Looking for a Bakuchiol Serum? Shopping Tips For First Time Buyers
If you've decided to shop for a Bakuchiol serum, there are some key definitions to understand before you buy. We have already written extensively about the ingredient Bakuchiol and why you would want to use it in your skincare routine.
Once you've made the decision to buy, you'll need to decide what type of bakuchiol serum you're looking for.
This is where marketing terms can get confusing and there has been some controversy.
What Is A Serum?
Before you can decide what type of Bakuchiol serum you're shopping for, you need to understand what skincare brands mean when they label something as a "serum".
We specialize in face oils and want to help consumers understand that oils can be considered serums too. We cover this in a lot more depth in our guide to choosing face oils.
The TL:DR is that the term "serum" is a marketing label used to communicate to consumers that a product contains highly active ingredients and has a more fluid or gelled texture. Though traditionally thought of as water-based, face oils with active ingredients would be considered an oil serum.
This image from that article might be helpful:
What is Bakuchiol Serum?
The reason it's so important to understand that the term serum means different things to different brands is so you can spot hyped up marketing and not waste your money.
Bakuchiol is an oily ingredient that can only be mixed with water if emulsifiers are used. There's nothing wrong with emulsified serums at all. However, it makes it nearly impossible to have a clear gel or uniquely coloured transparent serum. This is why there has been controversy, because some Bakuchiol products really don't contain much detectable Bakuchiol and they also do contain levels of a skin irritant called psoralen.
We have nothing against beautiful products, but if you're shopping for a specific ingredient, you really want to spend your money on products that contain enough of it to be effective.
If you're looking for a bakuchiol serum that has water-based ingredients or a cream/lotion texture, just be sure it's advertised to contain between 0.5%-2% (the studied amount).
Oil-Based Bakuchiol Serum Benefits
There is no specific disadvantage to using a Bakuchiol serum that contains water, emulsifiers and preservatives. It will be effective and safe if formulated correctly.
With that said, using a face oil that contains Bakuchiol is a preferred by many shoppers. Face oils are generally simpler and closer to nature. There is also some thought that oils are better able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin where they can get more work done.
Regardless of whether you choose a Bakuchiol serum that contains water or is a face oil, you can experience the benefits that this natural alternative to retinol