Licorice root has a good reputation as being helpful for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. In one study, licorice gel, applied to the skin, relieved symptoms of itching, swelling, and redness.
Licorice root is one of the oldest remedies in history, called “the king of natural medicines.” Geisha long ago recognized its benefits in brightening the skin and its ability to even out skin tone, making it an especially treasured ingredient in their beauty rituals.
Licorice cream is often used to reduce inflammation and irritation as well as to treat certain skin problems like shingles, eczema, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and drug-induced skin eruptions. Skin lightening creams also use licorice extract to inhibit the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme essential in the production of melanin.
Licorice is also included in many skin lightening creams. This is because licorice contains a flavonoid known as glabridin. Glabridin inhibits the production of tyrosinase, which plays a vital role in the manufacturing of melanin. Studies have also indicated that glabridin might also possess inflammatory properties. Glabridin has been proven to be quite effective in stopping the process that leads to the formation of dark skin spots. Despite its potency it is not harmful to regular skin cells.
Other studies have found licorice to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, helping to control swelling and redness. The licorice also reduced paw edema (water swelling). These properties go to work in those with skin rashes and irritations, and also make licorice root extract good for sensitive skin, as it quells any irritation or reactions.
How to Use Licorice for Hyperpigmentation
Licorice brightens the skin, making it look fairer.
Looking for an alternative to the harsh chemical hydroquinone? Licorice can help reduce the appearance of age spots and dark areas of hyperpigmentation on skin. It contains an active compound called “glabridin,” which inhibits the enzyme that causes skin to darken in response to sun exposure. A natural skin whitening agent, glabridin helps decrease the production of melanin and rebalance skin cells. Licorice extract may also help diminish dark under-eye circles, and darkened areas caused by scars. Glabridin is a phytoestrogen, which is a plant-derived compound with biological activities comparable to the human hormone oestrogen. It is well known that oestrogen stimulates the body to make collagen and hyaluronic acid – two essential components of the skin which form an important part of the connective tissue and keep our skin looking young.
So a cosmetic product containing glabridin is thought to encourage the skin to create its own strengthening connective tissues.
But glabridin does more than just providing anti-ageing properties! It is also inhibits the activity of an enzyme called tyrosinase which is known to be a key enzyme in determining the colour of our skin and hair. Some people suffer from discolouration of the skin – examples include age spots or hyperpigmentation.
Though the anti-inflammatory and whitening properties are the most attractive qualities in licorice for skin care, the extract also has powerful antioxidants that help protect the skin from free-radical induced damage, as well as “licochalcone,” which helps control oil production, making this a good ingredient for those with acne-prone skin.
Lanelle recommends: Lanelle Licorice Cream; Lanelle Licorice Soap; Lanelle Licorice Lotion