I have a very popular post on Science and Skincare titled Bakuchiol Vs Retinol but after seeing a post by one of my favourite dermatologists RanellaMD about the same topic, I got to thinking about one essential component of the comparison that was missing – sustainability.
Sustainability is one of the main reasons people want to seek alternatives for their beloved skincare products/ingredients. Is it good for the environment? How many air-miles does it take to bring all these ingredients together in a factory? Is the plant commercially farmed?
Shouldn’t we be taking these things into consideration given the state of the planet?
The big problem, that unfortunately I’ve seen firsthand, is that brands have the ability to markets themselves as ‘sustainable’ whilst not actually doing anything sustainable. This is because terms like ‘natural’ ‘sustainable’ and ‘clean’ aren’t very regulated.
That’s pretty much the case everywhere in the world. There aren’t governing bodies that can check these things for every product a brand makes.
There is already a big misconception that natural brands and sustainable brands go hand in hand but how can that be if they’re taking wild plants to use them in their products and not replacing them?
Surely, it makes more sense that a brand that uses synthetic ingredients is more sustainable because they don’t take from the planet? Although, then they wouldn’t be considered natural.
As a consumer how do we know the answer to any of these things? The answer right now, at least, is we don’t.
Sustainability is one of the biggest categories to think about when it comes to bakuchiol vs retinol and should be a big factor in your decision making because one is synthetically made and one is harvested in the wild.
Yes, that’s right. The babchi plant that is responsible for creating many beloved bakuchiol products is not commercially farmed, according to this 2017 article.
The article describes that fact that while the babchi plant (Psoralea corylifolia) has a diverse range of properties including; antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory it is being overexploited and taken from their natural habitat as a result of their huge demand in the modern market. They are disappearing.
The fact is that it is incredible hard to navigate the ‘clean’ side of the beauty industry – whatever that means to you, but what we do know for sure is that in this comparison bakuchiol doesn’t seem to be the more sustainable option.
Now, that’s not to discredit it’s uses, as we saw in my last post on this topic it has many and can hold it’s own to retinol. Bakuchiol is especially useful for pregnant women and those prone to sensitivity but when it comes to sustainability there is a clear winner and it doesn’t start with B.
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