‘I’m a Dermatologist, and These Are a Few of My Favorite Plant-Based Skin-Care Ingredients’

It's not news that going plant-based doesn't just apply to food anymore. From clothes to skin-care products to cleaning supplies, it's possible to swap plant-based alts into virtually every part of your daily routine.

But unlike ordering your iced coffee with a splash of oat milk, switching to a plant-based skin-care regimen is a bit more of a commitment. And if a product isn't going to deliver glow-boosting benefits, it's probably not going to secure a permanent spot on your shelf.

Luckily, New York City board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, is sharing all the intel on which plant-based skin-care ingredients are totally derm-approved—and they happen to be the stars of the new, responsibly sourced Youth Boost line from Sky Organics. From cleansing to toning to moisturizing, you can easily start integrating these ingredients into nearly every step of your routine without skimping on glow.

Keep reading for the plant-based skin-care ingredients (and their derm-backed benefits) to add to your beauty cabinet.


If a retinol has been on your add-to-cart list because of its youth-boosting powers, know this: plant-based bakuchiol has actually been shown to rival retinol's benefits.

"Bakuchiol is an extract of the Babchi plant long used in Ayurvedic medicine," Dr. King says. "It is one of the few retinol alternatives for which studies back up the pseudo-retinol effect of anti-aging and skin-brightening."

One study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that bakuchiol could reduce signs of sun damage equally as well as retinol. And another paper in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science reported bakuchiol's role in reducing lines and wrinkles and improving skin elasticity. "Bakuchiol seems to be activating the genes that regulate collagen and elastin production—the same ones retinol activates," Dr. King says.

The icing on the plant-based cake is that bakuchiol isn't actually a retinoid, so it won't irritate or redden skin, Dr. King adds. Pro tip: Apply Youth Boost Bakuchiol Night Serum before bed, and and you'll start reaping all the smoothing and firming benefits of retinol's chemical-free cousin overnight.

Manuka honey

Not just for slathering on your morning toast, Manuka honey is another star plant-based ingredient Dr. King can get behind. "Manuka honey has antimicrobial properties and therefore may help kill bacteria that contribute to skin infections and inflammations like acne or seborrhea," she says.

Additionally, it has both hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties, and is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals from sun, pollution, and stress, Dr. King says. It's no wonder Manuka honey takes the front seat in both the Youth Boost Revitalizing Face Scrub and Antioxidant Day Serum, a one-two punch for gently exfoliating your skin while also giving your complexion a soothing glow.

Green tea extract

If you thought your morning matcha met your green tea quota for the day, you might want to make some room for more. According to Dr. King, studies have shown that topical application of green tea extract can help reduce sun damage, likely because of its high antioxidant count.

On top of its protective benefits, green tea's anti-inflammatory properties can help calm skin and ease redness, Dr. King says. Start off your morning routine with the Youth Boost Moisturizing Green Tea Face Wash, which taps a blend of aloe vera, green tea, and vitamin E to wash away dirt and excess oil without dehydrating your skin. Morning cup of matcha with a side of radiance? Yes, please.

Marula oil

Marula oil is rich in antioxidants (like vitamins E and C that help neutralize free radicals), moisturizing amino acids, and fatty acids (hello, hydration), Dr. King says, making it the ultra-soothing finishing touch to your new plant-based routine.

Lock in moisture while nourishing your skin at the same time with the Youth Boost Moisturizing Marula Face Oil that incorporates the hydrating powers of marula oil with bakuchiol and manuka honey, too. Just like that, boosting your skin with derm-approved, plant-based ingredients actually became as easy as adding oat milk to your coffee.

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