All about Bakuchiol: skin care’s latest must-have ingredient

You’ve probably noticed an increasing number of features and posts regarding bakuchiol in your online and mag browsing, and products starring bakuchiol have started landing on skin-care shelves near you. But what is this wonder ingredient.  And is it worthy of the hype? Most definitely!

Skincare treatments are just as prone to follow trend cycles as most other things, and every couple of years, we’ll find the latest/hottest/newest ingredient appearing in new products.

Once upon a time, it was retinol and AHAs, then we had resveratrol and co-enzyme Q10, to name but a few. This year’s must-have ingredient in anti-ageing and anti-acne care is bakuchiol.

Say what?

Before you learn about it, you might want to know how to say it. You pronounce it buh-koo-kee-ol.

What is bakuchiol exactly?

Bakuchiol is an extract of seeds from the Babchi plant (psoralea corylifolia). Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine practitioners have use it for centuries for its incredible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Why do I need it?

It’s been used for years in acne treatments, and it is an effective alternative to antibiotics and retinoids, which, unfortunately, aren’t without problems.

Products containing retinoids are known to trigger redness, irritation, dryness, itching and flaking. Dermatologists call this retinoid dermatitis. Sadly, the side effects can lead to the user abandoning a valuable skincare ingredient, so the acne returns.

Plant-derived bakuchiol is shown to be effective against multiple acne factors (excessive oil production, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action). This makes it an alternative or complement to retinoids and other acne-fighting ingredients, and it is tolerated much better by the skin.

Brands like Bioderma have used bakuchiol for years in their Sébium Global Intensive Purifying Care for acne-prone skin, and Sébium Sensitive Soothing Anti-blemish Care for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Their SéboRestore complex combines their Fluidactiv patent and bakuchiol to address the root causes of acne-prone skin’s sensitivity and blemishes.



But wait, there’s more…

Like vitamin-A retinoids, bakuchiol has been around since the 1960s, used to help treat acne. Its anti-ageing benefits, however, have only been explored relatively recently.

It is the only phytochemical that performs in a similar way to retinol, despite having no structural similarity to it at all. Hence its suddenly popularity…

Bakuchiol vs retinol

With decades of clinical trials behind it, retinol is undoubtedly the gold standard when it comes to prevention and correction of environmental skin ageing, as well as for treating acne problems.

Problem is, many people’s skin can’t handle it, and others just don’t want to go through the dry, flaky, red adjustment phase (who does?) to get that smooth, glowy complexion.

Despite relatively few clinical trials, the ones that have been done show that bakuchiol behaves in the same way as retinol:

  •  stimulating collagen to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • it helps increase cell turnover, making it ideal for treating hyperpigmentation and acne-prone skin.
  • And, of course, the action against excessive oil production, as well as the antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action

Remarkably, it does this with a much better tolerance than retinol. Basically, it appears to deliver similar results, but without irritating the skin.

And there you have it…

They’re calling bakuchiol ‘botanical retinol’, even though there’s no relation, but you get the idea. It’s also touted as ‘vegan friendly and cruelty-free’. Retinol is derived mostly from animals, In case you’re wondering.

While in-depth studies have not been done as yet, many experts say bakuchiol is a good pregnancy alternative to retinol (which cannot be used during pregnancy).

For those of us who break out during pregnancy, this can only be good news.


Read more about bakuchiol here:



Topicrem skincare now in South Africa!

We’re proud to add Topicrem, a top dermo-cosmetic skincare brand loved in France and French-speaking Africa, to our range of skincare solutions.

Topicrem’s core focus: products with minimal ingredients that allow the whole family – from newborns to those with mature sensitive skin – to enjoy life comfortably and confidently.

Remember, we deliver to your doorstep so you don’t have to travel the world to find the love your skin deserves.

Topicrem was born out of love

The story of Topicrem is one of a father’s love.

Great concern about his son’s discomfort because of atopic and dry skin prompted the president of a pharmaceutical laboratory to ask his team to find a formula that could help soothe itchiness and redness. A safe, comfortable and effective formula that combines strong moisturising with pleasant scent, with a fluid texture that penetrates instantly without sticking.

The resulting solution was Topicrem Ultra Moisturizing Body Milk. This fluid, non-oily emulsion with a high moisturising and lipid-replenishing power instantly penetrates the skin without feeling sticky. It quickly became a popular choice for newborn babies and those with severely sensitised dry skin.

