Summer sun leading to dark spots?
Inclusive Clinical Skincare
Inclusive Clinical Skincare
FREE SHIPPING on U.S. orders $50+   Learn More

How To Use Licorice Root Extract To Improve Hyperpigmentation

licorice root

Do you ever feel like you and your dark spots are at a checkmate? Or like glowing, even-looking skin is always just beyond your reach? Don’t worry — we’ve got just the thing!

If you don’t like the way your dark spots look, you shouldn’t have to deal with them — and you don’t. We want you to own your skin, and we’re here to help you do just that.

Licorice Root Extract is a cutting-edge ingredient that naturally brightens the appearance of dark spots and can help you put your best face forward. 

What Is Licorice Root?

 You might have heard of licorice before. Maybe you remember it from the candy aisle or as an ingredient in a tea you once had. Yes, this is the same licorice we’re talking about. This spunky little ingredient has a tremendous amount of uses and applications, even beyond skincare.

The licorice plant is native to Asia but can be found in Europe and the United States as well. Licorice is actually closely related to pea plants. While the plant is beautiful and can grow quite large, only the roots are edible.

Licorice Root has traditionally been used to sweeten candies and drinks, but it can also help improve your skin's appearance. Licorice Root Extract is not only highly effective, but it’s also a cutting-edge skincare ingredient.

What Is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is the scientific term for dark spots. It occurs when your skin gets stressed and starts overproducing melanin in a particular area. These dark spots can show up anywhere, but they can be particularly pesky if they appear on your face.

Your skin might be overproducing melanin for any number of reasons. Some of the most common are stress, hormonal changes (such as those that come with pregnancy or menopause) and sun damage.

Hyperpigmentation can also refer to age spots and freckles. While these are a normal part of life for most people, not everyone wants their “look” to include those spots.

While not technically considered hyperpigmentation, excessive redness can also be a discoloration issue. Redness often comes hand-in-hand with dryness, although it can indicate other types of irritation, such as blemishes, as well.

Why Should I Use Licorice Root Extract?

Licorice Root Extract gives you the skin of your dreams by

  • Tackling hyperpigmentation
  • Targeting blemishes
  • Reducing the look of fine lines
  • Providing hydration

First, Licorice Root Extract helps brighten the appearance of your dark spots and discoloration by preventing melanin production at its source. Licorice Root can also break up patches of melanin you already have, helping them disperse. The result? More even-looking skin that should stay that way.

Second, Licorice can help minimize the appearance of your blemishes. How? Licorice Root Extract contains Licochalcone A, a compound that slows down oil production. Since blemishes are partly caused by over productive oil glands, Licorice Root Extract can help nip those blemishes in the bud.

Third, Licorice Root Extract can help smooth out the appearance of shallow wrinkles and fine lines. One of its main compounds, called glycyrrhizin, actually firms and tightens your skin to help reduce those fine lines so that your skin can look young and vibrant.

Fourth, Licorice Root infuses your skin with deep hydration. It can also help soothe irritation and calm redness, which are consequences of dry skin. Hydrated skin can protect itself better against environmental and chemical stressors — so it’s important to keep your skin moisturized!

This extract has also been proven to support your skin’s resistance to harmful UV rays. When used alongside daily sunblock, your skin may be far less likely to take on sun damage. Since sun damage can cause dryness, hyperpigmentation and blemishes, Licorice Root Extract takes care of you from start to finish.

If you have sensitive skin, you’re in luck. Licorice Root is all-natural and incredibly gentle compared to prescription skin brighteners. Its sensitive nature means that anyone, regardless of skin type, should be able to use it with little to no reaction.

How Can I Make a Licorice Skincare Routine?

Licorice Root Extract sounds like your solution — but how do you get started? We here at Urban Skin Rx® have put together a step-by-step guide on incorporating Licorice Root Extract into your daily routine.

