Introduction to Licorice Root Extract: Benefits for the Skin

Introduction to Licorice Root Extract: Benefits for the Skin

Licorice root has been used as a traditional medicine and healing agent since ancient times, owing to its medicinal properties and benefits. It is a naturally occurring remedy that has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, due to the licorice root’s sweet taste, sweet drinks were prepared and served to the Ancient Egyptians, which provided various health and skincare benefits to them.

Licorice root is extracted from the roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and it contains various beneficial compounds that give a healthy appearance to the skin. This popular ingredient has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years among skincare enthusiasts, dermatologists, and skincare specialists. Licorice root extract is a powerful means of addressing dark spots, reducing redness, and even brightening skin tone without causing any negative side effects that come with using other chemical-based solutions. Because of these benefits, this substance is very notable in the cosmetic industry.

Through this blog, let's learn more about this natural plant's benefits to our skin.

traditional uses of licorice root

The Origin and Science Behind Licorice Root Extract

Science Behind Licorice Root Extract

Comprising nearly 300 compounds with glycyrrhizin being the primary active ingredient is known for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice root is produced in Asia, Southern Europe, and the Middle East as it's a perennial plant often used to flavor candy and beverages.

Apart from glycyrrhizin which can give soothing relief to eczema, Licorice root contains compounds like liquiritin, and glabridin, well-known additions in the beauty industry. The compounds in the licorice roots are also known to treat inflammation, skin conditions, throat infections, liver and respiratory diseases, etc.

Licorice extract cream with a 10% concentration is enough to make your skin look clear, radiant, and youthful. The compounds in Licorice extract inhibit tyrosinase which is responsible for the production of pigmentation causing pigment, melanin.

Benefits of Licorice Root Extract To The Skin

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Licorice Root Extract: Licorice root extract is a renowned ingredient in the skincare industry and its anti-inflammatory effect is one of the properties that licorice root is known for. Glycyrrhizin, a key component present in licorice extract relieves this inflammation and other eczema-like symptoms on the skin. The consequent and topical use of licorice soothes sensitive skin by lessening the intensity of symptoms. It is therefore best suited for people with sensitive skin or chronic skin disorders like rosacea and eczema.
  • Licorice for Hyperpigmentation and skin brightening: Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition characterized by uneven skin tone, dark spots, and other discolorations, caused by the excess production of melanin. By slowing down the production of melanin, licorice’s phytochemical properties work well on hyperpigmentation, reducing age and sun spots. After regular use, licorice takes a few weeks or months to exhibit its skin-lightening benefits. Glbridin compound in licorice works well against pigmentation caused by UVB rays and sun exposure.
    Skin brightening ingredients, liquiritin and isoliquertin, are also present in licorice which plays an important role in keeping your skin youthful. These compounds along with glycyrrhizinate and glabridin clear the skin of excess melanin and inhibit the production of new melanin pigments on skin.
    Many skin-lightening products on the market contain harsh ingredients that may cause long-term harm. Furthermore, licorice root has several benefits over traditional skin-lightening treatments, including no photosensitivity, or downtime, side effects that are often connected to synthetics like hydroquinone.
    Note: Do not use retinoids while using licorice as the combination will promote redness and irritation.
  • Antioxidant Properties of Licorice Root Extract: Licorice root extract is a strong antioxidant that protects the skin from UV, UVB radiation, and pollutants, which leads to premature ageing. Large concentrations of flavonoids and glabridin are also present in the extract. These potent oxidants neutralize free radicals that are created by a number of things, including UV rays, pollution, and cigarette smoke. Licorice root prevents skin damage and keeps skin looking young. Licorice is also a pain reliever and an antiseptic in certain cases.
  • Licorice in Anti-Aging Products: Aging skin benefits significantly from the inclusion of licorice root extract. Licorice regenerates collagen production, increasing the elastin supply to the skin, thus reducing wrinkles and fine lines, the two major ageing symptoms. Licorice can be combined with skin-brightening ingredients like Niacinamide and vitamin C to achieve greater benefits. Look for licorice content in anti-aging products to effectively combat oxidative stress and maintain glowing skin.

Incorporating Licorice Root Extract into Your Skincare Routine

Now that we’ve explored the numerous benefits of licorice root extract, you might be wondering how to incorporate it into your skincare routine. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Cleansers: Look for facial cleansers that contain licorice root extract to start your skincare routine with a gentle, soothing cleanse.
  2. Toners: A toner with licorice root extract can help to balance your skin’s pH and provide additional brightening benefits.
  3. Serums: Serums are a great way to deliver a concentrated dose of licorice root extract to the skin. Apply a few drops after cleansing and toning.
  4. Moisturizers: Opt for moisturizers that include licorice root extract to keep your skin hydrated and protected throughout the day.
  5. Spot Treatments: For targeted treatment of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, use a spot treatment that contains licorice root extract.

For precise results, ensure that the products are used consistently, as directed by the skincare expert.

Licorice Extract: Your Ultimate Skincare Ally

Licorice Root Extract Benefits for the Skin

Licorice extract is gaining wide popularity each day for its natural benefits on the skin. From its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to its ability to reduce inflammation and brighten the complexion, it’s a versatile addition to any skincare regimen. You must consult with a medical professional in case any irritation on the skin is caused by licorice extract.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Care (NCCIC) strictly prohibits pregnant, nursing women, and people with heart disease from using licorice as it causes glycyrrhizin accumulation in the body. This leads to a spike in blood pressure, low levels of potassium, kidney failure, heart failure, pulmonary edema, etc.  However, applying licorice root extract that contains 2% of the compound is safe. So, whether you're dealing with hyperpigmentation, aging skin, or simply want to enhance your glow, licorice root extract might just be the magic ingredient you've been searching for.