1 is sold every 25 seconds around the world, and it’s the No.1 Moisturising Body Milk in French pharmacies (IMS 2018).

Twenty-six years on…

Topicrem develops effective, simple and safe products that ensure skincare and gentle cleansing for the whole family.

As part of the Mayoly Spindler Pharmaceutical Laboratories, a French family-owned and independent group with over 100 years of experience, Topicrem succeeds in delivering great skincare solutions by maintaining their values of product quality and safety.

Safe for the whole family

Topicrem is all about maximum efficiency with minimal ingredients, ensuring their products are super-gentle with optimal tolerance and suitable for everyone, especially newborn babies and children.

All products go through rigorous clinical testing and even packaging is carefully catered to with both Topicrem production sites in France meeting strict regulatory requirements and their cosmetics production plant being ISO 22716 certified.

Safe for future generations

While plastic is still a key ingredient in product packaging, Topicrem’s sustainability guidelines ensure it keeps environmental care top-of-mind. The products are 100% recyclable, and packaging is reduced to a minimum. Where necessary, FSC certified paper, derived from sustainable forest management, is used.


Now choose your perfect skin routine

Topicrem’s UM (Ultra Moisturizing) range is their best-selling range. The Sensitive Facial Care selection and Body selection have products suitable for adults, babies and children.

For Baby’s Sensitive Skin

Try this morning and evening routine for your littlies.

  1. Cleanse with Topicrem Gentle Cleansing Gel.
  2. Treat the body with Topicrem Light Ultra Moisturising Cream.
  3. Treat and protect the face with Topicrem Ultra Moisturising Cream SPF50.

For Mature Sensitive Skin

Kick up hydration levels with this Topicrem UM morning and evening skincare routine.

  1. Cleanse with Topicrem Gentle Cleansing Milk.
  2. Boost hydration and radiance with with Topicrem Ultra Moisturising Serum.
  3. Treat the body with Topicrem Ultra Moisturizing Body Milk.
  4. Treat and protect the face with Topicrem Ultra Moisturizing Cream SPF50.

For Combination to Oily Skin

Topicrem’s AC (anti-blemish) range offers solutions for oily to combination skin types prone to acne. It contains complementary sebum-correcting, exfoliating and antibacterial ingredients.

  1. Cleanse with Topicrem Gentle Cleansing Gel.
  2. Treat with Topicrem AC Active Care.
  3. Or, if you’re currently under medical acne treatment (isotretinoin, etc.) and need a hydration boost, treat with Topicrem AC Hydra Compensating Moisturizing Cream.
  4. Add some sun protection with Topicrem Ultra Moisturizing Cream SPF50.


For Hyperpigmentation (dark spots)

The pigmentation struggle is definitely real in South Africa, so the Topicrem MELA (melanin) range is a welcome addition. Try this routine to get your skin back to its natural even tone.

  1. Cleanse with Topicrem Gentle Cleansing Gel.
  2. Treat with Topicrem MELA Booster Serum and then…
  3. Apply Topicrem MELA Corrective Day Cream (SPF 20) during your morning routine and Topicrem MELA Corrective Night Cream during your evening routine.
  4. Don’t forget sun protection for the day with Topicrem Ultra Moisturizing Cream SPF50.

Watch this informative video about the brand here. Please note we only carry a selected range of top products for South African skin needs. Find out more at

We have a Topicrem special offer just for the launch!

Want to try out one a Topicrem routine?

Then you need to get in on the Topicrem launch special offer:

Buy any two Topicrem products and get 15% OFF, valid from 17 to 25 September 2019.

Remember to let us know what you think of the NEW Topicrem skincare line by leaving your review on our Facebook page.



Meet Dr. Levashni Naidoo


Our resident dermatologist, Dr. Levashni Naidoo is under the spotlight this month. We get her take on skin care and beauty…


Why did you become a dermatologist?

As a teenager, I had quite severe nodulocystic acne, which made me feel incredibly self-conscious. As the condition progressed, I became increasingly reserved. When I looked in the mirror I couldn’t see beyond the blemishes, and I thought this was what others I encountered focused on.

I was fortunate to have been treated by an incredibly gentle, understanding dermatologist who prescribed a course of medication that quietened down my acne activity and prevented me from developing any permanent scarring. I cannot describe how the improvement in my skin helped my self- esteem.

