If I mention licorice to you, you probably picture that black sweet goodness that comes in a bag and leaves your tongue blue. However, did you know that licorice is a wonderful skincare herb?
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), a leafy green plant which yields small blue flowers, also grows long tap roots which can extend down well over a metre. It is these roots which yield the characteristic flavour we know as licorice.
But did you know that Licorice has been also been used for thousands of years to treat skin ailments?
This fascinating herb is a firm favourite of the skin care industry because it contains various cosmeceutical compounds, including glycyrrhizin, glabridin, and liquiritin, that do some remarkable things.
Glycyrrhizin helps to reduce inflammation because it mimics cortisol in our bodies. Cortisol is a steroid hormone which is released in our body in response to stress. So, when you think of all those skin conditions that require the use of a topical steroid cream; eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis to name a few, a natural alternative such as licorice is an exciting prospect.
Licorice also contains a compound called glabridin which is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds with biological activities comparable to the human hormone oestrogen. It is well known that oestrogen stimulates the body to make collagen and hyaluronic acid – two essential components of the skin which form an important part of the connective tissue and keep our skin looking young.
This is also proven! Studies have found that topical application of phytoestrogens was found to reduce the depth of wrinkles and increase general tone and hydration of the skin.
But glabridin does more than just providing anti-ageing properties! It also helps to reduce hyper-pigmentation and prevents UV-B induced pigmentation.
What’s not to love about Glabridin!
By now you’re probably thinking – what more can this miracle herb do for my skin?! Well, bear with me because I’m not finished.
Licorice also contains a compound called liquiritin. This chemical is particularly useful for treating melasma. Unlike glabridin, it doesn’t prevent it so much as it fades the existing patches. Put them together and you have a very effective lighting ingredient that is more effective than previous chemical ingredients.
So, to sum it up, not only is licorice anti-inflammatory but it also contains compounds that enhance skin penetration, provide skin lightening properties, and treat melasma. And I’ve only covered three of the main constituents of licorice, there are many more!
Here are some of our favourite Licorice rich products and why we think they are worth a try!
The RS2 line; Cleanser, Lotion, Concentrate, and Cream are rich in licorice extract and work in harmony to reduce inflammation, even the chronic inflammation associate with Rosacea, to balance the oil and moisture levels in the skin and to even the skin colour. We love the great results for sensitive skin but also love the natural signature scent of French Rose Extract in this heavenly line!
A water-based lotion that is applied at night to brighten, whiten, and lighten the skin. It’s ideal for mature skin with sun-spots, skin suffering from Chloasma or Melasma, or for fading the hyper-pigmenation that occurs after skin trauma. It uses a Pevonia exclusive retinol delivery technology which means it gets down deep into the skin where it’s needed to fade those pesky patches.
It’s so light you can barely feel it on your skin but it offers an abundance of benefits including the highest level of UVA and UVB sun protection. Licorice Extract of course to help reduce inflammation, stimulate collagen formation, and fade dark patches. It also contains peptides and Lotus Flower Extract to help elevate hydration give the skin a great glow!