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  • Gentle Yet Powerful: Unveiling The Miracle Ingredient Bakuchiol For Ageless Skin

    Gentle Yet Powerful: Unveiling The Miracle Ingredient Bakuchiol For Ageless Skin

    The Ayurveda Experience February 06, 2024

    The pursuit of flawless skin is no longer a secret; it has evolved into a universal quest. Many of us spent lots of bucks on products that claimed to give skin that natural, flawless look. There are, however, often disappointments along the way, such as redness, irritation, and other symptoms that scream for attention.  

    But what if I say as an Ayurveda practitioner, there's an herb extract that will work wonderfully on your skin and can be your next companion in your skincare?  

    Yes, you heard it right!! There's a herb extract named Bakuchiol, which has equivalent properties to retinol, like anti-aging, antioxidant, and much more.  

    What is Bakuchiol?  

    Bakuchiol is a trendsetter in the world of natural cosmetics. This is an extract of leaves and seeds of the Bakuchi plant, Psoralea corylifolia Linn of the Fabaceae family. This plant is indigenous to India. It is believed to be effective against acne owing to its oil-balancing property and helps gently exfoliate the skin, clearing out the pores. 

    What makes it more efficient is its safe usage. With its rich anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Bakuchiol has fewer or no side effects, making it the safest yet most efficient beauty product ingredient.  

    What does Ayurveda say about Bakuchiol?  

    Bakuchiol is a powerful extract of the herb named Bakuchi. Bakuchi has been used for many years by Ayurveda practitioners and mentioned in Ayurveda literature for treating various skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, leprosy, and many more.1,2 Moreover, different Ayurveda scholars have given references like suparnika (a plant having beautiful leaves), shashilekha (having white streaks on the seeds), somvalli, and avalguja (provides color and luster to the skin), and shvitraghni (cures shvitra i.e. vitiligo) for Bakuchi.  

    Since ancient times, we Ayurvedic practitioners have used Bakuchi in local applications as a paste or internally in the form of medicines for treating vitiligo.  

    According to Ayurveda, every plant has a pharmacological action, and Bakuchi is no exception. Pharmacological properties help us gain a better understanding of plant benefits and uses. 

    Some of the Ayurveda properties of Bakuchi (Bakuchiol and its derivates) are3:  

    • Rasa (taste): Bakuchi and its extracts have "tikta" (bitter) and "katu" (pungent) rasa which are indicative of their proficiency as excellent absorbents. They contribute to channel purification and the balance of Vata and Kapha doshas.
    • Guna (basic property): Ruksha (dry), which means it tends to suck out the oiliness from the skin. But, if you use it more often, it dries out your skin. 
    • Virya (potency): Bakuchi and its extracts are ushna virya, i.e., hot in potency. It counterbalances excessive oiliness and aggravated Kapha and Vata dosha. 
    • Vipaaka (after digestion taste): Bakuchi and its extracts have katu (pungent) vipaka, effectively balancing the Vata and Kapha.
    • Tridosha state: Alleviates Kapha and Vata dosha and aggravates Pitta dosha. 

    How does Bakuchiol work?  

    Bakuchiol is a skincare elixir extracted from the leaves and seeds of the Bakuchi plant. The plant grows up to 300-1800 cm and has light purple flowers, giving the seeded fruits. Although, the preparation of active oil is through the process of steam distillation.  

    As per Ayurveda philosophy, Bakuchi and its extracts like Bakuchiol have properties to alleviate your Vata and Kapha Doshas. Also, its prabhava (inexplicable energy) and rasayana (rejuvenation) action work wonders for your skin health.  

    Picture this: as we age, our Vata dosha predominantly increases and leads to wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and many more. With its Vata alleviating property, Bakuchiol puts your Vata dosha in balance. It reduces the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and gives a smooth texture to your skin.  

    Moreover, its rasayana (anti-aging) property promotes a natural regenerative process and boosts a fresh and healthy complexion. It also restores the elasticity of the skin. Bakuchiol tikta, katu rasa, ruksha, and ushna guna subside the excessive oiliness from the skin, improve your complexion, reduce hyperpigmentation, and gift radiant skin.  

    What are the benefits of Bakuchiol?  

    Bakuchiol, a 100% natural ingredient with minimum side effects has become a prime choice in skincare products. It has many benefits for the skin, from soothing and even-toned look to reducing skin discoloration.  

    Here is some of its benefits:  

    • Minimizes the fine lines and wrinkles 
    • Profound anti-aging property 
    • Reduces skin discoloration 
    • Rich in antioxidant properties
    • Adds natural radiance to your skin 
    • Improves skin texture 
    • Safe during pregnancy 
    • Plant-based product 
    • Work wonders against acne 
    • Suitable for all skin types 

    Benefits of bakuchiol

    Why a natural alternative to retinol?  

