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Bakuchiol Before or After Vitamin C? Here’s the REAL Answer

by Ella Goodman 01 Dec 2023

Hey, Glow-Getters!

Today we're unraveling a skincare mystery that has a few beauty buffs baffled: Should you use bakuchiol before or after vitamin C?

It’s a good question.

And yes, there is a clear answer.

But before we get to that, let’s address the other question at the root of the topic: Can you use them together in the first place?

First Stop: Can You Actually Use Bakuchiol and Vitamin C Together?

Short answer - Yes, you totally can! Start with vitamin C, and follow up with bakuchiol.

But we know you’re here for the why and the how, so let’s dig a little deeper…

Bakuchiol and Vitamin C: The Dynamic Duo

Picture bakuchiol and vitamin C as the ultimate tag team in the skincare wrestling ring.

Bakuchiol, with its gentle, plant-based prowess, is known for mirroring the benefits of retinol, minus the harshness.

On the other side, we have vitamin C, the heavyweight champion in brightening and anti-aging.

Both pack a punch individually, but when teamed up, they're skincare gold.

Bakuchiol: The Gentle Powerhouse

Let's spotlight bakuchiol first.

It's a natural, vegan alternative to retinol, derived from the Babchi plant. Bakuchiol is a star for those who find traditional retinol too harsh.

It steps into the ring offering similar benefits – boosting collagen, fighting fine lines, and refining skin texture – but without the potential irritation that retinol can bring. It's like having a personal trainer who's tough on results but gentle in approach.

Vitamin C: The Brightening Champ

Now, enter vitamin C.

This ingredient isn't just good; it's essential.

Known for its potent antioxidant properties, vitamin C fights against free radicals (those pesky skin-damaging molecules caused by UV rays and pollution).

It's the ingredient that tells dark spots, uneven skin tone, and signs of aging to take a back seat. Vitamin C in your skincare routine is like having a shield against the daily environmental onslaught.

The Synergy Factor: When Bakuchiol Meets Vitamin C

When these two ingredients join forces, they create a synergy that's like a symphony for the skin.

Think of bakuchiol as the soothing melody that calms and rejuvenates the skin, while vitamin C is the powerful baseline that protects and brightens.

Complementary Benefits

Bakuchiol's soothing properties make it a perfect partner for vitamin C.

It helps to mitigate any potential irritation that vitamin C might cause, especially for sensitive skin types.

On the flip side, vitamin C's antioxidant prowess enhances the effectiveness of bakuchiol by protecting the skin from environmental stressors that can age and dull the complexion.

Enhanced Effectiveness

When used together, they don't just add to each other’s strengths; they multiply them.

Bakuchiol works to refine the skin's texture and boost collagen production, making the skin more receptive to the brightening and protective benefits of vitamin C.

It's like they're communicating in perfect harmony, each enhancing the other's performance.

How to Layer Bakuchiol and Vitamin C?

Alright, so they can jam together.

But how do you layer these two to get the most bang for your buck?

It's all about timing and technique.

The Order of Operations

Your skincare routine is like a perfectly choreographed dance.

Each step needs to be in sync to get the most out of your performance – or in this case, your products.

Morning or Night?

First, let's talk timing.

Vitamin C is your daytime hero. It's like a shield against the day's environmental villains – UV rays, pollution, and all those skin-damaging culprits.

Bakuchiol, the more flexible of the two, can be your night-time star or a day partner. It's chill like that.

When paired together in the morning, they can supercharge your skincare routine, giving you protection and treatment all at once.

The Layering Lowdown

Now, onto the layering.

Start with vitamin C after cleansing.


Vitamin C is like that friend who always needs to be first – it's acidic, which allows it to penetrate the skin more effectively. Think of it as laying the red carpet for the other ingredients.

After your skin has soaked up all that vitamin C goodness, it's time for bakuchiol to make its entrance. Since bakuchiol is less pH-dependent, it plays well after vitamin C, ensuring that both ingredients can work their magic without stepping on each other's toes.

Why This Order Matters

You might be wondering, "Can't I just mix them together and apply?"

Not quite, my friend. Layering them separately allows each ingredient to function at its best.

Vitamin C: The Brightening Star

Vitamin C, as an antioxidant, is on a mission to neutralize free radicals and boost collagen production. It's also a pro at fading dark spots and evening out skin tone. By applying it first, you're allowing it to target those issues directly, without any barriers.

Bakuchiol: The Smoothing Maestro

Following up with bakuchiol means that your skin is already primed for its smoothing and soothing benefits.

Bakuchiol is all about refining skin texture, reducing the appearance of lines, and being gentle while doing it. Applying it after vitamin C means that it can focus on these tasks without competing for absorption.

In essence (get it?), layering bakuchiol and vitamin C isn't just a matter of throwing ingredients onto your skin and hoping for the best. It's about understanding their individual strengths and how they complement each other.

By following this order, you're setting each ingredient up for success, and the result? A complexion that not only looks radiant and youthful but also feels nourished and balanced.

How Do You Use Bakuchiol in a Routine?

