuchiol in regards to anti-aging and was curious about whether it had been studied for those potential benefits.
In a dusty of 13 people from 12 to 30 years old, doctors found that topical application over a 16-week period showed great potential for treating acne. Fifty-fours percent of patients saw a greater than 35% reduction of inflammatory acne lesions and five percent had a greater than 35% reduction in non-inflammatory lesions (Skin and Allergy News).
Forty-two percent of the patients were found to have clear or nearly clear skin after the study. Only one patient suffered the adverse effects of mild dryness and peeling.
This is largely because its antibacterial properties, which have been shown to work not just against the bacteria associated with acne, but also against bacteria like Streptococcus (Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy).
Does it Work as an Antioxidant?
Bakuchiol has been found to have mitochondrial protective properties. It protects the mitochondrial lipid form peroxidation, protecting the mitochondria from oxidative stress (Planta Medica). Studies have found that it works as an antioxidant protecting lipids and proteins by free-radial scavenging (Chemical Research in Toxicology, Radiation Chemistry).
In studies comparing it to other known antioxidants, it was shown to have more antioxidant power than BHT (Cancer Research).[Read More: Spotlight On: BHT]
Does it Work for Anti-Aging?
Bakuchiol is included in anti-aging formulas because it’s been shown in studies to have anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and skin whitening properties (Chaudhuri). It’s also been found to be a cytotoxic agent that’s similar to resveratol, though it’s been shown to cause more apoptosis in cells than resveratol (Chinese Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Science Alerts).
There are a number of studies that suggest that Bakuchiol has components that make it a positive addition to anti-aging skin care, but there isn’t any data on exact how effective topical application is.
Bakuchiol shows promise as a skin care ingredient, particularly as an acne fighter, because it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that have demonstrated its effectiveness. It’s also a solid antioxidant that works through free radical scavenging. While there’s promise that it could be used for anti-aging products in the future, there aren’t enough studies to determine its effectiveness in that department. Overall, though, it’s considered safe and likely won’t cause harm by being included in products.
We’re more sold on Bakuchiol as an acne medication for now, in products like this: Bremenn Research Labs Emergency Zit Stick Acne Treatment ($7.50, amazon.com) with salicyclic acid that’ works to clean pores and Bakuchiol, this should help zap those zits.