Liquorice or licorice is a leafy green plant with small purple to pale blue flowers and long taproots. It is an amazing plant, extract of which, has incredible anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, brightening, and skin tone evening benefits.
Licorice root and leaves have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and skin care. Licorice extracts have skin-lightening effects and also aid in providing protection against ultra-violet radiation-induced erythema, reducing inflammation and helping to improve persistent facial redness and rosacea.
Anti-inflammatory properties are related to glycyrrhizin and Glycyrrehetic Acid (GA). “ It has been shown to inhibit the activity of proinflammatory prostaglandins and leuktrienes, and appears to have a cortisone-like effect making it useful as an anti-inflammatory. In one study the effects of topical corticosteroids were significantly enhanced by the addition of 2% GA”*
is derived from the leaves of the licorice plant. It is a powerhouse of anti-aging, healing and brightening benefits. It contains a compound called Glabridin, an active ingredient that contains five flavonoids that have strong anti-aging properties. It stimulates the skin to produce collagen and hyaluronic acid – two essential components that keeps our skin looking young, reduces depth of wrinkles and increases tone and hydration of the skin. Another important benefit of Glabridin is lightening the color of skin, thus reducing hyperpigmentation. It is often used to fade the darkening of acne scars. Licorice also contains a compound called Liquiritin that is successfully used to treat melisma, a condition in which brown patches appear on the face. So, Licorice is not just a lightening agent, but is also effective in preventing hyperpigmentation and brightening of the skin.
Licorice extract is also a good natural substitute for hydroquinone, which causes adverse reactions in some users.
* Herbal Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Skin Disease. J. Graf, MD Department of Dermatology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA