The Science Behind Bakuchiol & NOW Solutions Bakuchiol Serum Review

As part of the #NOWWellness Influencer Program, I received product samples and compensation from NOW® to thank me for my participation, but the product selection and all opinions are genuinely my own.

The Science Behind Bakuchiol // NOW® Solutions Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Serum Review + 20% Off Coupon Code


The Science Behind Bakuchiol // NOW® Solutions Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Serum Review + 20% Off Coupon Code

I feel like every year we have a new skincare trend that everybody wants to try, and in 2021 it’s bakuchiol. So, what is bakuchiol and why is it suddenly on everyone’s radar? Let’s take a closer look!


Bakuchiol is a meroterpene commonly extracted from the seeds and leaves of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, also known as babchi, that grows mostly throughout India and some other parts of the world. This humble annual plant that looks a little bit like mint, clover, and basil mixed together, has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to address a variety of conditions. However, there’s one particular property that got the skincare community really excited: bakuchiol just might be the “clean beauty” answer to retinol. It hasn’t been as extensively studied as the latter, but the ongoing trials are looking promising. For instance, in this 2018 12-week randomized, double-blind study, 44 patients were asked to apply either bakuchiol 0.5% cream twice daily or retinol 0.5% cream once daily. The study found that bakuchiol and retinol both significantly decreased wrinkle surface area and helped to improve evenness of skin color, with no statistical difference between the two. However, those in the bakuchiol group reported much better product tolerance and fewer skin irritations, which is great news for people with sensitive skin.


You may have heard some people colloquially calling bakuchiol a “natural retinol”, but that is technically incorrect. As a terpenophenolic metabolite, bakuchiol is closer to cannabinoids and has no structural resemblance to retinol, although it was found to have retinol functionality. So while it may produce results similar to those obtained through retinoid use, calling it “natural retinol” is misleading. It would be like saying Niacinamide and Vitamin C are the same thing because they are both used to treat uneven skin tone. For a better way to describe it, try “retinol alternative!”

The Science Behind Bakuchiol // NOW® Solutions Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Serum Review + 20% Off Coupon Code


Bakuchiol is currently being hyped way too much in the media which makes it seem like a gimmick, but it’s actually a very promising ingredient that has a lot of potential. When I learned that NOW® Foods is on board with the trend and will be launching their own NOW® Solutions Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Serum ($19.99), I knew I had to try it! I really appreciate that NOW® avoids over-inflating cosmetic claims and sensationalizing the ingredients, it’s just facts and pure science geekery.

This cruelty-free and vegan formula features a blend of clinically-tested bakuchiol and Pycnogenol® as resurfacing actives, plus humectants, botanical antioxidants, and nourishing oils that promote a more youthful skin appearance sans the sensitizing effects. The serum has a runny, slightly watery consistency that makes it easy to spread over the face and neck area, all without the stickiness. The texture is perfectly lightweight and can be used by people with a wide range of skin types, from dry to oily – simply layer your favorite moisturizer on top to seal in the active ingredients and you’re good to go!

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Vegetable Squalane, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol & Cetearyl Glucoside, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil (tree nut)*, Phenoxyethanol & Ethylhexylglycerin, Bakuchiol, Pinus Pinaster (French Maritime Pine) Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®), Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C). For a complete ingredient breakdown, visit this page.

The Science Behind Bakuchiol // NOW® Solutions Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Serum Review + 20% Off Coupon Code


The short answer is yes. The long answer is, retinoids and bakuchiol deliver similar results but use different mechanisms, so using them together is actually encouraged if you want to reap the benefits of both. Besides, bakuchiol has a natural stabilizing effect on Vitamin A, not to mention its soothing properties may improve skin’s tolerance to various strengths of retinol – it’s a win-win situation.

I’ve been successfully using both in my routine: a prescription-strength retinoid at night and NOW® Solutions Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Serum in the morning, and my skin is glowing! YMMV and all that, but you can find plenty of examples online of other people’s experience and even several board-certified dermatologists suggesting to use them together. If my result is any indication, I think they’re onto something here. Who knows, maybe in 5 years, retinoid + bakuchiol pairing will dethrone retinoid + vitamin C as the hottest skincare power couple? 😉


Retinoids are the gold standard of skincare, and so far it’s been notoriously difficult [more like impossible] to replicate their effect using botanicals. Even though bakuchiol isn’t as well-studied as vitamin A derivatives, limited studies suggest that it just may be the closest thing we have to a retinoid alternative. I like that it’s gentle and generally well-tolerated, which makes it a viable option for people sensitive to retinoids. Unlike retinol, bakuchiol is photo-stable and can be used during the day. As with any new skincare ingredient, more research is needed.

Ready to try bakuchiol? NOW® Solutions Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Serum is currently on sale for $15.99! (reg. $19.99) Don’t forget to use the coupon code GLAMORABLE for a 20% off discount on any purchase at This is an exclusive coupon to thank you guys for choosing NOW®, not an affiliate code, and I don’t earn any commission if you use it. Enjoy! 🙂

Have you tried bakuchiol skincare? What did you find the most surprising about bakuchiol? Share in the comments below!

Glamorable would like to thank NOW® for sponsoring this conversation.