The Natural Alternative to Retinol You Need To Know About

I’m sure you’ve heard us tout the benefits of retinol before…

But for those playing at home that haven’t, allow us to fill you in.

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A (which is predominantly found in eggs, fish and dairy), and works to stimulate your skin’s natural renewal process, bringing new skin cells to the surface. It does all this whilst minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to improve skin elasticity. In turn, providing you with younger, healthier skin.

In a nutshell, it’s the OG of anti-ageing ingredients. That’s the good news.

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Model wears Bec & Bridge Top and Temple Of The Sun Earrings.

The sometimes-tricky news is that is can irritate sensitive skin types, you have to introduce it gradually into your routine for your complexion to adjust, and it’s sun sensitive, so you can only apply it in the evenings. They’re just some of the reasons why skin guru Ole Henriksen went on the hunt for a retinol alternative that didn’t do any of above. “As a skincare expert who has treated skin for decades, I have seen so many of my clients come in with red and irritated skin and/or dry, scaly skin from using products that incorporate retinol,” explains Henriksen. “I often discouraged clients from using it because of the side effects.”

Regularly scouring the world for new ingredients, Henriksen came across bakuchiol in India, a plant-derived ingredient from the Ayurvedic babchi herb that promises similar benefits to retinol, and has since incorporated it into his recently released youth-inducing duo Transform Plus. It also contains AHAs to smooth the texture, and the likes of lemon, sugar and sandalwood to leave your skin silky soft.

So, whether you’re a retinol devotee looking for a natural alternative, or busting to hear more about it, we asked Henriksen to give us the 411.

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Model wears Sir The Label Dress.

“Bakuchiol helps strengthen collagen, which results in a visible reduction of lines and wrinkles, improves elasticity, greater firmness, and the skin surface becomes very refined,” says Henriksen. “We have also found that in the process, it helps reduce skin discolorations and the look of open pores. What many people don’t know is that it is also an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits; it reduces redness, and calms the complexion of even the most sensitive skin types.”

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[LEFT]: Model wears Aje Top.


“I like the idea of putting the skin’s renewal cycle into high gear both day and night for optimum results. That is why bakuchiol is a key driver in the Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum, which we recommend for day, because it’s not sun sensitive like a retinol—it actually has the opposite impact of reducing redness in the skin. It’s also an ideal formula as an entry point for younger clients looking for preventative skincare because it is a slightly lighter textured formula. However, I always recommend SPF during the day regardless to project your skin from the UV spectrum.”

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“An ingredient doesn’t have to cause skin irritation in order to be effective,” explains Henriksen. “There are many botanicals in nature that are potent and have medicinal qualities—like bakuchiol, which is anti-inflammatory—that also happen to reduce lines and wrinkles, and resurface skin. I love that bakuchiol is empowered in this manner; it’s non-irritating with the same efficacious powers, if not more.”


“The beauty of the [Trasform Plus range] is that there is no acclimation, because there is no sensitivity—they instantly work and deliver results. Using both the serum and the Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème is preferential, but if you prefer to start slow we recommend that younger clients (think early-mid 20’s), start with serum.”

Have you tried retinol?

Would you be interested in trialling skincare that contain bakuchiol as a natural alternative?


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