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Glycyrrhiza Glabra  Root Extract

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract

Also-called-like-this: Licorice Root
What-it-does: soothing, skin brightening


You might know licorice as a sweet treat from your childhood, but it's actually a legume that grows around the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, central and southern Russia. It's sweet and yellow and not only used for licorice all sorts but it's also a skincare superstar thanks to two magic properties:

Nr. 1 magic property is that it has skin-lightening or to say it another way depigmenting properties. The most active part is called glabridin. The topical application (meaning when you put it on your face) of 0.5% glabridin was shown to inhibit UVB caused pigmentation of guinea pigs. Another study even suggested that licorice is more effective than the gold standard skin-lightening agent hydroquinone. All in all, licorice is considered to be one of the safest skin lightening agents with the fewest side effects.

There is just one catch regarding glabridin and licorice: the amount of glabridin in commercial licorice extracts can vary a lot. We have seen extracts with only 4% glabridin as well as 40% glabridin. The latter one is a very-very expensive ingredient, so if you are after the depigmenting properties try to choose a product that boasts its high-quality licorice extract. 

Nr. 2 magic property is that licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory. Glabridin has also some soothing properties but the main active anti-inflammatory component is glycyrrhizin. It’s used to treat several skin diseases that are connected to inflammation including atopic dermatitis, rosacea or eczema. 

Oh, and one more thing: glabridin seems to be also an antioxidant, which is just one more reason to be happy about licorice root extract on an ingredient list. 

Bottom line: Licorice is a great skincare ingredient with significant depigmenting, anti-inflammatory and even some antioxidant properties. Be happy if it's on the ingredient list. :)

Show me some proof

  • Leslie Baumann, MD, Cosmetic Dermatology, 2nd edition, Licorice Extract - pages 281, 318-319
  • Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology, Volume 25 (10) - Oct 1, 2011, Natural options for the management of hyperpigmentation
  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Volume 9 (3)–Sep 1, 2010, Original Contribution: Top 10 botanical ingredients in 2010 anti‐aging creams

Products with Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract

Missha Vita C Plus Spot Correcting & Firming Ampoule Dearskin Dear Serum Tranexamic Acid 5% Dearskin Tranex Dear Serum Druide Pur & Pure Face + Body Lotion Eminance Bright Skin Overnight Correcting Cream Glymed Plus Living Cell Clarifier Guerlain Super Aqua-Eye Patches It's Skin Power 10 Formula Li Effector It's Skin Power 10 Formula Li Effector Nivea Extra White Body Instant Glow Body Lotion in her element Low Ph Rose Gel Cleanser Apotheke Niacinamide 10% (30 Ml) Farmona Amberray Bright Shock Serum Found Marshmellow Calming Face Serum Garden of Eden Gentle Facial Scrub Glytone Age-Defying Antioxidant Eye Cream I Trust Nature Licorice Serum Kleveru Sea Buckthorn Essence Toner Naruko Tea Tree Shine Control & Blemish Clear Night Gelly Prodermic Mega Tonic QEI+ Concentrated Brightening Serum Gold Vaunt Skincare Multi Vitamin Hydrator entel mask pack Pine Mushroom Mask Pack facetheory Regena C20 20% Stabilized Vitamin C Serum silk naturals Oatmeal Serum BODY BEAUTY Skin Whitening Lotion Blu42 Bright Eye Cream Dermitecture 10% Niacinamide Serum Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum Dr's Secret Toner T2 DrGL Restore Gel Mask ETSLEY Everyoung Glowing Serum Ultra Glow FaceLab Anti-Blemish Face Serum Go glass Resurfacing Toner Good vibes Vitamin C & Vitamin B3 Skin Glow Serum Green Bar Antioxidant Moisturizer Herbario Detox Cleansing Powder Holy Snails Angel Shark Holy Snails Shark Sauce Holy Snails Snow Shark IOPE Whitegen Eye Serum JJLabs Skincare Solution Skin Brightening & Anti Aging Serum Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Cleansing Cream Kolagra Eye Contour With Concealer Marie Veronique Pre+Probiotic Daily Mist Marie Veronique Treatment Mist Me Time Botanicals Glow-Getter Radiant & Blemish Free Serum Missha First Treatment Essence Mist QEI-PLUS Lightening Serum - Harmonie Carrot QEI-PLUS Lightening Serum - Performance Sweet Almond