A white box is printed with words Good Skin Club in bold black sans serif font. A shadow of plant foliage is seen on the box cover. Cult of Reason skincare blog entry.

Bakuchiol vs Retinoids. What’s the difference, and which is best for me?

Decoding Skincare: Bakuchiol vs. Retinoids – An Expert Perspective

In the ever-evolving realm of skincare, two powerhouse ingredients have been making waves – bakuchiol and retinoids. Both claim to address signs of aging, promote skin renewal, and enhance overall complexion. Let's dive into the science behind these compounds and understand their unique attributes.

Retinoids: The Gold Standard

Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, have long been considered the gold standard in anti-aging skincare. Renowned for their ability to stimulate collagen production and accelerate cell turnover, retinoids effectively combat fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. They work by binding to specific receptors in the skin, influencing gene expression and encouraging the production of new, healthy skin cells.

However, retinoids are not without drawbacks. Many users experience irritation, redness, and peeling during the initial stages of use. Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding individuals are advised to steer clear of retinoids due to potential risks to the fetus. 

And with the growing number of children using skincare products designed for adults, the use of retinoids may pose a risk to a child’s protective skin barrier when used without caution.

Bakuchiol: Nature's Retinol Alternative

Enter bakuchiol, a plant-derived compound touted as nature's answer to retinol. Extracted from the seeds of the Babchi plant, bakuchiol has gained popularity for its retinol-like properties without the associated side effects.

Studies suggest that bakuchiol can stimulate collagen production, improve skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. What sets it apart is its gentle nature, making it a suitable option for those with sensitive skin who may not tolerate traditional retinoids well.

Cult of Reason's Shield serves as an excellent example of a soothing bakuchiol product. This formulation not only gently exfoliates and brightens the skin but also offers protection and fortification through essential fatty acids.

Purchase Cult of Reason Shield here

Choosing Between Bakuchiol and Retinoids

The decision between bakuchiol and retinoids ultimately depends on individual skin sensitivities, preferences, and tolerance levels. Retinoids remain unparalleled in their efficacy, especially for those seeking rapid results and battling more advanced signs of aging.

On the other hand, bakuchiol offers a milder alternative for individuals with sensitive skin or those looking to ease into a retinoid-like routine without the potential for irritation. It can also be a safer bet for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals seeking an anti-aging solution, though we always suggest checking with a doctor in this situation.

Bakuchiol's mild nature, coupled with its retinol-like efficacy, makes it an ideal choice for those embracing the principles of slow beauty. The compound's ability to stimulate collagen and promote cell turnover without the harsh side effects associated with traditional retinoids resonates with individuals seeking a more nurturing and sustainable skincare routine.


In a curated skincare regimen, one can even use both by cycling between products in a night time routine. This strategy enables a cycle of intense targeting on certain nights and soothing recovery on others, ensuring the retention of benefits without compromise.

Whichever path one chooses, incorporating these potent ingredients into a well-rounded skincare regimen can undoubtedly contribute to achieving a more youthful and radiant complexion.

Back to Cult of Reason blog