Using products that are not only effective but also gentle and natural is crucial for achieving healthy, glowing skin. Licorice root (aka Gan Cao, Kanpo, or also Gamcho) is one ingredient that has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous skincare benefits. However, licorice root has been used in traditional Asian medicine (in China, Japan, Korea, and India) for centuries for its healing properties, and it is now being incorporated into skincare products for its ability to improve overall skin health and appearance.
II. What is Licorice Root?
Licorice root is a plant native to Asia and Europe that has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. It has a distinct sweet flavor and is popular in confectionery and herbal teas.
Glycyrrhizin, glabridin, liquiritin, and isoliquiritin are all active compounds found in licorice root that are beneficial to the skin. Glycyrrhizin has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation and brighten the skin, while glabridin and liquiritin have anti-inflammatory properties. Isoliquiritin is an antioxidant that aids in the protection of the skin against environmental stressors. These compounds make licorice root an effective ingredient for improving skin health and appearance.
III. Benefits of Licorice Root for Your Skin
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of specific areas of the skin caused by sun damage, acne scars, or hormonal changes. Glabridin and liquiritin, found in licorice root, have been shown to inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for hyperpigmentation. As a result, licorice root is a great natural ingredient for brightening and evening out skin tone.
Anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root can help soothe irritated and inflamed skin. One of the active compounds in licorice root, glycyrrhizin, has been shown to reduce the redness and swelling associated with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
Licorice root also has antimicrobial properties that make it effective in fighting acne-causing bacteria. Plus, it also helps to regulate oil production, making it an ideal ingredient for oily or acne-prone skin.
Providing anti-aging properties
Antioxidants in licorice root help protect the skin from free radical damage, which can cause premature aging. It also stimulates collagen production, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
IV. How to Use Licorice Root in Your Skincare Routine
Licorice root extract
Look for licorice root extract in skincare products such as toners, serums, and moisturizers. To reap the benefits of licorice root, apply these products after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Licorice root powder
DIY face masks can be made with licorice root powder. To make a paste, combine a teaspoon of licorice root powder, honey, and yogurt. Apply the mixture to your face and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Licorice root tea
Drinking licorice root tea can also benefit your skin. Anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root tea can help soothe irritated skin from the inside out.
When using licorice root in your skincare routine, it’s important to remember that it may not be suitable for everyone. Patch test any new products before applying them to your face if you have sensitive skin. Licorice root can also make your skin more sun sensitive, so protect your skin from the sun and wear sunscreen during the day.
Incorporating licorice root into your skincare routine can help improve your skin’s overall health and appearance. Whether you use licorice root extract, powder, or tea, it is a natural and effective ingredient that can provide numerous skin benefits.
Licorice root has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years for its healing properties, and it is now being recognized for its benefits in skincare. Its active ingredients, which include glycyrrhizin, glabridin, liquiritin, and isoliquiritin, make it an effective ingredient for reducing hyperpigmentation, soothing inflammation, fighting acne, and providing anti-aging benefits.
Licorice root is simple to incorporate into your skincare routine because it can be found in a variety of products or used to make DIY face masks. Remember to patch test new products and wear sunscreen during the day, as licorice root can make skin more sun sensitive. Licorice root is a natural and effective ingredient that can help you achieve healthy, glowing skin because of its numerous benefits.
Always patch test before deciding to use any new product. Take a small amount and apply it to a small patch of skin, like the inside of your wrist, elbow, or jawline. Wait 24-48 hours to check for any signs of redness or irritation. If there’s no negative reaction after this period, then you can apply it on your skin. Always conduct a patch test before incorporating any new product into your routine.
This content does NOT provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult your own doctor for more information.