Step One: Gentle Cleanser
Your first step should always be cleansing. This helps remove any oil buildup or dirt on your face. When you apply your serum, your skin needs to be clean — it won’t work as well on dirty skin.

Wash your face with warm water and avoid any scrubbing motions. Hot water and vigorous scrubbing can aggravate irritated skin and slow down your progress. Afterward, pat dry with a towel.

We recommend our Even Tone Cleansing Bar. This innovative bar exfoliates your face while you cleanse, and our award-winning formula features Licorice Root Extract as a main ingredient. Talk about a power-packed product!

Step Two: Brightening Serum
After your face is fully dry, your next step is to apply a serum. The effects you’ll get with Licorice Root Extract can compound if you use products with other natural skin brightening products, such as Kojic Acid and Vitamin C.

Apply your serum by patting it into your dry skin, giving it plenty of time to soak in. The serum is what will have the biggest effect, so make sure your skin soaks it all up.

Our Super C Brightening Serum is a perfect complement to our cleansing bar. This serum features 20% Vitamin C and Kojic Acid to compliment the Licorice Root cleanser. Together, the two can give you a dreamy, healthy-looking glow.

Step Three: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Once the serum has dried into your skin, you need to moisturize. Moisturizing helps seal that serum against your skin so that it works all night long. It also helps keep your skin soft and elastic so that your skin can protect itself better.

Your moisturizer MUST reflect your skin type. Using the wrong moisturizer can totally irritate your skin and undo everything we’ve done up to this point. You likely need a lightweight formula that won’t clog your pores if you have oily skin. If you have dry skin, you need a heavy formula to infuse your skin with moisture.

Step Four: Protect Your Glow
What we’ve done so far is good, but there’s only one way to make it last: sunscreen.

Some serums tend to make your skin a little more sensitive to sunlight, so it’s vital that you apply sunscreen every morning and throughout your day.

Sunscreen should also follow your skin type. We recommend our Complexion Protection Moisturizer SPF 30 for all skin types. This moisturizer hydrates your skin and also protects you from sun damage. 

A Few Tips From Our Licensed Aestheticians 

Before you get started, we have a few tips to help you make the most of your Licorice Root products.

Start Slow

It’s important to give your skin time to adjust to any new product, especially serums. Start off by using your serum once every other day, and then slowly work your way up to nightly use. Once your skin is adjusted, you may even be able to start using your serum in your morning routine as well.

If you have sensitive skin, you may even want to conduct a patch test before you start using your serum. To do this, put some of the product on a small patch of skin and watch for any irritation.

If you do experience irritation while using any product, consult with your dermatologist. They will know your skin best and should help guide you to ingredients that will work with your skin, not against it. 

Be Patient 

Licorice Root Extract won’t work its magic overnight; it needs a few weeks and everyone is different. You may be tempted to apply heavy layers of product in an attempt to speed up the process, but it’s important that you resist.

You’ll see the best results if you’re gentle with your skin and give it time to perk up. Remember, irritation is your skin’s way of communicating what it needs. Give it time to respond, and view your skin as a partner. 

Less Is More

Finally, don’t mix too many products together. Adding one or two steps to your routine is okay if your skin doesn’t show any side effects. However, you should avoid mixing too many high-intensity products together — this could irritate your skin.

If you do want to use multiple serums or other high-intensity products, try alternating them with each routine. Pick some products for the morning, some for the night and some to switch out between days. This way, your skin isn’t overloaded with ingredients. 

In Conclusion

Licorice Root Extract has been around for a while but is just now making its way into the skincare world. Licorice Root can help lighten the appearance of blemishes and dark spots, smooth out fine lines and provide intense hydration to your skin. Like with any new ingredient, it is always best to try a patch test at first to ensure your skin responds well. Once you know the ingredient fares well for your skin type, you can go ahead and incorporate it into your routine.

If you can’t wait to get started, we’re right there with you. Take our skin quiz to get personalized recommendations, and then glow get’em!

By: Ivey Rogers Aesthetician Educator & Community
Engagement Manager