    If you are a skin enthusiast, I am sure you have heard about retinols and retinoids. Retinoids are derivates of vitamin A (retinol) essential for your skin health. They stimulate the cell activity in your skin but if you are using a high amount of retinol then it will lead to dryness.  

    While its understandable retinol possesses various skin-renewing and anti-aging properties, it has some side effects on your skin as well. When used in high concentration or incorrectly, on sensitive skin, or if the skin is directly exposed to the sun, it may cause redness, peeling, dryness, and irritation to your skin. Also, you can't use retinol if you are pregnant.  

    While Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol. A product derived from the Babchi or Bakuchi plant has a different chemical structure but has almost the same benefits as retinol. Ayurveda doctors have been using Bakuchi and its extract, like Bakuchiol, to cure skin diseases for centuries. Also, clinical studies show that Bakuchiol has functions similar to retinol.4 

    Bakuchi seeds and oil vs Bakuchiol - Are they different? 

    Bakuchi seeds and oil vs Bakuchiol - Are they different?

    Often these two terms create a lot of misunderstanding among users. So, to clarify they certainly are different and any misconception might turn disastrous for your skin. So, to save yourself from unwanted trouble, here are some facts - 

    • Bakuchiol is the processed laboratory product, produced via molecular extraction methods of Babchi. It’s high in purity (99%) which ensures its stability for skincare applications. It is a natural substitute for retinol due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-acne properties. It is a favorable skin care product for reducing pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, dullness, acne, etc. 
    • Babchi oil or Bakuchi oil is the cold-pressed product of Bakuchi It is used in Ayurveda classical formulations for treating skin disorders.  
    • Bakuchi is used along with ancient medicines to treat disorders such as antifungal, and anti-microbial diseases. (A doctor’s recommendation is a must.) 
    • Is Bakuchiol better than Bakuchi oil? Both Bakuchiol and Bakuchi oil have the same chemical properties and skin benefits. The only major difference is that bakuchiol does not contain phytochemicals that increase your skin’s photosensitivity whereas Bakuchi (bab-chee) oil is simply the unrefined form of bakuchiol. 

    How to use Bakuchiol?  

    Bakuchiol does not require do's and don't; you can use it during the day or at night as per your routine. You can add Bakuchiol to your skincare routine as a serum, moisturizer, or oil.  

    However, as an Ayurveda practitioner, I would recommend using Bakuchiol in oil form. After applying it, do a mukha abhyanga (facial massage) to boost blood circulation. Also, I advise you to use a it at night, when your Kapha dosha is predominant. This will reduce your Kapha dosha, subside the oiliness from the skin, and prevent acne breakout.  

    Here are a few products that contain Bakuchiol/Bakuchi - Cerabuild Face and Neck Cream - Restore and Protect Your Skin's Lost Moisture with Phyto-Ceramides TonEQ - Ayurvedic supplement with Amla, Licorice and other herbs for Even-Toned, Brightened and Healthy looking skin 

    Is the hype real about Bakuchiol?  

    Yes, a thousand times yes! Bakuchiol is the hidden treasure of plant-based derivates with properties similar to retinol. Bakuchiol is a complete package that promotes collagen production, is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also offers rasayana properties, and alleviates Vata and Kapha dosha. It is gentle on the skin. 

    The bottom line  

    Bakuchiol is a hidden treasure of Ayurveda; when you incorporate this into your skin routine, you will get promising results. Nonetheless, it takes time to show effects on the skin; just have some patience, and it can be your go-to beauty product.   

    Don't forget to keep researching and learning about the ingredients in your skin products to keep your skin healthy and joyous.  

    Written by:

    Dr. Vaishali Atri, holding an MD in Panchakarma from Maharashtra University of Health Science and a BAMS from Ch. Brahm Prakash Ayurveda Charak Sansthan, possesses extensive knowledge and experience in Ayurveda medicine. 

    With over 5 years of experience, Dr. Vaishali draws upon her expertise in traditional medicine, purification therapies, and dietary plans to guide patients toward optimal physical and emotional health. She has performed various Ayurveda procedures and therapies, aiding in detoxification and rejuvenation. 

    References:  

    1. Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Chapter 9 (Su. Chi. 9/32)
    2. Ashtanga Hridaya, Chikitsa Sthana, Chapter 9 (A.H. Chi. 9/21)
    3. Bhawprakash Nighantu, Haritkyadi varga (shlok 206-209)
    4. Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial Assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoaging
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9328396/ 

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