Liquorice Root Benefits for Skin

Most will know liquorice as the pungent sweet that they loved (or hated) as kids. Around the world, it’s also used a sweetener and medicinal treatment. In its original form, it’s a fuzzy and leafy plant with a large root system; in its dried and trimmed form, it looks like little more than a simple stick.  

Around here, we savour liquorice for its skin brightening and soothing benefits for dull, lacklustre skin. You might’ve seen liquorice root extract on a few of our ingredient lists – while you might enjoy the pungent herbal taste of this confectionary delight, liquorice root benefits go far beyond taste! 

4 Key Liquorice Root Benefits for Skin

Liquorice boasts a number of active ingredients and properties that give your skin some serious love, especially when it comes to protecting and brightening. Here are just a few of the reasons why liquorice root benefits your skin: 

#1: Helps hyperpigmentation

Improving hyperpigmentation is one of this plant’s most well-known attributes. Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin produces more melanin in certain patches or spots than in others, giving skin an uneven tone and darkened appearance.  

This often happens because of free radical exposure: free radicals can damage melanin-forming skin cells and prompt them to produce excess pigment. Liquorice root combats this process by hindering melanin and free radical production. That’s part of why gentle, effective dark spot removers contain liquorice root extract to help even out skin spots.


2: Carries glycyrrhizin, a powerful antioxidant

Liquorice does well in treating atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and psoriasis – and you can thank glycyrrhizin (glys-err-eye-zin) for that! It’s the acid responsible for making liquorice taste sweet. The official name for the liquorice plant is Glycyrrhiza glabra root.

Glycyrrhizin is anti-inflammatory, which means less redness and irritation for inflamed, irritated skin. As an antioxidant, it protects our skin against free radicals. Some of the most obvious signs of free radical damage show up on our epidermis, and sun damage is one of the most prevalent stressors in daily life. This is why it’s so important to protect yourself from UV rays with a clean, cruelty-free sunscreen! 

#3: Contains glabridin, a UV-fighting super ingredient

Glabridin (glab-rye-din) is one of the most active ingredients in liquorice root extract. This substance helps diminish any dark spots you have from scarring or sun damage. It also prevents pigmentation from UVB rays by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that causes dark pigments after sun exposure. 

#4: Protects skin with Licochalcone A

This defensive liquorice root benefit comes to us from another active ingredient, Licochalcone A (lick-uh-chal-cone). It helps your skin produce higher levels of antioxidants, fortifying your skin’s defences and preventing UV damage in the process. Not to mention, it can protect skin from damage even after unprotected exposure to UV rays. 

Nourishing Skin with Liquorice Root Extract

In addition to brightening hyperpigmented skin, you can also utilize liquorice benefits to boost dull skin, too! Try our Dark Spot Remover or Does It All Sheet Mask for a more radiant, even skin tone. You can incorporate one or all of these products easily into your regular skin routine. 

PRO TIP: To effectively tame extra pigment, be consistent in your use of brightening products. Prolonged use of gentle skin lighteners like liquorice will result in a noticeably brighter, more vibrant complexion.  

If you’re concerned about sun damage, use serums with Vitamin C and liquorice root to not only even out your skin but prevent further UV damage. Both ingredients subdue discolouration and contain antioxidant power, which we know keeps sun damage at bay. To fully protect your skin, remember to apply sunscreen afterwards!

Topical gels with liquorice root extract can do a great job at soothing irritated skin. Liquorice is super beneficial for those struggling with atopic dermatitis, or general skin conditions involving redness and irritation (like eczema). You can even try a DIY mask with aloe vera gel and liquorice root powder.

Anti-ageing benefits are another place where liquorice root can boast its protective properties. The extract fights against oxidative stress, which is known to accelerate visible signs of ageing. It encourages your skin to protect itself against harmful elements and, in turn, will reward you with fresher, more supple skin for longer. 

Whether you’re struggling with sun-induced freckles and spots, or simply want skin to look a little brighter, we’re convinced that liquorice is a winner. If you’re looking for a natural alternative to chemical brighteners or a gentle ingredient for inflamed skin, you can’t beat the impressive benefits of liquorice! 

100% PURE™

100% PURE™

Writer and expert