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Liquorice Extract

October 16, 2020

What is liquorice extract?

Liquorice (glycyrrhiza glabra) is a flowering plant from which a sweet, aromatic flavouring can be extracted. The liquorice plant is considered one of the world’s oldest herbaceous treatments. Native to Western Asia and Southern Europe, liquorice has been used to treat many different illnesses and is also used in medicines, food and drink. As well as being an anti-inflammatory flavonoid, liquorice extract contains licochalcone A, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Benefits of liquorice extract

1. Brightens and evens skin tone

Liquorice extract has proven skin-brightening properties. Studies have shown it to be effective in fighting dark spots and reducing hyperpigmentation, including melasma and acne scarring. By working to absorb excess melanin and inhibiting the production of the enzyme responsible for melanin production, it functions in a similar way to hydroquinone but is associated with less sensitivity and other undesirable side effects. It also contains an antioxidant component that reduces reactive oxygen species that discolour the skin.

2. Targets acne and eczema

Liquorice extract may help to regulate the production of excess oil. In Ayurveda, liquorice root is often used to treat dandruff. In particular, test studies link glycyrrhizin to anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which makes it a great ingredient to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne and eczema.

Is liquorice extract suitable for my skin type?

Liquorice extract can be used on most skin types. As it soothes sensitive and reddened skin whilst also reducing excess oil, it is suitable for oily, combination or sensitive skin that’s prone to irritation. 

Can liquorice extract be used alongside other products?

Liquorice extract can be safely combined with other key actives. It works particularly well in combination with other skin brighteners and antioxidants, including vitamin C and niacinamide.

How often should I apply liquorice extract?

You will see the best results if you regularly apply a product containing liquorice extract. Liquorice extract is gentle enough to use twice a day.