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Licorice is a sweet, fragrant herb that is native to southern Europe and Asia. Its scientific name is Glycyrrhiza glabra, which means “sweet root” in Greek. Licorice has been used for centuries in traditional medicine practices for its numerous health benefits, including its potential to improve skin health. It contains a variety of active compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, all of which can benefit your skin. Lets delve in to licorice benefits for skin.

The Nutritional Profile of Licorice:

Licorice is a rich source of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy skin. Some of the key vitamins and minerals found in licorice include:

  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that helps to boost collagen production, which is essential for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin.
  • Vitamin B: Helps to regulate skin oil production and reduce inflammation.
  • Magnesium: Helps to maintain healthy skin cells and supports the production of collagen.
  • Zinc: Helps to reduce inflammation and support skin cell regeneration.

Licorice contains a variety of active compounds that are responsible for its many health benefits. Some of the key active compounds in licorice include:

  • Glycyrrhizin: Exhibits anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Also functions as a natural skin lightener.
  • Liquiritin: Reduces skin inflammation and hinders melanin production, leading to the lightening of dark spots and an even skin tone.
  • Glabridin: Demonstrates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, safeguards the skin from harm caused by UV radiation.
licorice benefits for skin
licorice benefits for skin

Licorice for Acne-Prone Skin:

It has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne. Its skin-soothing properties can also help to calm irritated skin and reduce the likelihood of breakouts.

Licorice for Sensitive Skin:

Licorice is a gentle and natural ingredient that is well-tolerated by most skin types, including those with sensitive skin. Its anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties make it a great option for those with easily irritated skin.

Licorice as an Anti-Aging Ingredient:

Licorice is rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and other environmental stressors. These antioxidants can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

Licorice for Brightening and Radiance:

Licorice brightens the skin and improves its radiance and luminosity. Its skin-lightening properties also reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Licorice for Sun Protection:

Licorice has shown to have natural UV-blocking properties that can help to protect the skin from sun damage. The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice can reduce inflammation caused by sunburn and other types of skin damage.

How to Use Licorice for Skin:

Licorice is used in a variety of forms for skin care. Licorice root extract is a popular ingredient in many skin care products, including cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. Purchase products that contain at least 2% licorice root extract for maximum benefits.

In its raw form, licorice has been used topically. To do this, mix licorice root powder with water to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. This can help to reduce inflammation and redness in the skin, leaving it looking calm and refreshed.

Potential Side Effects:

Licorice is generally safe for use on the skin but it can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you experience any redness, itching, or swelling after using licorice on your skin, it is important to discontinue use immediately.

Other uses of Licorice roots:

In addition to its benefits for skin, licorice roots have a variety of other uses. Here are some ways to use licorice roots:

  1. Licorice roots traditionally soothe and heal the digestive system, aiding with issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach ulcers.
  2. Licorice roots can help with respiratory problems like coughs, colds, and asthma by loosening mucus and reducing inflammation in the airways.
  3. Immune System Support: Licorice roots contain compounds that can boost the immune system, making it more effective at fighting off infections and diseases.
  4. Stress and Anxiety Relief: Licorice roots have Adaptogen properties, which means that they can help the body adapt to stress and reduce anxiety levels.
  5. Licorice roots contain a compound called glycyrrhizin that is up to 50 times sweeter than sugar, making it a natural alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners.


Licorice is a natural and effective ingredient for improving skin health and addressing common skin issues. Its active compounds and nutritional profile make it a great addition to any skincare routine.

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