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We're Sweet on Licorice Extract

We're Sweet on Licorice Extract

Posted by Dr. Hannah Sivak with Brendan Leonard on Jul 13th 2021

Want to put some candy in your skincare? 

Well, maybe candy is a bit far. But what about licorice, that sort of counts, right?

Some people love the taste of licorice, some people hate it. It’s an old-timey flavor that turns out to have potent skin-wellness properties that go back a lot farther than sweet flavored confections. And no matter how people feel about the flavor of licorice candy, we think that you are going to love the skin care benefits. (Even better, you don’t want to eat licorice skin care, so the point is moot.)

The Tasty History of Licorice

As it turns out, the use of licorice for personal health and wellbeing goes back a long way indeed. Licorice has uses as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine that date back as far as the mythological Chinese figure Shennong/Yan Emperor. This legendary ruler is said to have crafted farming tools for prehistoric Chinese people and introduced them to medicine. These medicinal concepts were passed down through oral tradition before finally being recorded in the Shennong Bencaojing or “The Classic of Herbal Medicine” sometime between 200 and 250 Common Era.

In the history of the western medical tradition, licorice debuts in Greek documents as early as the fourth century Before Common Era and then tours the nations of the Mediterranean (making some detours through what we now call Germany) before ending up in England in the 17th Century.

That’s quite a trip!

In this time licorice becomes known for its stomach soothing properties and its ability to address inflammation.

Now, there have been a lot of medical advances since then, and we would never suggest using candy to treat real-deal medical problems. So listen to what your doctor has to say always, and take them seriously. But the history of licorice shows us that as an active ingredient, it certainly comes with receipts. 

Licorice Extract in Skincare

So for skincare use, licorice is going to have to take a slightly different direction.

Like so many actives that we discuss here on the Skin Actives blog, we’re primarily concerned with topical application, not really with the consuming of this notoriously sweet root.

So, what conclusions can we draw about what licorice extract does?

Well, as it turns out, licorice root has a reputation for addressing a wide range of issues. But the first thing we should say is that even with the amazing bounty of medical knowledge and technology at our disposal today, not every active or medical concept has been tested to the degree or rigor that we can say for certain how it interacts with your body’s health.

Without any further ado, let’s jump into the brass tacks about what the industry uses, and what Skin Actives Scientific uses, licorice root extract for. 

5 Ways Licorice Extract Works in Skin Care

Even Out Skin Tone - The number one use we see from licorice root extract in the skincare industry overall is as a method to even out skin tone. Licorice root extract has remarkable abilities to address hyperpigmented spots, without the side-effects that come with drugs and harsh treatments. Licorice root isn’t a miracle, but you may find out that it will even out your skin without the worry that comes from a drug.

Promote Collagen Synthesis - We were just talking about collagen synthesis in our last blog! If you’d like to catch some of the deeper details, check it out here. Otherwise, here’s the notes: collagen is the most prolific protein that composes your body, and you need your cells to synthesize it. More collagen means thicker, stronger, more malleable skin. When it comes to skin health, every little bit counts, so if you want to take your collagen routine to the next level, work in a licorice extract product to combine with your EGF layer.

Antioxidant Action, Irritation Reduction - This goes back to our historical uses of licorice root. Now, the ancients used this to soothe their upset tummies, but licorice root may have similar outcomes for red, irritated skin. Additionally, licorice root may in fact be a potent antioxidant, and we know that preventing physical aging comes from preventing oxidation and reducing oxidative damage.

UV Blocking - Did someone say “prevent physical aging”? Did someone say “prevent oxidation”? Well, we all know how important those ideas are, and we all know how wearing sunscreen daily helps us with both! While simple application of licorice root extract is not enough to handle harmful UV all on its own, licorice root is actually found as an ingredient on our Advanced SPF 30 Sunscreen. Sun protection is good, more sun protection is better!

Antibacterial Activity - Licorice root has been shown to address the bacteria that lead to breakouts and blemishes. When you combine this propensity for anti-bacteria with its irritation reduction, you’ll see why licorice root shows up in so many products that address blemishes!

What Licorice Root Can Do For You

Skin Actives uses licorice root in a wide range of our products. No matter what you are looking to get out of your skin care routine, you can pump up the potency with one of these great products from Skin Actives Scientific.

Sunscreen SPF 30 Advanced Protection - Remember when we said licorice root was in our sunscreen? We meant it! Limiting the amount of sun you get is the best thing you can do for your skin, but when you absolutely have to be out there, the best thing you can do is to cover up with sunscreen daily. Skin Actives’ Sunscreen SPF 30 Advanced Protection is the economic solution for covering the parts of your arms and legs exposed to the sun.

High Potency EGF Cream - The High Potency line may feel like the new kid on the block to long time members of our Skin Actives Family, but it’s made an absolutely HUGE impact since it debuted last year. This great moisturizer comes loaded with licorice root extract. Licorice root and 10x epidermal growth factor promote collagen synthesis at this critical application step in your routine, don’t miss out on it!

Clarifying Cream - Licorice root shows up in our Clarifying Cream to help you fight blemishes and the uncomfortable irritation that often accompanies them. While some of the top brands in blemish control actually expose your skin to long-term harm with intensely oxidizing chemicals, Clarifying Cream fights bacteria AND oxidation at the same time. How’s that for value!

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom Skin Actives Family! We’ll be back later this week with more insights for you, stay posted.

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