Okay, so I realise that many of you have been waiting for months for a Skin Rozsa bakuchiol serum review. And I can only apologise for not getting this review published sooner. But, I do have a genuine excuse; being that I wanted to give you an in-depth review. So, not only have I been using this product diligently, but I’ve also been looking into research about bakuchiol.
And to say that there is a lot to talk about, would be an understatement.
I realise that for most of you, the question is simple; is this product worth purchasing? And, cards on the table, I absolutely love this product! I’ve repurchased it, and can see myself continuing to repurchase it. But, whether you should follow my example, is unfortunately a complicated matter.
Please note that I’m not a dermatologist, and can only speak on my experiences, and what I’ve been able to find. Please do your own research regarding the product, and any decisions you make regarding it. If you do want to use it, please patch test before doing so.
And with all those disclaimers out of the way, let’s discuss.
Bakuchiol; What Is The Hype?
Bakuchiol is extracted from the psoralea corylifolia plant, which unto itself has been used in traditional skincare and healthcare. Interestingly, because of the plant’s use in Ayurvedic remedies, it’s quite a common favourite across South Asia.
In 2014, a study was conducted which compared the results of topical bakuchiol use, with topical retinol use. Conducted over twelve weeks, it showed that the results of using bakuchiol rivaled those of retinol. Except, bakuchiol did not seem to cause any irritation.
This study inspired a ton of think pieces, about bakuchiol as a miraculous natural alternative to retinol. This hype continues to spread its wings.
But, What About Psoralea Corylifolia?
I think it’s important to note that the Skin Rozsa Bakuchiol serum is not formulated with bakuchiol itself. Rather, it includes the extract of psoralea corylifolia. And so, I’m going to focus a bit on the potential benefits of psoralea corylifolia.
Preliminary research points to the antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits associated with the plant. In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic remedies, psoralea corylifolia has been used to treat skin conditions like leprosy, psoriasis and vitiligo.
In fact, I found a very interesting paper regarding the use of psoralea corylifolia as a treatment for vitiligo, from Pakistan! It looked at the use of an ointment made from psoralea corylifolia seeds, and the results were promising. I found it particularly interesting because the trials took place in Larkana; mere hours away from me! It made me realise just how ignorant I have been regarding the ingredient, despite its significance in my own culture.
But…What About The Retinol Comparison?
I did find some research regarding psoralea corylifolia and ageing. But, it looked at the overall ageing. It’s an interesting paper, but it did look at an in vitro experiment. Basically, unlike the 2014 study, I didn’t find anything that compared psoralea corylifolia to a specific ingredient.
Overall though, I did think that the research is quite promising. You could argue that more research needs to be conducted. But then again, you could say that about Bakuchiol itself.
Dr. Dray lays out the possibilities and pitfalls quite eloquently in this video.
Ending with the reality that we need to learn much more, for which there needs to be more research.
Skin Rozsa Bakuchiol Serum; My Results
After using the Skin Rozsa Bakuchiol serum every night for a month, I saw a marked improvement in my skin. It was more visibly hydrated, brighter, and the texture had improved. Here’s a snapshot of what my skin looked like over a month later.
I also found that pairing this serum with the COSRX cica serum, or the It’s Skin arbutin serum yielded even more positive results. I haven’t found any research indicating that bakuchiol or psoralea corylifolia aids the efficacy of any other active ingredients. Dr. Dray does mention that combining bakuchiol with salicylic acid makes salicylic acid less irritating. But I think the products just worked well together, and this might be limited to my experience.
Moreover, I also realise that there are some more concerns regarding the product. We’ve spoken at length about the use of psoralea corylifolia as opposed to bakuchiol. But I also want to talk about the inclusion of fragrance.
What’s In A Scent?
I, like most of you, have recently become privy to the inclusion of fragrances in our products. Moreover, I have heard a lot of people lambast the word ‘parfum’ as a mysterious Trojan horse. An umbrella term that could be hiding a ton of nastiness.
And while I am not condoning the use of fragrances in skincare, I would like to offer some nuance. Please watch this video by Dr. Whitney Bowe, where she interviews fragrance expert Karen Gilbert.
Some takeaways from their conversations pertain to intellectual property rights, and allergens.
So, companies are much smarter than we give them credit for. They include scent in products because it has a psychological impact on us. We associate certain fragrances with certain emotions. So, a product that smells like lavender for example, can actually have a calming impact on us. This is all rather strategic, because companies want us to buy their products.
Now, let’s talk about that word; ‘parfum’. According to Karen Gilbert, a specific scent, made up of different fragrant components, is part of a company’s intellectual property. In some regions (the EU for example) they have to indicate if the product includes any known allergens. But, companies are allowed to protect their custom fragrance blends by using the term ‘parfum’.
When I first started using the product, I reached out to Skin Rozsa via their Instagram page. I asked about the inclusion of ‘parfum’. According to them, this refers to the fragrant components of the natural ingredients that are present in the serum. I suspect that it may also be part of their manufacturer’s intellectual property.
If your skin is sensitive, and you’re concerned about the inclusion of fragrance, please do patch test the product.
Bakuchiol; New Research
While we’re looking over Dr. Whitney Bowe’s videos, let’s look at some recent research about bakuchiol that she highlighted.
Firstly, because I know that a lot of you might want to switch to bakuchiol because you’re pregnant. According to Dr. Bowe, there is some new research that raised red flags regarding bakuchiol’s impact on breast cancer cells. Basically, there are some concerns that low doses of bakuchiol can stimulate breast cancer cells. However, this study assumes that bakuchiol can penetrate the skin and get to these cells. I’d encourage you to watch Dr. Bowe’s video, but basically current research indicates that bakuchiol cannot penetrate the skin.
Dr. Bowe recommends simply not using the ingredient directly onto your breast. If you’re pregnant, and concerned about developing stretch marks on your breasts, this is important to remember.
I realise that the product we’re talking about includes psoralea corylifolia, and possibly has a very small percentage of bakuchiol. But since the research isn’t conclusive yet, I’d still follow her guidelines.
Is Bakuchiol Sensitising To The Sun?
The second concern raised by Dr. Bowe, based on new research, is regarding sun sensitivity. There’s a compound called ‘saurolin’ found in psoralea coryfolia, and this can make skin sensitive to the sun. There has been research that indicates that the saurolin in babchi oil (oil extracted from psoralea coryfolia) makes it phototoxic.
They specifically pointed to the oil. But just in case the compound is found in the extract as well, I wouldn’t use it during the day.
My Final Takeaway
I realise that my Skin Rozsa Bakuchiol serum review turned into a lecture, and a rabbit hole. But, I felt that we really needed to dissect this one. Since it relies on the hype generated by relatively recent research, I didn’t want to limit the conversation to how my skin reacted to it. As, while my results were positive, yours may not be.
Please do take some time to research the product, and the ingredients in question.