When you hear licorice, long, twisted jelly candy strands are probably the first thing that comes to your mind. But what if I told you that this polarizing confection is more than just a way to satisfy your sweet tooth?
Recently, licorice has been used more frequently in skin care products due to its naturally beneficial compounds and properties. But how exactly does it work? To solve some of the mystery, Shop TODAY asked certified dermatologists what licorice does in skin care products, along with some tips people should keep in mind if they want to incorporate it into skin care products. their beauty routine.
My thoughts on licorice candy are not far removed from the ingredient appearing in skin care products, reassured me board-certified dermatologist Dr. Noëlle Sherber. “Licorice candy and licorice extract used in skin care comes from the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant,” she said.
In skin care, licorice extract contains a chemical called glabridin that inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme that controls melanin production, explained Dr. Debra Jaliman, certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. As a result, licorice extract can be used to combat hyperpigmentation, melasma, and inflammation.
Arizona-based dermatologist Dr. Sheila Farhang and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics told us that licorice extract has a similar effect to hydroquinone (a depigmenting agent), although a little milder. . “You can’t really use [hydroquinone] more than four months because you will have this darkening; it’s just not good for the skin.
Jaliman and Farhang both noted that you can pair licorice extract with other antioxidants with skin lightening results like vitamin C and azelaic acid.
Choose products that rest on the skin. Jaliman recommends using a serum for faster results because it is more concentrated. Moisturizer is also acceptable, she added. Jaliman does not recommend using a cleanser, however, as it does not stay on the skin long enough for the ingredients to penetrate. Sherber echoed similar sentiments, noting that “leave-in products (such as serums or creams) will have more of an impact than rinse-off products (such as cleansers or masks).”
Farhang has also seen licorice extract in spot treatments and thinks it’s a good approach to get the most out of the ingredient, as spot treatments focus on smaller areas.
Beware of brand claims. Farhang stressed the importance of being mindful of the products you choose. She recommends looking at other products of a brand you are considering and carefully reviewing the claims they make. If they make big, bold claims like being as good as prescription products or claiming to get rid of your melasma, she recommends thinking twice before choosing it.
Don’t use two products that do the same thing. While you may be tempted to ‘get the most out of’ a certain ingredient by using multiple products that claim to do the same thing, Farhang says this is probably not the best approach as it can cause irritation depending on your product. Your skin type.
Start slowly. While licorice extract is generally quite mild and non-irritating, Jaliman, Farhang, and Sherber all recommend starting slowly with one product at a time to make sure you don’t have a reaction. As with any active ingredient, it’s best to introduce it without a cocktail along with other potential irritants such as exfoliating acids or retinoids. Once you’ve tried the product for several days and haven’t felt any redness or irritation, you can add other actives to your regimen, ”Sherber told us.
Use sunscreen. It should come as no surprise that Sherber emphasized the importance of using daily sunscreen with broad spectrum sun protection. She recommends using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and contains physical filters like zinc oxide for the best possible pigment defense.
Be patient. That’s what all dermatologists say and no patient wants to hear, but you have to be patient when looking for a difference in your skin. “Skin care products are really subtle, especially if they’re anti-aging or things like that,” Farhang said. She, Jaliman, and Sherber recommend waiting between one and three months to really start to see a difference. If it is a more expensive product, Farhang will recommend finishing the whole bottle (if you don’t have a negative feedback) and if you are still not satisfied then move on.
Eucerin Redness Relief Night Cream
If you suffer from redness, Jaliman recommends that you use this night cream. “It contains glycerin and squalene as well as licorice root extract, so it’s extremely hydrating,” she said.
Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer
Based on glycerin, licorice root extract and soothing chamomile, Jaliman recommends this moisturizer from Ole Henriksen. It boasts benefits such as hydration, smoothing skin texture, even skin tone, and improving the appearance of dark spots and discoloration.
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment
Jaliman recommends this treatment based on licorice to brighten the skin, lactic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells and arnica to soothe the skin. According to a clinical study conducted by the brand, “100% of women said their skin was noticeably smoother and more radiant, with visibly reduced fine lines and wrinkles after application. “
Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme Eye
If you’re okay with splurging a little more, Sherber recommends this cream for lightening the area under the eyes. “As the thin skin on the eyelids can be particularly sensitive, I like that this eye cream is effective but not irritating,” she told us.
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