There’s a new player in the game to fight fine lines and hyperpigmentation: bakuchiol, a plant found in the wilds of New Zealand. It’s the active ingredient in Ao Skincare, and promises to work like Retin-A to lighten dark spots and deal with hormonal changes, acne and sun exposure without causing photosensitivity or the irritation and flaking often associated with Retin-A creams. Cold-pressed technology delivers the maximum amount of vitamin benefits.
I’ve tried every Retin-A formula on the market. I’m a fan of natural products whenever possible, and nuclear options like lasers or chemical peels, if needed. Basically, I’m open to whatever it takes to get the job done.
After I used Ao Skincare for two weeks, here’s what happened:
Bakuchiol, the plant-seed extract in Ao’s Rewind serum ($119.95), is supposed to work like Retin-A by stimulating three types of collagen and inhibiting inflammatory enzymes in the skin linked to acne and overproduction of melanin. The serum didn’t cause any flaking or drying, but while I didn’t see a dramatic decrease in my areas of hyperpigmentation (as I’m used to with products that contain the chemical agent hydroquinone), there was a noticeable lessening of dark areas.
I have very dry skin, so the Repair night cream ($119.95) worked well for me under makeup but left my face feeling dry for about 30 minutes before being absorbed into my skin. But for someone with oily skin, this water-based formula is perfect.
It contains totarol, made from the heartwood of the totara tree, again plucked from New Zealand’s wilds. It boasts properties that make its wood highly antimicrobial and extremely resistant to decay. Totarol is reputed to be 1,000 times more potent than tea tree oil against bacteria—which is great news for people with acne.
Who is Ao Skincare good for? The patient, eco-conscious person looking for a gentle natural remedy that’s effective and doesn’t strip skin’s natural probiotic layer; especially those with oily skin or acne.
Based on the list of ingredients, the only nonnatural ingredient in the serums and creams is dehydroacetic acid, a synthetic fungicide commonly used in preserving cosmetics, making this product line ideal for nursing or pregnant women or women with challenged immune systems. But for teenage acne sufferers, it’s pricey—especially since they likely won’t back it up with diet to help ensure top results.