How licorice root goes beyond the candy aisle to serve gentle brightening benefits to skinPosted on November 5, 2019 Written by: 100% PURE ®
Most will know licorice as the pungent candy that they loved (or hated) as kids. Around the world, it’s also used a sweetener and medicinal treatment. In its original form, it’s a fuzzy and leafy plant with a large root system; in its dried and trimmed form, it looks like little more than a simple stick.
Around here, we savor licorice for its skin brightening and soothing benefits for dull, lackluster skin. You might’ve seen licorice root extract on a few of our ingredient lists – while you might enjoy the pungent herbal taste of this confectionary delight, licorice root benefits go far beyond taste!
Licorice boasts a number of active ingredients and properties that give your skin some serious love, especially when it comes to protecting and brightening. Here are just a few of the reasons why licorice root benefits your skin:
#1: Helps hyperpigmentation
Improving hyperpigmentation is one of this plant’s most well known attributes. Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin produces more melanin in certain patches or spots than in others, giving skin an uneven tone and darkened appearance.
This often happens because of free radical exposure: free radicals can damage melanin-forming skin cells and prompt them to produce excess pigment. Licorice root combats this process by hindering melanin and free radical production. That’s part of why gentle, effective dark spot removers contain licorice root extract to help even out skin spots.
#2: Carries glycyrrhizin, a powerful antioxidant
Licorice does well in treating atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and psoriasis – and you can thank glycyrrhizin (glys-err-eye-zin) for that! It’s the acid responsible for making licorice taste sweet. The official name for the licorice plant is Glycyrrhiza glabra root, which is what you’ll find as the key ingredient in our Brightening Serum.
Glycyrrhizin is anti-inflammatory, which means less redness and irritation for inflamed, irritated skin. As an antioxidant, it protects our skin against free radicals. Some of the most obvious signs of free radical damage show up on our epidermis, and sun damage is one of the most prevalent stressors in daily life. This is why it’s so important to protect yourself from UV rays with a clean, cruelty-free sunscreen!
#3: Contains glabridin, a UV-fighting super ingredient
Glabridin (glab-rye-din) is one of the most active ingredients in licorice root extract. This substance helps diminish any dark spots you have from scarring or sun damage. It also prevents pigmentation from UVB rays by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that causes dark pigments after sun exposure.
#4: Protects skin with Licochalcone A
This defensive licorice root benefit comes to us from another active ingredient, Licochalcone A (lick-uh-chal-cone). It helps your skin produce higher levels of antioxidants, fortifying your skin’s defenses and preventing UV damage in the process. Not to mention, it can protect skin from damage even after unprotected exposure to UV rays.
In addition to brightening hyperpigmented skin, you can also utilize licorice benefits to boost dull skin, too! Try our Dark Spot Remover, Brightening Serum, or Does It All Sheet Mask for a more radiant, even skin tone. You can incorporate one or all of these products easily into your regular skin routine.
If you’re looking for a triple dose of licorice in a regimen centered around brightening and evening skin tone, try our Fermented Rice Water products. In each product, sake (fermented rice) brightens and moisturizes while complementing the long list of licorice root benefits. You can use our Fermented Rice Cleanser, Toner, and Serum – or simply take your pick of what you’d like to try!
PRO TIP:To effectively tame extra pigment, be consistent in your use of brightening products. Prolonged use of gentle skin lighteners like licorice will result in a noticeably brighter, more vibrant complexion.
If you’re concerned about sun damage, use serums with Vitamin C and licorice root to not only even out your skin but prevent further UV damage. Both ingredients subdue discoloration and contain antioxidant power, which we know keeps sun damage at bay. To fully protect your skin, remember to apply sunscreen afterwards!
Topical gels with licorice root extract can do a great job at soothing irritated skin. Licorice is super beneficial for those struggling with atopic dermatitis, or general skin conditions involving redness and irritation (like acne and eczema). You can even try a DIY mask with aloe vera gel and licorice root powder.
Anti-aging benefits are another place where licorice root can boast its protective properties. The extract fights against oxidative stress, which is known to accelerate visible signs of aging. It encourages your skin to protect itself against harmful elements and, in turn, will reward you with fresher, more supple skin for longer.
Whether you’re struggling with sun-induced freckles and spots, acne scars, or simply want skin to look a little brighter, we’re convinced that licorice is a winner. If you’re looking for a natural alternative to chemical brighteners or a gentle ingredient for inflamed skin, you can’t beat the impressive benefits of licorice!