Most of us when we think of licorice conjure images of that chewy, black candy from childhood days. Licorice root however, has benefits that go far beyond a sweet flavoring for candy. In addition to its many internal health benefits, it has some pretty exciting topical applications for skin. Did you know that licorice root can help to brighten and even skin tones, soothe irritation, reduce inflammation and that it has anti-oxidizing, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties? Let’s look at some of the compounds in licorice root that can help brighten, repair and soothe our skin.
The isoflavone, glabridin works as a botanical skin brightener by inhibiting the enzymes that cause skin to darken in response to sun exposure. Studies have shown that glabridin inhibits the production of both melanin and inflammation in skin cells.
Glycyrrhizic acid, one of the main ingredients in licorice root, is believed to contribute to the herb’s many reparative properties. Laboratory studies have shown that glycyrrhizic acid reduces inflammation, soothes irritation and has antiviral and analgesic properties. This compound acts as a natural hydrocortisone for the skin and can be used as a powerful healing agent for skin ailments like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
The amino acid, asparagine and the polysaccharides found in licorice root offer moisturizing and soothing properties through the formation of a light gel layer on our skin. Polysaccharides are known for their healing, soothing, and skin protecting qualities as they reduce irritation and can create a barrier between our skin and the outside world.
We love this natural ingredient that has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It’s a gentle alternative to harsh chemical skin whiteners. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties work well for redness causing skin problems, including rosacea and acne. Last but not least, the extract contains powerful antioxidants that protect skin from free-radical damage making it a fabulous ingredient for mature skin. Look for a high concentration of the extract in our Calendula Blossom & Rose Night Cream and a powdered form of the root in our Honey & Licorice Cleansing Mask.