Pop Culture dictionary



What does bakuchiol mean?

Calling all skincare aficionados! Bakuchiol is a plant-based alternative to retinoids used in skincare products for mild exfoliation and anti-aging.

Related words

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Where does bakuchiol come from?

Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Associates

Bakuchiol is a natural chemical compound extracted from the babchi plant (Psoralea corylifolia), native to India and Sri Lanka. It’s been studied for its antimicrobial properties since the 1970s, some of which have found it can be helpful in fighting certain types of cancers.

Pukhraj Herbals










Bakuchiol is more widely known now for being a gentler alternative to the harsher Vitamin A (known as retinol) in skincare. Bakuchiol is promoted as being anti-aging, acne-fighting…and overall amazing.


Interest in skincare has been rising rapidly since the mid-2010s in what some publications called the beauty boom. Retinol is a well-researched ingredient, but it can be abrasive to sensitive skin and bad for pregnant women. By 2017, prominent skincare companies like Ole Henriksen, Farmacy, and Biossance were selling products with bakuchiol, marketing them as less intense than retinol.

2018 proved a huge media moment for bakuchiol; the word was talked about in very popular online publications like Refinery 29, Health, and Allure.

Examples of bakuchiol

Skeyndor Academy / SlideShare
The @Biossance Squalane Phyto-Retinol Serum makes your skin dewy on the spot and gives a gorgeous glow through foundation. It contains bakuchiol — an herbal antioxidant that smooths skin a lot like retinol without the potential irritation.
@Allure_magazine, April 2018
One other thing that bakuchiol has over retinol: It is purple. Like the pale-purple flowers of the babchi plant, the Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum and Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème are a pastel lilac shade that is both entirely natural and undeniably pleasing to the eye.
Rachel Krause, Refinery 29, September 2018

Who uses bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol has been a topic of conversation among dermatologists and others deep into skincare since at least 2010, when it started spreading on social media.

It wasn’t until 2017 that bakuchiol entered the more mainstream lexicon. Around this time, bakuchiol began being marketed as a standout ingredient in many products, such as the Alina Bakuchiol Serum with Vitamin C.

Expect bakuchiol to be a hot topic in popular skincare discussion for years to come.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of bakuchiol like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of bakuchiol that will help our users expand their word mastery.