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Organic Skin Science

Licorice Root Extract Benefits for Skin Health

If you have a sweet tooth you’ve probably heard of or eaten licorice candy. However, you may be surprised to learn that this common sweet is rich in history and therapeutic properties that can also benefit the health of your skin.

Licorice has roots embedded in the Mediterranean and Middle East, dating back to ancient Egypt where it was often made into a sweet drink and used therapeutically for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. 

The compound glycyrrhizin, found in licorice root, is primarily responsible for many of its health benefits, including those that extend to skincare.

Licorice Root Extract Skin Benefits

Licorice Root has many skin-loving properties that offer a variety of benefits to all complexion types.


Containing around 2-9% glycyrrhizin, clinical trials have shown that topical application of glycyrrhizin mimics cortisol, creating a soothing effect on acne-prone and sensitive skin. 

This also makes it particularly effective in calming chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Calming inflammation helps to alleviate the redness and itching that often comes with flare ups.

Natural Skin Brightening

The anti-inflammatory properties of Licorice Root are fairly common knowledge, but you may be surprised to learn that Licorice Root is also known as nature’s skin brightener. Thanks to the high levels of glabridin, licorice root can gradually brighten the complexion while preventing hyper-pigmentation by inhibiting melanin production in the skin. 

In addition to eliminating pigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure, licorice root can also assist with diminishing scars and dark spots post blemishes. Studies have found that glabridin activity is similar to that of oestrogen i.e. it stimulates the production of collagen, thus reducing the depth of scars and wrinkles, which leads to visible improvements in skin texture.

Another beneficial compound found in licorice extract is liquiritin. A study on liquiritin conducted in Egypt, which was aimed at treating melasma, confirmed the ability of this extraordinary compound to reduce skin discoloration. With a noticeable improvement in 80% of the cases after 4 weeks, liquiritin is considered to be as effective as hydroquinone. Added bonus – it doesn’t have the pesky side effects that hydroquinone has!

Healthy Skin Barrier

Maintaining a robust skin barrier is non-negotiable if you want hydrated, healthy skin. Licorice root extract helps to strengthen the skin's natural barrier function, enhancing its ability to retain moisture and protect against environmental stress to avoid dryness, premature ageing and skin conditions such as eczema. 

Boost Antioxidant Protection

We all know how important Antioxidants are for our overall health and wellbeing, and our skin is no exception. Applying antioxidant-rich ingredients to our skin is crucial for shielding our complexion against environmental stressors. Licorice root extract is rich in flavonoids and other antioxidants that combat free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and helping to preserve collagen and elastin fibres - both essential for age-defence to promote firmer, smoother skin.

Supports Sensitive Skin

Licorice Root’s soothing properties make it an ideal ingredient for all skin types, but particularly those with sensitive skin. Generally well-tolerated by sensitive skin types, it can be included in your daily skincare routine to support a reduction in redness while helping to calm any irritation or flare ups. 

How to Incorporate Licorice Root Extract into Your Skincare Routine

Licorice Root Extract can be found in numerous formulations, from serums and moisturisers, to masks and spot treatments. It’s important to choose products that contain naturally derived, high quality extracts to ensure your skin receives optimal results without irritation. And don’t forget SPF every day, particularly if you’re reaching for licorice root skincare to support brightening and pigmentation. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve curated a list of our must-have skincare products to boost your daily dose of licorice root.

LAMAV Glow Beauty Mask

As the vibrant yellow colour of the LAMAV Glow Beauty Maskit was designed to offer some serious glow and brightening. Containing anti-inflammatory Licorice Root along with Turmeric, Vitamin C and Kakadu Plum, you’ll enjoy instantly brighter skin with the added benefits of improved tone and texture. 

LAMAV Daily Vitamin C Serum

A daily must-have in your AM routine, LAMAV’s highly-concentrated Vitamin C serum will target discolouration, brighten your complexion and boost radiance. Licorice Root, Vitamin C, Kakadu Plum and Marine Extracts provide an evenly-toned skin, while strengthening collagen and elastin for a healthy glowing complexion.

LAMAV Anti-Dark Circle Eye Gel

Revive and lighten the delicate eye area with this soothing eye gel. Formulated with Licorice Root and Rumex Extract, this brightening duo will awaken tired eyes by reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

LAMAV Rumex Day Cream

This advanced lightening day cream is bursting with natural skin-brighteners to reduce the appearance of discoloration and pigmentation. Rumex, Licorice Root and Kakadu work synergistically to deliver a radiant and even skin tone while Pomegranate Oil and Vitamin E protects against free radicals to promote a healthy, youthful glow.