A diagnosis of a skin condition differs from diagnoses in other medical disciplines. It is often a diagnosis a person wears for the world to see. I’m sensitive to this – I understand it from my own experience.  One of my greatest blessings is being in a position to help others as I was once helped. I love seeing my patients return looking and feeling more comfortable in their skin. What I love most of all is hearing their stories – how the improvement in their condition helps return their self-confidence and how this filters into and helps improve other aspects of their lives, both personal and professional.

What are the most common skin issues you see in your practice?

Skin changes can occur at any time in a person’s life. As a dermatologist, care for our patients may start from their first day. I love treating little ones. Commonly, I see infants with cradle cap, heat rash or a nappy rash. Children usually have inflammatory skin conditions like atopic eczema or skin infections. Both teens and adults often come for consultation regarding their acne.

Given our sunny climate in South Africa, disturbances in pigmentation form a significant portion of my patients’ concerns. Increased pigmentation includes photoageing, melasma and drug-induced hyperpigmentation. Other sun-exacerbated disorders range from rosacea to the more concerning end of the spectrum including skin cancers.

I also see many patients with alopecia (hair loss). This is a condition I am particularly sensitive to as many of my family members have a history of early onset alopecia.

Le Beauty Club recommends:

For acne: Noreva Exfoliac (teen acne) and Actipur (adult acne and sensitive skin), Bioderma Sébium range. These comprehensive ranges have products to treat mild to moderately severe acne, including product that complements medical treatment

For cradle cap: Mustela Cradle Cap Cream + Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns 

First aid in a bottle (heat rash, insect bites, irritated folds): Bioderma Cicabio Crème (non-oozing wounds), Bioderma Cicabio Lotion (oozing wounds), Mustela Stelatria

Nappy rash prevention and repair: Mustela 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream

Atopic eczema: Bioderma Atoderm Intensive range, Noreva Xerodiane AP+ Relipidant Balm, Mustela Stelatopia range



Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel, Noreva Xerodiane AP+ RElipidant, Noreva Actipur, Bioderma Cicabio Creme, Mustela Cradle Cap, Mustela 123 VBC


The best skin-care advice you’ve been given

Skin care is an important aspect of self-care, and self-care is an integral component of self-respect.


 The skin-care advice you give your family, friends and patients

Choose your skin care as you would your friends: quality over quantity, gentle rather than agitating, substance before packaging.


At what age should you start using a skin-care routine? 

It’s never too early and it’s never too late to start a good quality skin-care routine.


What should you use? 

Sunscreen, always sunscreen! This is a mantra many have openly and thankfully embraced. Sunscreen is just one side of the coin.

The flipside includes the use of antioxidants. Effective antioxidants for the skin include vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium. Antioxidant delivery to the skin is superior when applied on the skin as opposed to taking it orally. Antioxidants are essential ingredients that combat reactive oxidative species generated by environmental toxins like pollution, smoke and radiation. Additionally, vitamin C has added benefit of improving collagen synthesis and regulating melanin (pigment) production. Antioxidants are commonly prepared as serums. I prefer my antioxidant delivered in my moisturiser. I’m a firm believer in a minimal-step-easy- to-commit to skin-care routine.

Le Beauty Club recommends:

Our comprehensive selection of leading dermatologically created and EU-approved sunscreens for all skin concerns and all ages.



At what age should you start considering treatment against environmental damage?

We’re blessed with a beautiful sunny climate for most of the year in South Africa. A disregard for moderation in sun exposure can carry significant consequences, ranging from premature skin ageing to skin cancers.

Protection from excessive ultraviolet, visible and infrared light exposure should start from infancy – with appropriate protective clothing and keeping to shaded areas when you and your loved ones do have to be outdoors.

Sunscreen use in little ones used to be recommended from 6 months onwards. Currently the recommendation has been altered to allow for earlier use of sunscreens where protection may not be completely afforded by the use of protective clothing and where keeping in the shade is not possible.

Le Beauty Club recommends these child sunscreens: Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion SPF50+, Bioderma Photoderm Kid SPF 50+


Your skin is… a complete reflection of how you feel from day to day and the space you find yourself in. In embryology, we learn that the skin cells develop from the same space as the brain cells – the neuroectoderm – and so there exist these amazing channels between how we feel and the way our skin presents itself. This is an association that must be respected and appreciated when trying to care for the skin holistically. 


My make-up reflects how I feel or what I want to project. Most often I’m drawn to soft, neutral elegant shades, but there are days when I love the glamour of a powerful bright red lip.



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