The plant derivative was first used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. "Bakuchiol has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antibacterial properties," Sejal Shah, a certified dermatologist, told Allure.
"Bakuchiol functions similar to a retinol, increasing cell turnover thereby stimulating collagen production and diminishing signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and overall photodamage," she says.
Moreover, the British Journal of Dermatology found that bakuchiol is just as effective as retinol when it came to addressing signs of aging, but that it was also was less irritating.
So, why haven't you heard of it before? Once popular in the '70s, Shah credits new research for bakuchiol's recent renaissance. For proof, look no further than recent product launches - Ole Henriksen is about to release a bakuchiol-based "retin-ALT" line of products at Sephora.
While they're not available in Australia yet, the Transform Plus Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum and the Transform Plus Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème will be launching soon.