Bakuchiol is like that versatile piece in your wardrobe – it goes with almost anything.

But to get the most out of it, you need to know the right combos.

The Solo Performance

Starting Slow

Imagine bakuchiol as a new hit song. You don’t blast it on repeat right away; you ease into it, letting it grow on you.

Start using bakuchiol a few nights a week. It's a gentler alternative to retinol, so it's less likely to cause irritation, but it's always smart to test the waters first.

Observing the Reactions

As you introduce bakuchiol into your routine, play detective with your skin.

Look for signs of improvement like smoother texture, reduced fine lines, and a more even skin tone.

If your skin is loving the bakuchiol beat and showing no signs of irritation, feel free to amp up the frequency. You're aiming for that perfect balance where your skin feels rejuvenated without being overwhelmed.

The Power Pairing: Bakuchiol Meets Vitamin C

Bakuchiol as Your PM Buddy

When you're ready to pair bakuchiol with vitamin C, think of bakuchiol as your night-time secret weapon.

While vitamin C takes the morning shift, protecting your skin against environmental stressors, bakuchiol steps in at night to repair, rejuvenate, and restore.

The Alternate Night Strategy

Here's a pro tip: alternate between bakuchiol and vitamin C nights.

This approach is like having two different genres of music on your playlist – each great in its own way and giving you a variety of benefits without overwhelming your senses (or in this case, your skin).

Maximizing the Benefits: Tips and Tricks

Consistency is Key

Like mastering a new skill, consistent use is crucial.

Bakuchiol works its magic over time. Think of it as a long-term relationship rather than a weekend fling. The more consistently you use it, the better the results you’ll see.

Pairing with Other Ingredients

Bakuchiol is quite the team player. It pairs beautifully with nourishing ingredients like turmeric or soothing components like aloe. This combination ensures your skin gets the treatment it needs while staying hydrated and calm.

And if you’re more of the “just give me everything in one bottle” type? Our professional-grade Bakuchiol Serum has… well, all of that in one bottle.

Sunscreen: The Non-Negotiable

Regardless of how you use bakuchiol, always, and I mean always, follow up with a good sunscreen in the morning. Sunscreen is like the security guard of your skincare routine – it protects all the hard work your other products are doing.

What Should You NOT Mix with Bakuchiol?

While bakuchiol plays well with many, there are some ingredients it just doesn’t vibe with.

Avoid the Harsh Crowd: Strong Acids

The Clash of the Titans

Strong acids like glycolic or salicylic acid are the powerhouse performers in skincare, great for exfoliation and fighting acne.

But when you bring them on stage with bakuchiol, it's like putting two divas in the same room – there's bound to be a clash.

These acids can be quite potent and, when mixed with bakuchiol, can potentially lead to skin irritation or sensitivity.

The Overwhelm Factor

Imagine applying a strong acid and then layering bakuchiol on top. Both are trying to do their job, but the skin might get overwhelmed.

It’s like having two different genres of music playing at the same time – confusing and a bit too much to handle. This combination can disrupt the skin's natural barrier, leading to redness, dryness, and irritation.

Be Cautious with Other Actives: Retinol and More

Mixing Power Players

Bakuchiol is often touted as a gentler, plant-based alternative to retinol.

So, mixing it with retinol or other potent actives—although it CAN be done—can also be overkill for your skin. It's like having two superheroes in one movie – each fighting for the spotlight and potentially diminishing each other's powers.

The Potential for Irritation

Retinol is a powerful ingredient that speeds up cell turnover and can be drying or irritating for some.

Add bakuchiol into the mix, and you might amplify these effects, leading to increased sensitivity or dryness. It's like turning up the volume to the max – it doesn't necessarily make the song better; it might just give you a headache.

Yes, we said you could pair them. And you can if you know what you’re doing. But it’s a bit of an advanced skincare ninja move that may be a little much to handle for those who aren’t quite at that level yet.

Steering Clear of the Wrong Mix

Understanding Your Skin’s Limits

Every skin type has its threshold.

When incorporating bakuchiol into your routine, it's essential to understand what your skin can handle.

Overloading it with multiple active ingredients can lead to a skin tantrum, and trust me, that’s not a pretty sight.

The Art of Rotation

Instead of mixing, consider rotating these ingredients.

Use bakuchiol on certain nights and the stronger acids or retinol on others.

This way, your skin gets the benefits of each without the risk of irritation. It's like having a well-organized playlist where every song gets its chance to shine.

In summary? When it comes to combining bakuchiol with other skincare ingredients, less is more.

Avoid pairing it with strong acids or potent actives like retinol. Instead, let bakuchiol be the star on some days and give other actives their solo performance on others.

This approach keeps your skincare routine effective, balanced, and most importantly, safe for your skin.

So there it is, skincare buffs!

Bakuchiol and vitamin C can not only share the shelf in your beauty arsenal but can actually enhance each other’s performance.

Just remember to layer them correctly, be mindful of their partners, and listen to your skin.

It’s all about finding that perfect harmony in your skincare routine.

Now go forth and glow with confidence!

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