Licorice Root Extract

Licorice Root Extract


Say hello to bright, glowing skin courtesy of licorice root extract. While licorice may not be everyone’s favourite candy (we’re looking at you, black licorice), the plant it hails from does have some pretty powerful skincare benefits when distilled into an extract. Keep reading to learn why you should be adding licorice root extract into your skincare routine ASAP.


What is Licorice Root Extract?

Unsurprisingly, licorice root extract is derived from the licorice plant, a species native to Western Asia, Southern Europe, and North Africa. The root of the plant has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes, and it’s this part of the plant that black licorice comes from, as well as licorice root extract. The latter is what we’re concerning ourselves with today. Licorice root extract is made by distilling the root of the plant into a liquid. In this form, it contains all kinds of beneficial properties, ranging from anti-inflammatory to antioxidants, both of which deliver a whole host of improvements to the skin.


What are the Benefits of Licorice Root Extract?

  • Fights Hyperpigmentation: Licorice root extract’s claim to fame has long been its ability to fight hyperpigmentation and discolouration. How? It all comes down to its ability to stop the body’s production of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for those pesky dark spots. In fact, it works similar to hydroquinone, which up until now was thought to be the gold standard of pigmentation-fighting skincare ingredients.
  • Removes Excess Melanin: In conjunction with fighting hyperpigmentation, licorice root extract also removes excess melanin in the skin thanks to the presence of liquiritin. Liquiritin is an active compound known to remove existing melanin in the skin. Thus, licorice root extract not only prevents discolouration but helps fade existing dark spots.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Licorice root extract is a natural anti-inflammatory, which means it can help reduce redness and irritation and may even prevent acne. 
  • Regulates Oil: Finally, licorice root extract contains a compound known as licochalcone A. It’s this compound that provides it with its anti-inflammatory properties and may also be responsible for its ability to regular oil production in the skin. So if you have an oily complexion and are prone to breakouts, it may be time to consider adding a little licorice root extract to your daily regimen. 

  • How to Use Licorice Root Extract

    Licorice root extract rarely causes an allergic reaction, which makes it safe to use, even for people with sensitive skin. If you’ve decided to take the plunge, we recommend looking for the ingredient in serums or essences, where it will be more potent. Serums, gels, spot treatments, and moisturizers are the most common skincare products containing licorice root extract. With any new ingredient, start slowly and ramp up use once your skin is accustomed to it.



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