Liquorice, in skincare? You may think that is a strange idea, but you’d be surprised by the many benefits this plant can offer. And one of them is its efficacy and ability to lighten the skin and remove age spots.
Liquorice is a natural remedy known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action. It can help remove dark spots and lighten the skin tone by suppressing skin inflammation, redness, itching, and reducing melanin production, giving you spot-free skin.
So, if you wish to improve your get rid of age spots and improve your skin tone, scroll down to learn more about this remarkable skincare ingredient.
What Is Liquorice?
Liquorice is a common name for the Glycyrrhiza glabra, a flowering plant from the Fabaceae family native to West Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe. Ancient Greek, Romans, and Scythians (1) have used its root for various health benefits throughout history.
When applied orally, its root extract helps treat respiratory conditions, boost brain function, suppress inflammation, and even fight infections (2). Whereas in the topical application (3), liquorice root extract offers relief in numerous skin conditions like erythema, itching, and inhibiting melanin biosynthesis.
Interestingly enough, it has also found broad use as a sweetening agent. Its extract is rich in glycyrrhizin, which is 50-100 times sweeter than sucrose.
What Are Age Spots?
Age spots, also known as liver spots (even though they have nothing to do with the liver), are dark brown or even black spots of various sizes that form on the skin’s outer layer. They primarily develop on the parts of the skin chronically exposed to the sun.
Unfortunately, science still has a limited understanding of age spots causes. Nevertheless, studies suggest (4) that it has something to do with the hyperactivity of specific genes that control keratinocytes’ expression, which eventually causes hyperpigmented lesions.
And although they are not life-threatening, they don’t really help with one’s self-esteem either. Not only can age spots make the skin look dull, but discolouration and uneven pigmentation can also make you look older, and who wants that?
One of the best things about liquorice is that it has been proven effective in fighting age spots and can lighten them safely. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s find out.
How Do Liquorice Fight Age Spots?
One of the natural ways of managing age spots is a topical application of liquorice extract or creams containing it. Numerous studies show its efficacy and ability to remove them. Its ability to suppress inflammation (2), reduce itching, reduce melanin biosynthesis, and content of antioxidants make it a good remedy for the condition.
There has been much research into the understanding of how liquorice works. It appears some of the active compounds present in liquorice help to diminish age spots in multiple ways (2):
- Glycyrrhizinic acid – seems to reduce erythema, reduce itching, and even have some skin lightening effect.
- Glycyrrhetinic acid– appears to be quite potent and have a similar impact to hydrocortisone (3). Thus, it can suppress skin inflammation, redness, itching, reduce the activity of keratocytes, and ultimately reduce age spots.
- Glabridin – appears to have a skin lightening effect due to its ability to suppress melanin biosynthesis.
- Polyphenols – are potent antioxidants present in liquorice (5) extract that may help prevent skin ageing, improve its elasticity, boost regenerative processes, and help have better-looking skin.
Who Should Use Liquorice Extract?
Due to its broad spectrum of activity, liquorice extract is beneficial in treating various skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, rosacea and improving photoprotection (6). That being said, it is particularly effective for lightening age spots and overall skin discolouration.
While Glabridin can help inhibit tyrosinase activity, thus suppress melanin production, antioxidants present in liquorice extract may help improve skin’s elasticity, boost regenerative processes, giving you better-looking skin.
How To Use Liquorice Extract?
Liquorice is a versatile ingredient with many applications, including creams, serums, face wash, toners, and sheet masks. Let’s look at its applications.
Gel masks made with liquorice extract are a great way to calm itchy, irritated or inflamed skin.
One of the most effective ways to treat age spots is through topical application of liquorice extract. Although some people do find it effective on its own, you can boost its efficacy when used in combination with vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant can help protect the skin from oxidative stress, repair skin’s discolouration and lighten up the skin.
If you want to brighten up your skin, serum and face masks containing liquorice extract would be a great option.
How Often Should You Use Liquorice Extract?
Lots might depend on the severity of the given skin condition. However, most people would benefit by applying its solution topically to the age spots twice daily. It is vital to understand that it requires some time before you will see improvement. Most clinical studies could confirm its benefits on continuous use for about 4 weeks.
Although there is limited understanding of how long you can continue using the extract, it seems fit for prolonged topical use. Once the age spots have gone, you may use the extract intermittently or once a day.
Possible Side Effects
Liquorice extract is relatively safe for topical application. However, when combined with other ingredients, there is always a risk of some allergic reactions. Therefore, if you are using liquorice products for the first time, it is good to do a patch test to eliminate the chance of allergic reactions.
Age spots are dark spots of various sizes that form on the outer layer of the skin chronically exposed to the sun. Topical application of liquorice extract is a natural remedy that can not only get rid of age spots and lighten up the skin. It can also improve its elasticity and restore it, leading to better-looking skin.
Is liquorice good for the skin?
Liquorice helps regenerate elastin and collagen in the skin, improving its elasticity and making it smooth to the touch. Amino acids present in liquorice help moisturise and rehydrate the skin.
Where can I purchase a liquorice extract?
If you want to give your skincare regimen an all-natural boost, why don’t you try liquorice products from Root Science? Their hydrating toner, mask, and exfoliant smell terrific. It has a beautiful, silky texture that will leave your skin smooth and rejuvenated. Another one to try is Nature’s answer all-natural liquorice extract that is very well priced and readily available.
- A history of the therapeutic use of liquorice in Europe
- Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): A phytochemical and pharmacological review
- Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)
- Molecular and histological characterisation of age spots
- Development and Evaluation of a Novel Delivery System Containing Phytophospholipid Complex for Skin Aging
- New Herbal Biomedicines for the Topical Treatment of Dermatological Disorders
DISCLAIMER: Always seek the medical advice of your doctor or qualified health care professional with any questions and/or concerns you might have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on my website.