If you thought licorice root is just a sticky black candy, you and your skin are in for some great news. Licorice root has been used for 4000 years in Egyptian and Chinese medicine to reduce inflammation and even out skin color. Grown in warm sunny climates, licorice root has different chemical compounds that have been shown to be effective for a wide range of health problems, both inside and out.
Licorice root has a long and impressive list of benefits. It has been used successfully to treat tooth decay, gum infections, stomach ulcers, sore throat and indigestion. On the skin a 1-2 % licorice gel can relieve seriously irritated skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and especially rosacea. Licorice can also inhibit production of melanin, making it a natural yet effective alternative to hydroquinone. Not only can it gently even off skin tone, it can be safely used to deal with under eye dark circles.
Selecting The Right Licorice Root Skin Care Product
You need to take your time selecting the right licorice skin care formulation for your specific needs. You will rarely find the word licorice on the list of ingredients. Rather the labels use the specific licorice extract used in the product– and each compound solves a unique problem:
* Glycyrrhizia is the powerhouse ingredient to reduce irritation. Examples of products with this compound include Eucerin Redness Relief line and SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture.
* Glabridin inhibits the production of melanin and its a wonderful skin brightener. Examples of glabridin rich products include Eyelift Cellular Renewal Cream ( Suki) and Meladerm Pigment Reducing Complex ( Civant Skin Care)
* Licohalone can reduce oiliness, eliminate bacteria and quiet acne breakouts. An example of this type of licorice root product is Acne.org Moisturizer.
One final bit of advice– Studies have shown that products with 1-2% licorice root compounds to be truely effective. This information is usually not provided by the manufacturer, but you should check out the position of the licorice compound on the label. The closer to the top of the list of ingredients, the higher the concentration.