How Does Licorice Root Extract Benefit The Skin?

Everybody’s first association to licorice is a long chewy candy of a distinctive taste. Did you know though, that the leafy green plant, used for ages in traditional Chinese medicine, has an array of benefits for your skin?

Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract is abundant in active chemicals with impressive anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, anti-oxidative and skin repairing properties. No wonder its popularity among skin care manufacturers keeps growing…

If you want to learn a bit more about the properties of this skin-loving ingredient, stay with us!

Licorice Root Extract Skin Benefits

Licorice root contains around 2-9% glycyrrhizin. Clinical trials have shown that glycyrrhizin, when applied topically, mimics cortisol, meaning that it has a soothing effect on acne-prone skin + redness-reducing effect on sensitive skin. Apart from that, licorice contains another potent natural anti-inflammatory agent – licochalcone. The presence of these bio-actives, makes licorice root extract especially beneficial for those who struggle with psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis.

Thanks to the high levels of glabridin licorice is an excellent natural skin brightener. Being a phytoestrogen, glabridin serves to prevent hyper pigmentation and dark spots caused by UV radiation. Consequently, products containing glycyrrhiza glare extract are effective, all-natural alternatives to chemical skin lightening agents. They gradually brighten the complexion, to reveal more glowing, clear skin, free of imperfections.

In addition to eliminating pigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure, licorice root extract diminishes scars and dark spots
(those annoying dark marks that we get, when blemishes heal). Studies have found that glabridin activity is similar to that of oestrogen i.e. it stimulates the production of collagen, thus reducing the depth of scars and wrinkles, which leads to visible improvements in skin texture.

What to Try: La Mav Brightening Organic Beauty Kit

Organic Skincare Essential

Experience visible skin lightning, skin tone evening, and freckle/sunspot/scar reduction in just a few weeks or less with our clinically proven Skin Brightening Collection! Rumex, Licorice Root, Vitamin C, and Rose extract Bio-Actives™ work in synergy to quickly and noticeably brighten and even your skin’s tone. Formulated for use on all skin types, this range is perfect for use on skin with sun and lifestyle damage.

Another beneficial compound found in licorice extract is liquiritin. A study conducted in Egypt, which was aimed at treating melasma (skin discolouration) with liquiritin, confirmed the ability of this extraordinary compound to reduce skin discoloration. With a noticeable improvement in 80% of the cases after 4 weeks, liquiritin is considered to be as effective as hydroquinone. Added bonus – it doesn’t have the pesky side effects hydroquinone has. Not that’s a plus!

Like all these benefits were not enough, licorice offers one more skincare perk. When used in emulsions, licorice (namely glycyrrhizin) can also enhance the penetration of other active ingredients into the skin, making your products more effective!

Is glycyrrhiza glabra root extract safe?

Although there have been some concerns regarding the connection between the ingestion of glycyrrhiza glabra and increased levels of testosterone, licorice extract is considered completely safe for topical use, even on sensitive skin.

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Q1: Can licorice root be used as a supplement?

Licorice root is promoted as a dietary supplement for various conditions such as digestive problems, menopausal symptoms and bacterial infections.

Q2: What are the side effects of licorice root?

When it comes to topical application, there are no known side effects of licorice root. However, there are risks when ingesting large amounts of licorice root as it may lead to side effects such as raised blood pressure, hormone imbalances, heart problems and kidney problems. 

Q3: Is licorice root safe?

Consuming too much licorice root (including food and supplements) can be dangerous as glycyrrhizin has shown to lower the body’s potassium levels. This can lead to high blood pressure and hormone imbalances. It may pose risk for people with heart problems, kidney disease and those who are pregnant so it’s important to consult with a medical practitioner prior to use. 

When applied topically, licorice root is considered completely safe for use on all skin types, however patch testing of any new skincare product is always recommended.

Q4: Is licorice root good for your skin?

Yes, licorice root offers many benefits to all skin types including supporting acne and sensitive skin types thanks to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Q5: How do I introduce licorice root extract to my Skin?

Finding natural, high quality skincare products that contain licorice root is a great way to introduce licorice root extract topically. LAMAV’s Brightening Range is a great place to start.