photograph of a Bakuchiol serum in an amber vial sitting on a bed of babchi seeds

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 written extensively about the ingredient Bakuchiol and why you would want to use it in your skincare routine. The benefits of Bakuchiol include anti aging, improved dark spots, collagen production, improved skin tone, and improved acne. 

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 serums are traditionally thought of as water-based, face oils with active ingredients are serums too!  

This image from that article might be helpful:

comparison photo showing the difference between serums and face oil serums

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 produce a product that is transparent, clear, colourless, or a novelty colour like purple. This is why there has been controversy, because some Bakuchiol products really don't contain much detectable Bakuchiol and some contain levels of a skin irritant called psoralen (if babchi seed carrier oil is used instead of pure Bakuchiol).

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 serum that has water-based ingredients like hyaluronic acid, just be sure it's advertised to contain between 0.5%-2% Bakuchiol (the studied amount). 

Bakuchiol Oil-Serum Benefits

There is no specific disadvantage to using a serum that contains water, emulsifiers and preservatives. It will be effective and safe if formulated correctly. 

With that said, using an oil serum is 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. 

Choosing a Bakuchiol oil serum over a traditional emulsified serum will have many benefits for people with all skin types. You would expect a smooth, silky skin feeling as long as the oil serum is formulated using lightweight oils. Face oil serums have many antioxidant properties to fight free radicals and inflammation. Bakuchiol oil serums are suitable for sensitive skin, but a patch test is always recommended.


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


If you're shopping for an effective oil serum designed for a specific skin type or concern, check out the bareLUXE line of elevated face oils. 


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