Benefits of Licorice for Skin
Licorice, or Glycyrrhiza glabra extract has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pigmentation fading functions. In this ingredient spotlight series, we will go through the benefits of ingredients you can find in your skincare formulations – starting with the benefits of licorice for skin.
What is licorice?
Licorice is derived from the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra, a perennial herb native to parts of Western Asia and Southern Europe. Despite the candy form most are familiar with, licorice has been found in King Tut’s tomb, was used by the Japanese Geisha’s and is one of the essential herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. Used to treat everything from the common cold to liver disease, this herb is highly esteemed for its health benefits and healing properties.
Extract from this plant boasts a plethora of active ingredients and properties that can bring many benefits to your skin, especially when it comes to brightening and protecting.
Benefits of licorice for skin
Much of the sweetness from licorice comes from Glycyrrhizin, which is 30-50x sweeter than sugar. Apart from bringing its sweetness, Glycyrrhizin also has active anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for combating irritation and redness. There is scientific evidence to back this claim too, with a study showing that mice treated with Glycyrrhizin extract from licorice experienced reduced swelling and inflammation. Additionally, the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology also report that licorice is an effective treatment for inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis.
Furthermore, studies have also shown that Glycyrrhizin doesn’t scavenge free radicals, as many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents do. Instead it tamps down inflammation by inhibiting the generation of free radicals, preventing swelling and redness.
Protects your skin
One of the major environmental factors that ages our skin is UV radiation from the sun. It causes our skin to age in different ways. For example, one of these is through increasing the generation of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that in an attempt to stabilize themselves, can cause oxidative stress to occur, weakening living cells and tissues. To illustrate, this processs occurs when you leave an apple or avocado out on the table. After some time, the apple will turn brown – an example of the oxidation or deterioration of free radicals.
Licorice contains a compound called Liquiritin. Studies show that this is a compound that suppresses UVB-induced cell damage through prevention of inflammation and oxidative stress. A powerful antioxidant, Liquiritin has been shown in studies to inhibit the proteins that cause inflammation. Furthermore, it downregulates the release of oxidants that can cause oxidative stress.
In short, this makes licorice an effective protector against the effects of sun damage. Giving your skin an extra layer of protection from the premature aging UV rays from the sun can bring.
Prevents and treats dark spots
A natural lightening alternative to the chemical hydroquinone, licorice can help you treat and prevent pigmentation. This is mainly thanks to one compound licorice contains – glabridin.
A common cause of hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color. Melanocytes, a type of skin cell, produces this. To illustrate, tyrosinase is an enzyme that speeds up the production of melanin. For example, one effective way to combat this overproduction of melanin is through the use of Glabridin in licorice. Many studies conducted suggest that Glabridin can inhibit the production of tyrosinase, the enzyme that causes pigmentation in response to sun exposure.
To illustrate, one of the main advantages of licorice for skin pigmentation over other skin lighteners is that there is no photosensitivity or health risks which we commonly observe with chemicals like hydroquinone.
Looking to incorporate the benefits of licorice for your skin into your skincare routine? You may enjoy the benefits of the Mineral Booster, a makeup perfector for the day, and repairs the skin at night. Including potent botanical actives like amino acids for repair, potent plant root extracts such as Licorice for UV protection and treating pigmentation, natural moisturizing factors that enhance skin cellular function, and polyglutamic acid that has a retains moisture 5x more than hyaluronic acid, all suspended in a mineral rich purified deep sea water base.
The Mineral Booster is a dual function refreshing mist to increase absorption of skincare at night, for a perfect look with make-up & during touch-ups in the day. Contains skin-calming & repairing active ingredients including rice bran extract and licorice extract, suspended in a purified deep sea water mist.
Visavadiya, N. P., Soni, B., & Dalwadi, N. (2009). Evaluation of antioxidant and anti-atherogenic properties of Glycyrrhiza glabra root using in vitro models. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 60 Suppl 2, 135–149. https://doi.org/10.1080/09637480902877998