It's sticky and strange, but experts say licorice can improve your skin.
Think licorice and images of black twisted candy strips may crowd your mind.
But get to the root of it and literally you will come up with something entirely different - with the twist of having added health benefits.
Licorice root comes from a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavor can be extracted. Most candy licorice doesn’t contain real licorice root extract, but you might find it in some health products.
That’s because licorice root is a perennial herb that has a broad range of healing properties, including anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and mildly antibacterial. It is considered a healing medicine.
Taken internally, licorice root can help relieve and improve heartburn, ulcerative disorders, adrenal fatigue, immunity, pain, premenstrual and menopausal symptoms, and cough and sore throat symptoms.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Licorice root also is effective in treating skin hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation results from the overproduction of melanin (or pigment) on certain areas of the skin, leaving uneven skin tone and discoloration. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by inflammation, sun damage, or scars.
Licorice root contains compounds found to be effective in fading blemishes and dark spots and lightening skin.
One of the most important active ingredients in licorice for skin hyperpigmentation is the isoflavane called glabridin. Glabridin inhibits pigmentation by blocking the activation of tyrosinase, the enzyme that activates melanin.
Dr. Michael S. Spicer, a Florida-based Dermatologist, has seen first hand the efficacy of licorice root for lightening the skin.
“I chose licorice root as a skin lightener and one of main ingredients in my Fade Serum because of its traditionally consistent results with fading brown spots on sun damaged skin,” Dr. Spicer says.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, licorice root also has been quite effective at treating skin disorders such as psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis, and eczema. That’s because licorice root contains hundreds of compounds that help regulate the immune response.
These compounds include coumarins, Stilbenoids, and flavonoids.
Flavonoids are what give a plant a deep pigment, such as in blueberries (blue). Flavonoids are usually rich antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties, among many other benefits. Coumarins and Stilbenoids are a type of polyphenol with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.
With all of these benefits, it is no wonder licorice root extract is growing in popularity and has become an active ingredient in innovative skincare.
Want to try it yourself? Experience the difference with Épicé’s Clarifying Fade Serum: Clinically shown to effectively fade dark spots on the skin.