Licorice extract is derived from a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra, which is known as one of the ancient herbal remedies.
In skincare products, the active ingredient of licorice extract is used as a skin brightener. It contains a lot of beneficial compounds that in combination give both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to diminish dark spots.
Skincare products with licorice extract help to reduce the production of tyrosinase and fight against discoloration. Tyrosinase is involved in melanin production. Licorice extract inhibits the production of tyrosinase which as a result, inhibits the formation of dark spots.
Liquiritin is one of the beneficial components found in licorice extract. This active compound helps to remove excess amounts of melanin. As can be noted, the active ingredient of licorice extract does not only prevent the formation of new dark spots but can also help the existing spots to fade.
Flavonoid is another useful component found in licorice extract. It is an anti-oxidant that helps to decrease the actions of reactive oxygen species that facilitate skin aging and discoloration.
Lastly, the active ingredient of licorice extract offers anti-inflammatory effects. Licochalcone A, a molecule present in this extract, inhibits the functions of two inflammatory markers that are responsible for causing an inflammatory cascade.
The active ingredient of licorice extract does not have major side effects and is safe to use on daily basis. There may be some irritation associated with this active ingredient in the beginning. Thus, it is recommended for new users to first apply a new product on a small test spot before applying it on the entire face.