Retinol calls to me like a skincare siren. This gold standard skincare ingredient quells acne, age spots, and wrinkles. It leaves skin dewy, refined, refreshed, and younger. But before the dewy, youthy, fabulous skin phase, there’s the dreaded irritated skin phase. And for the sensitive-skinned amongst us, that phase is torture. Many can’t tolerate even buffered Retinols. What options are there for sensitive skins seeking serums? Meet Bakuchiol, a non-irritating, plant-based retinol alternative. It behaves like Retinol without the skin irritation. An excellent implementation of Bakuchiol comes in 24K Glow Super Cream by Morganna’s Alchemy. Check out the research behind these ingredients and our 24K Glow experience.
Why 24K Glow Super Cream is Special
24K Glow Super Cream uses natural, effective ingredients that are gentle to the skin. It addresses acne, dark spots, and wrinkles.
24K Glow Super Cream combines two non-irritating skincare superstars: Bakuchiol and Astaxanthin. Together, they match retinol benefits and offer collagen AND elastin support. 24K Glow Super Cream has skin nourishing, hydrating, collagen-promoting yet gentle ingredients.
But every ingredient claims it is wonderful. What’s the proof?
The skincare showdown: Bakuchiol vs Retinol
Bakuchiol is a plant-based phenol that decreases wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Studies show that gentle, natural bakuchiol holds its’ own against Retinol.
“Our study demonstrates that bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photoaging and is better tolerated than retinol.” 
One randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical study with 44 volunteers compared retinol and bakuchiol. There was no statistical difference between how each decreased wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. But the retinol users reported facial skin scaling and stinging. 
A second study confirmed the Retinol-like functionality of bakuchiol. It also documented the stimulation of collagen within the skin. Bakuchiol was used twice a day for 12 weeks. The result was a significant improvement in wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, and firmness without the retinol associated side effects. 
Bakuchiol inhibits melanin production on age spots and acne scars better than arbutin . Bakuchiol also helps with acne.
What makes Bakuchiol even better?
Pairing it with Astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is an exceptional anti-oxidant.
Many topicals use a chemically synthesized Astaxanthin. But 24K Glow Super Cream uses natural Astaxanthin. Natural Astaxanthin is derived from Haematococcus Pluvalis Extract, a freshwater species of algae. 
Anti-oxidants are important because oxidative stress causes dermal damage resulting in skin aging.
Natural aging and photoaging (UV light) produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS ages skin by causing an inflammatory response.  This degrades skin collagen and elastin.
Astaxanthin is especially effective at preventing ROS formations in the skin. 
Astaxanthin protects skin from the free radical damage that accelerates skin aging. It counteracts UV damage and improves elasticity via improved skin function. It promotes collagen production. 
Astaxanthin suppresses hyperpigmentation and photoaging. It also reduces wrinkle formation in several clinical studies .
Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, more potent and stable than Vitamins C or E.
Morganna’s Alchemy 24K Glow Super Cream also contains a host of natural but highly effective ingredients to counteract skin aging and support skin hydration. Let’s take a closer look at the other ingredients in this formulation:
the Supporting Ingredients
Squalane comes from olives oil, rice, or sugar cane.
Rich in fatty acids, it contains all the restorative goodness of olive oil without the greasiness. Squalane mimics the skin’s natural sebum and makes the skin barrier smooth and soft.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is from palm kernel or coconut oil. It is a mix of fatty acids attached to glycerin. It is a natural skin replenishing emollient that creates a barrier on the skin’s surface to reduce moisture loss. 
Sodium Hyaluronate is a non-synthesized form of Hyaluronic Acid. It is a humectant that offers stronger moisture retention properties than regular HA. It is found naturally and ample supply in young skin, but depletes with age.
Sodium Hyaluronate has a lower molecular size than to other Hyaluronic Acids. This is good because it can absorb deeper into the skin and bring other actives along with it.
Glycerin is a natural vegetable-derived, non-toxic humectant that helps the skin to retain moisture. Glycerin fills in gaps in dryer skin which makes skin look better and keeps the outer layer of the skin intact.
Tocopherol is a natural Vitamin E is from plant seeds. It is a skin-softening antioxidant that makes damaged skin (scars, sun-damaged) pliable. Once the skin is pliable, other treating ingredients can work their magic.
Collagen is the scaffolding of skin. We lose it as we age. Less collagen means more sagging. Hydrolyzed Collagen is broken down into smaller pieces to penetrate the skin.
Hydrolyzed Royal Jelly Protein
Royal Jelly is the gelatinous substance bees make to feed the queen bee. Royal Jelly is an anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant filled with skin-friendly nutrients. It smooths fine lines and wrinkles and enables skin repair.  Royal Jelly can promote collagen production. 
