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Licorice in Cosmetics

Black licorice is certainly an acquired taste – you either love it, or you hate it! Consuming it as a candy may not be the epitome of healthy eating, but have you every wondered what benefits licorice could have on our skin?

Here at Cel, we’ve investigated the topical benefits of this sweet root, and how adding it to cosmetic products can result in anti-aging effects. Here’s the science behind the skin-smoothing…

Where Does Licorice Come From?

Extracted from the root of the Glycyrrhiza Glabra plant, licorice is grown all over the world and used in many ways. Along with use as candy and in tobacco products, various parts of the licorice root can be utilized for health and wellness treatments, too.

How Can Licorice Help Our Skin?

The natural licorice root contains many beneficial properties, including oils, flavonoids, plant sterols and antioxidants. Packed-full with this many healing substances, it’s no wonder licorice has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments including baldness, asthma, dandruff, tooth decay, yeast infections, and of course, skin conditions. It’s the most common ingredients used in Chinese medicine – for a reason!

Licorice has a proven natural anti-inflammatory effect thanks to it’s high levels of glycyrrhizin. When licorice extract is added to cosmetic products and topical creams, it can control skin irritation, redness, discoloration, and other types of inflammation. It can also help diminish pigmentation resulting from scars due to containing the components glabrene, and isoliquirtigenin.

Another compound found in licorice that has an incredible effect on our skin is Glycyrrhizic Acid. This ingredient has been cited as a potent anti-aging ingredient, brightening skin and treating long-term sun damage. This acid can also help with the protection against some UV irritation by producing a protective enzyme in response to sun exposure.

Licorice extract can be found on an ingredients list under the name dipotassium glycyrrhizate, which is an anti-inflammatory salt with skin-soothing properties. Clinical tests have proven that this ingredient can be an effective treatment for dermatitis.

The Verdict?

Licorice boasts some pretty impressive skin-healing compounds, and added in the right quantities, it can enhance your skincare routine in a natural but effective way. Some great licorice-laced products you can try include The Face Theory’s Regenacalm 2% Retinol Serum with Dill & Licorice Extract,Glossier’s Moiturizing Moon Mask, or It’s Skin’s Power 10 Formula with Licorice Extract!



Rachel Cleverley


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