licorice root

What Are the Benefits of Licorice Root?

What Are the Benefits of Licorice Root?

Licorice root is well-known as one of the world’s oldest herbal remedies and comes from the root of the licorice plant. It has long been used in medicines to treat various conditions like constipation, heartburn, stomach ulcers, menstrual cramps, even eczema and bronchitis. Licorice root has also been used for ailments, flavor candies, drinks etc. Nowadays, licorice root extract proves itself as an emulsifier and allows skincare products to deliver more benefits to our skin, which we are going to discuss in this article.

licorice root
Licorice root can be used in natural skincare products with many benefits for the skin.
Photo by Massimo Adami on Unsplash

How Does Licorice Work?

According to recent research, licorice root extract is an emulsifier, which allows both water and oil-based ingredients to mix effectively. Due to this property, licorice root extract improves the consistency of products, unlike other natural emulsifiers in the skincare market that are even harder to come across. Also, licorice root is equally beneficial for any skin type. Having concerns that licorice could cure; no matter if you have dry, oily, combination or another skin type, you can apply it unless you are allergic to licorice. However, licorice root can have some non-negligible side effects, which we should also be aware of. 

Main Benefits of Licorice Root For the Skin

Let’s discuss some of the benefits of licorice root for the skin.

Brightens The Skin

Licorice root extract contains liquiritin, an active compound that helps to remove excess melanin and thus reduces melasma, which can happen due to sun exposure or hormonal changes during pregnancy. Licorice also promotes reverse hyperpigmentation; as a result, it not only prevents new spots from forming, but also helps to fade existing ones away.

Calms Inflammation

Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, and due to its anti-inflammatory properties, licorice root has a soothing effect on the skin and helps to reduce inflammation, skin redness, itching etc., while applied topically. 

Protects Skin From Sun 

Thanks to glabridin, which is one of the components of licorice, it protects skin against discoloration and UV rays, which is the first cause of external skin damage. Glabridin contains UV blocking enzymes that prevent new pigmentation spots from occurring. 

Has Anti-Aging Properties

Like many plant-based extracts, licorice root acts as an antioxidant, regenerates skin’s collagen and elastin supply, tightens and firms skin, thus improving its elasticity keeping the skin smooth, soft, and bouncy like a baby. 

Promotes Healing Process

Sometimes we experience scars from acne or other accidental injuries that occurred due to the fault of no one. Licorice root extract can accelerate the healing process by inhibiting melanin production in moderation, an amino acid responsible for pigmentation in the skin. Melanin in adequate quantities is crucial; the excess of it creates potential problems.

Side Effects Of Licorice Root

Although licorice root is recognized as a rare allergen, it still can lead to undesirable effects on the skin if mixed with other ingredients your skin is sensitive to. For example, it is strongly recommended to avoid using a licorice based formulation with hydroquinone and retinol. Also, like any other new skincare product, you can test it on a small spot before applying it to the whole face. This way you can try it and avoid any undesirable reaction. Also, it’s important to pay attention to the dosage as well.


We have discovered that licorice root is not just for flavoring but also has other numerous benefits for our skin, and it is safe to use licorice-containing skincare products. It can treat a variety of skin conditions and even undo the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays. It is an effective herbal remedy in powder form or as part of a topical gel or lotion.

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