Elastin gives skin its’ youthful bounce. It works with collagen to support and firm the skin.
Â What it Does Not Contain
- No Parabens
- COSMOS Eco-Certificate
24K Glow Super Cream is a sleek, sealed product with an enclosed pump top dispenser.
The cream itself is an apricot shade, but it doesn’t impart any actual tint to the skin. It is a creamy gel consistency.
The texture is not at all gritty like some Retinol prescription gels. It absorbs and spreads easily without tugging the skin. It dries down within a minute. I give an extra minute before sunscreen application but it is not tacky or gummy.
There is a pleasant almost sweet spicy scent that dissipates on the dry down.
The skin has a bit of a glow afterward but not greasy looking. My skin feels smooth and appears hydrated with or without additional moisturizer application.
I have used it twice a day for 11 days. And so far no dreadful skin peeling days that I can’t wear makeup on my skin. No days that my skin is so raw that my sunscreen stings. No skipping a topical treatment day because my skin is just too red and irritated. It is early but my skin looks more even and refined.
Notably, unlike by day ten of Retinol use, my skin is hydrated and smooth.
Structurally, bakuchiol is nothing like retinol. But…I still wondered if an excessive application would irritate my skin like retinol can. So I deliberately over-did it a few nights in a row to see what would happen.
I zealously applied it before bed expecting to wake up with a red face. Unlike Retinol, I did not wake up red and irritated, and my skin was not tight or itchy feeling. It looked smooth and hydrated, even without applying moisturizer. When I applied 24k Glow in the morning, it did not sting and my skin was not tight.
what We Love
Unlike Retinol, 24K Glow can be used on areas too sensitive for retinol. I can use it around my mouth, on the under-eye area, and on crow’s feet.
And while Retinol shouldn’t be worn during the day, this bakuchiol-based product is safe to use both day and night.
Studies show bakuchiol results are seen in 12 weeks. So far, so good!
Where to Buy It
Find 24K Glow Super Cream at https://www.morgannasalchemy.com/product/24k-glow
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- Dhaliwal, S.; Rybak, I.; Ellis, S.R.; Notay, M.; Trivedi, M.; Burney, W.; Vaughn, A.R.; Nguyen, M.; Reiter, P. (February 2019). “Prospective, randomized, double-blind assessment of topical bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing”. British Journal of Dermatology. 180 (2): 289-296. doi:10.1111/bjd.16918. ISSN 0007-0963. PMID 29947134.
- Chaudhuri RK, Bojanowski K. Bakuchiol: a retinol-like functional compound revealed by gene expression profiling and clinically proven to have anti-aging effects. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2014 Jun;36(3):221-30. doi: 10.1111/ics.12117. Epub 2014 Mar 6. PMID: 24471735.
- Ohno O, Watabe T, Nakamura K, Kawagoshi M, Uotsu N, Chiba T, Yamada M, Yamaguchi K, Yamada K, Miyamoto K, Uemura D. Inhibitory effects of bakuchiol, bavachin, and isobavachalcone isolated from Piper longum on melanin production in B16 mouse melanoma cells. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(7):1504-6. doi: 10.1271/bbb.100221. Epub 2010 Jul 7. PMID: 20622433.
- Chaudhuri, Ratan & Marchio, Francois. (2011). Bakuchiol in the management of acne-affected Skin. Cosmet. Toilet.. 126. 502-510.
- Davinelli S, Nielsen ME, Scapagnini G. Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2018 Apr 22;10(4):522. doi: 10.3390/nu10040522. PMID: 29690549; PMCID: PMC5946307.
- Nishida, Y. and E. Yamashita. “Quenching Activities of Common Hydrophilic and Lipophilic Antioxidants against Singlet Oxygen Using Chemiluminescence Detection System.” (2007).
- Camera E., Mastrofrancesco A., Fabbri C., Daubrawa F., Picardo M., Sies H., Stahl W. Astaxanthin, canthaxanthin and beta-carotene differently affect UVA-induced oxidative damage and expression of oxidative stress-responsive enzymes. Exp. Dermatol. 2009;18:222-231. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2008.00790.x.
- Tominaga K., Hongo N., Karato M., Yamashita E. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on human subjects. Acta Biochim. Pol. 2012;59:43â€“47.
- Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. “Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata.” Arch Dermatol. 1998;134(11):1349-1352. doi:10.1001/archderm.134.11.134
- Park HM, Hwang E, Lee KG, Han SM, Cho Y, Kim SY. Royal jelly protects against ultraviolet B-induced photoaging in human skin fibroblasts via enhancing collagen production. J Med Food. 2011;14(9):899â€“906. doi:10.1089/jmf.2010.1363
- International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2015, pages 456-463
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