Is your skin dull and depleted?
Or maybe you want to give your skin healthy ‘lit from within’ glow.
Everyone has to approach glow-ification in their own way – especially when you’re looking for that all-natural complexion and dramatically different skin tone.
We know that there is one brightening ingredient that comes with several skin-loving benefits and that is…can we get a drum roll, please! Licorice.
That’s right if you’re interested in a little over-the-counter lightening and brightening liquorice has got your back— and your front for that matter.
Understanding licorice extract in skincare
Licorice root, or liquorice root INCI: Glycyrrhiza glabra, is actually a member of the pea and bean family, otherwise known as the Leguminosae family.
Liquorice, evens skin tone, clarity, and radiance – just the way these words roll of the tongue indicates healthy skin.
With governments, taking action against bleaching agents, and marketing language around skin whiteners changing – the line between whitening and brightening is blurring.
Before we go any further, there is one caveat: There are no bleaching or whitening products here.
This article isn’t about that; it’s about harnessing the best nature has to offer – backing up our clean and conscious beauty beliefs.
Licorice does exactly that – its the all-natural, straight-from-the-earth glow thing of the moment:
The glass skin benefits
It is considered an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-irritant, and wound healing ingredient when applied topically.
- stearyl Glycyrrhetinate has incredible soothing anti-inflammatory properties; this is because it mimics cortisol in our body. In one study, when applied to the skin as a gel, it dramatically reduced redness and swelling symptoms.
- glycyrrhizic acid is anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, analgesic, and anti-viral features making it a powerful healing agent for the skin for ailments like eczema and psoriasis.
- glycyrrhizic acid and its derivatives show anti-inflammatory benefits similar to those achieved by hydrocortisone.
- the isoflavone glabridin has been found to work very effectively as an anti-inflammatory ingredient at 0.5% in a water solution.
Skin brightening properties
- glabridin is the property found in licorice which gives it the reputation as a skin whitening agent. It has an inhibitory effect on melanin synthesis; this is due to its ability to act as a tyrosinase inhibitor, helping to reduce the amount of melanin in the dermal cells
- it contains a compound known as liquiritin, an important chemical in the treatment of melasma, a common pigmentation problem in pregnant women.
- it is thought to be far more effective than kojic acid and 75 times more effective than ascorbic acid, as a de-pigmenting agent
We like to use this versatile ingredient in GLO antioxidant complex as a gentle skin brightener, as it’s kinder on your skin than many other synthetic ingredients, helping to achieve healthy, youthful skin.
- It contains glycyrrhiza glabra a powerful antioxidant, it is also to be as good as, or if not better for the skin than natural vitamin E
Regulates oil production
- studies have been conducted for this isoflavone and acne, thanks to the anti-bacterial potential, and reduction of oil production. It is showing great promise in helping reduce sebum production and decrease acne outbreaks
- a natural compound found in licorice known as licochalcone helps to regulate sebum production, so it’s great for combination skin
- licochalcone also helps to inhibit bacteria on the skin
- asparagine shows up at 2% to 4% in licorice root, which is also found in comfrey root), a very moisturising and soothing amino acid
- the polysaccharides also found in cucumber, and aloe vera offer moisturising and emollient properties by creating a light gel layer on the skin
- the coumarins found in licorice root offer anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, reducing redness and possible UV protection
- the phytosterols help with environmentally damaged skin, a reduction in inflammation, and may also help with repairing the skin’s barrier protection
There are so many benefits to be taken from this extract.
The pharmacological properties are found in the root are pounded and boiled, to obtain the active extract; once the water has partially evaporated, the syrup is left behind.
Licorice root is rich in flavonoids, amino acids, phytosterols – ß-sitosterol and stigmasterol, coumarins, chalcones, polysaccharides, and triterpenes, in skincare. The chief constituent is glycyrrhizin, which is present in concentrations that range from five to twenty-five per cent, depending on the variety used and gives licorice its wonderful features.
With all of these wonderful benefits, we think you’d agree. Licorice root extract certainly deserves a place in your lightening and brightening and super soothing skincare products.
For further reading, this study gives a fascinating insight into Licorice as a cosmeceutical ingredient.