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Licorice Root Extract for Skin: Top 5 Benefits

woman examining dark marks in mirror

You want perfect skin, but you’ve got a tiny problem. Or rather, quite a few tiny problems. That’s right: dark spots. These pesky little discolorations can crop up for a number of reasons.

They might be leftover from sun damage (please wear sunscreen, glowgetters!), ghosts of pimples past or even random marks that seemingly show up out of spite. Whatever the case, they’re in the way of that perfect no-makeup complexion.

Enter: Licorice Root Extract. This handy dandy extract is here to show those dark spots who’s boss and help you get even-looking skin. But wait, there’s more!

Licorice Root Extract is a must-have ingredient for anyone who wants smooth and glowing skin. How does it do all of this? Read on to learn all about this wonder ingredient and how you can use it to help you get perfect, glowing skin.

What Is Licorice Root, Anyway?

Licorice Root Extract actually comes from the root of a plant scientifically known as Glycyrrhiza Glabra (but we’ll just call it the licorice plant). This plant grows naturally in some parts of Asia and southern areas of Europe, and it’s actually been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years! Nowadays, we can grow licorice wherever the soil and the climate are right.

Licorice is used in a lot of different products. You might recognize it from the candy aisle, as an ingredient in your mom’s favorite tea, or even as an ingredient in some herbal remedies. This little plant gets around! But what else does it do? 

5 Ways Licorice Helps You Get Your Glow On

Although it’s historically known for its flavor, licorice has recently made a dramatic entrance into the skincare world as an ingredient that helps achieve clear, healthy-looking skin. How does it do that? By helping you reach these five skincare goals: 

1. A Balanced Complexion

Licorice Root Extract is nature’s solution for improving the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Unwanted freckles, dark spots, blotches and pesky blemishes are no match for this powerful extract.

Licorice Root Extract helps minimize the appearance of dark spots you already have. The compounds inside this extract focus on any current pockets of hyperpigmentation (AKA too much melanin in one place) and break up the pockets. Once the spots are broken up, the melanin disperses, and your skin is left looking bright and even. Talk about glowing up! 

2. Silky Smooth Skin

Nothing interrupts smooth skin like a wrinkle. Wrinkles and fine lines are natural parts of life; you can get them from squinting in the sun, laughing at memes and raising your eyebrows at questionable celebrity couples. Even so, a wrinkle is a little valley that lies between you and smooth, youthful skin.

Licorice Root Extract contains a compound called glycyrrhizin that helps keep skin smooth and firm. This helps your skin bounce back from stress and ward off those fine lines, which means you can laugh (or cringe) whenever you want. Think of the extract as your wrinkle-fighting guardian angel.

Do you like to have fun in the sun? Licorice Root Extract also helps reinforce your skin against sun damage. Sun damage can lead to rough and uneven skin, which practically begs for fine lines and wrinkles. If you like to spend time in the sun but don’t want any wrinkles, Licorice Root Extract (plus a good SPF) will give you the easy glow you’re looking for.

3. Say Goodbye to Blemishes

Chances are, you’ve had a blemish before. Those pesky, irritated spots can interrupt even the best complexions. If your skin is prone to blemishes, don’t worry — Licorice Root Extract is here to help.

Blemishes occur for two reasons: oil buildup and bacteria. Oil is created in your skin’s sebaceous glands and can clog up your pores if you don’t clear it away. Those clogged pores can get really unhappy, really fast, which can totally mess up your glow.

Licorice Root Extract contains a compound called licochalcone A, which basically just slows down your oil production. The compound can also neutralize blemish-causing bacteria. These two functions work together to smooth out your skin — and those are just some of the ways that Licorice Root can restore your natural radiance.

4. Hydration Station

If you’re prone to dry skin, Licorice Root Extract is going to be your best friend. You know dry skin when you see it: flaky, red and itchy.

Dry skin can mean a few things — maybe you’re dehydrated, maybe you spent too much time out in the sun, or maybe there’s a product that’s irritating your skin. Whatever the reason, redness and visible dry patches are a foe to the glow.

Licorice Root Extract helps combat dry skin by gently nourishing and hydrating. It helps soothe any irritation you might have, and can also help take care of that annoying itchiness.

Swelling and redness are both signs of irritation, so the extract will help calm their look as well. You should also invest in a good moisturizer that’s designed for dry skin.

Dry skin is pesky for a number of reasons, one of them being that dry skin is horribly inelastic. Dry skin can’t bounce back from stress as well as hydrated skin can, which means that your dry skin is more likely to form wrinkles and fine lines, as well as develop hyperpigmentation. This might lead to uneven skin tone — which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid, glowgetters.

5. All-Natural Glow

One of the latest trends to sweep through the skincare industry is all-natural ingredients. While formulated chemicals can be super helpful, they can also be a little TOO powerful — especially for sensitive skin. All-natural ingredients tend to be a bit more gentle, which helps keep irritation away.

Licorice Root Extract is 100% natural. It comes from a plant that grows in the ground, for goodness’ sake — you can’t get any more natural than that. As a natural herbal remedy, Licorice is gentler than other ingredients and is more likely to give you the results you’re looking for. And because it’s more calming than chemical products, you have less risk of overusing Licorice in your daily skincare routine.

What does this mean for you? Whether you have sensitive skin or you just prefer to be more in tune with nature, Licorice Root Extract is the perfect all-natural ingredient for improving the look of dark spots. We like to call that a ‘natural’ glow!


How Can I Start Using Licorice Root Extract?

So. You’ve read all about Licorice Root Extract, and you’re sold. You’re ready to start using it to get brighter-looking skin, but there’s just one problem: you’re not quite sure where to start. Don’t worry, we’re here to help!


First, you’ll need to find a product that contains Licorice Root Extract. We recommend our Even Tone Gentle Gel Cleanser. This cleanser gently clears your pores and uses Licorice Root to even the appearance of your skin tone at the same time!

If your skin is sensitive to new products, this cleanser should help make the switch as seamless as possible. Use it in both the mornings and the evenings to get the best results, and just sit back and watch as Licorice works its magic.

You can also double up on Licorice goodness by using our Even Tone Cleansing Bar. This bar actually doubles as both an exfoliator and a face mask. Using the bar with the cleanser will really infuse your skin with the Licorice Extract, which will increase your skin’s brightness, hydration and clarity. Your skin works so hard; it deserves all that Licorice.

Even though Licorice Root is natural, you still need to double up on skin protection. You’ll need a good moisturizer to help lock in that extract, and you’ll need sunscreen to keep your skin young and healthy. If you want to knock out both in one product, try our Complexion Protection Moisturizer. This moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated and has SPF 30 to help grow your glow — and protect it.

Finally, like with all new products — start slow. Give your skin a chance to adjust to the new ingredients and work your way up. If you aren’t sure what products are best for your skin, take our handy dandy skin quiz or schedule a virtual consultation

Put It All Together

Just to recap: If you want glowing skin, start with Licorice Root Extract. It’s an all-natural herbal remedy that can improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation and infuse hydration to help boost an even-looking skin tone and smooth out wrinkles.

We’ve provided a few product recommendations, but you can take our quiz or speak with one of our glowgivers for more personalized recommendations. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for more skin tips, and keep sharing the glow!

By: Ivey Rogers Aesthetician Educator & Community
Engagement Manager