The collagen-boosting properties of Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol 101: The anti-ageing ingredient explained

Bakuchiol is beauty’s latest buzzword but how does this plant-based ingredient benefit skin? We shine a spotlight on the science behind Olivanna’s all-star, anti-ageing ingredient

When it comes to skincare, anti-ageing is often high on the agenda. After all, wrinkle-free, radiant skin is something of a Holy Grail. Lauded as ‘the gold-standard of anti-ageing’, retinol is often the first port of call for those wanting to soften fine lines and restore a youthful-appearance to skin. However, the vitamin A derivative can cause dryness, irritation and sensitivity in many skin types. These side effects, known as ‘retinization’, led Olivanna’s founder Janine Summers in search of a plant-based, high-performance, anti-ageing alternative.

‘Retinol isn’t a natural ingredient; it can be unstable and harsh on the skin. I experienced redness and irritation and it took several days for my skin to recover,’ explains Janine. ‘Searching for a natural, collagen-boosting, skin-performing ingredient, led us to bakuchiol during the product development stage. A plant-based active with proven wrinkle-reducing powers, and notably none of the side effects, it forms the heart of our powerful anti-ageing serum and eye cream,’ she adds.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol has a similarly anti-ageing effect to retinol, but without the undesirable effects1, making it a brilliant alternative – not just to those with sensitive skin but for all skin types. A naturally occurring molecule, it’s extracted from the seeds and leaves of Psoralea Corylifolia and is widely considered the ‘natural retinol alternative’ in the skincare world. Whilst it bears no structural similarities to retinol (and thus cannot be compared like to like), recent studies have shown that, similarly to retinol, it can help to improve fine lines, wrinkles and elasticity2.

Bakuchiol works by encouraging collagen production, which acts as the ‘scaffolding’ of skin and increasing cell renewal and turnover, and thus can help to restructure, strengthen and protect the integrity of skin.

Bakuchiol: the saviour for sensitive skin?

Whilst retinol can cause sensitivity in a number of skin types, bakuchiol has a higher tolerability. It drives similar anti-ageing results, but as it’s been proven to have fewer undesirable effects, you can use it on delicate skin, such as around the eyes. It can also be used during any point during your regime, be it morning or evening, without exacerbating the risk of damaging skin.

In fact, its status as a highly efficacious, anti-ageing ingredient suitable for sensitive skin has been solidified by a recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology3. When 44 people applied either 0.5% bakuchiol cream twice a day or 0.5% retinol cream once a day, both actives reduced wrinkle surface area and pigmentation, but the group testing retinol experienced more peeling and stinging.

What makes Olivanna’s Bakuchiol products different?

‘As the skin around the eye area is thinner, it marks more quickly and highlights a loss of density and fine lines. Bakuchiol has better tolerability, it’s amazing to use around the delicate eye area which is why it’s the key active in our eye cream,’ explains Janine. Both our Bakuchiol Eye Cream and our Bakuchiol Night Serum use the highest recommended percentage in order to drive the best collagen-boosting results for your skin,’ explains Janine.

‘Olivanna is all about natural, high-performance skincare products and both of our bakuchiol formulas are intensely results-driven whilst also being gentle enough for women with darker skin tones – who can be prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by retinol and other vitamin A derivatives,’ she adds.

‘Within our night serum, whilst bakuchiol is the hero ingredient, the formulation is also packed with a combination of several actives ensuring the serum works on multiple levels. A naturally derived molecule with a triple action effect on skin firming works alongside hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture. Rosehip and evening primrose oils contain essential fatty acids to promote rejuvenation,’ she adds.

‘Think of it as a multi-tasking, anti-ageing serum, working hard on several levels to replenish and restore healthy and youthful-looking skin. Smart formulations aren’t just about a single ingredient, the benefits are down to the way the anti-ageing actives work in synergy, to really tackle all of the different issues of skin ageing,’ explains Janine.

‘Any skincare product – aside from acids and physical exfoliants where you remove the surface layer of skin – will take four weeks to show results in line with the skin cell renewal cycle. Yes, our skincare is formulated with 97% natural ingredients, but we haven’t compromised on the textures. As the entire line is a real joy to use and feels incredible on the skin, it’s easy to be consistent with your regime,’ adds Janine.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24471735/ ↩︎

  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24471735/ ↩︎

  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjd.16918 ↩︎