Licorice extract (Glycyrrhiza glabra)- Off White extract powder
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White Licorice extract derived from the roots of the herb Glycyrrhiza Glabra. It is also known as licorice in some parts of the world, in addition to many other traditional names throughout the Asian continent. More importantly, the herb powder has been in use among many Asiatic cultures as a home remedy, proving to be a very effective traditional medicine ingredient. However, in the modern context, licorice is popularly used in matters of skin care and skin lighting. The active ingredients in the herbs Glabridin, Isoliquiritin, and Liquiritin have skin care properties. In the case of Glabridin, is has a notable capacity and capability of reducing the production of excess melanin by the skin cells, giving it very effective skin whitening properties. As a testament to its capability in matters of skin whitening, it is used in a wide array of commercial skin whitening as an active ingredient.
The primary way in which licorice extract effects the skin is through suppressing the overproduction of melanin by skin cells. In doing this, the herb helps prevent skin cells from producing excess melanin in the face of injury, abrasion, and scar formation which create dark spots or an uneven skin tone.
Licorice also protects the skin from harmful UV radiation. In this regard, the active ingredient Glabridin helps to prevent skin damage to the skin due to prolonged exposure to the sun. Skin-care products that contain the licorice extract have the potential to alleviate the discomfort and inflammation associated with sunburn. New basic research shows that licochalcone A, molecule present in licorice root, can suppress cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) expression after intense sun exposure. Both COX2 and PGE2 are inflammatory enzymes that play a role in triggering an inflammatory reaction and responsible for the painful sensation associated with sunburn. Hence, when mixed with other natural anti-inflammatory plants and herbs, such as aloe vera and crushed cucumbers, these mixtures from licorice root can provide significant comfort relief for a bad sunburn and help to maintain both moisturization content of skin.
Glycyrrhizin, an active in the licorice root, has a strong anti-inflammatory activity that is similar to cortisol and steroids. Steroids are commonly used drugs in treating inflammatory dermatologic conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
Hyperpigmentation or dark spots can be common after an acne breakout, an eczema flare or a sunburn. Licorice root extract is a common ingredient used in many skincare products to lighten the discoloration or pigmentation. Liquiritin is another active ingredient, which does not inhibit tyrosinase but it helps to disperse and remove melanin and pigments in the skin. In one clinical study conducted in 20 Egyptian women, the investigators showed that use of skincare cream containing liquiritin was both safe and effective in the treatment of melasma. It is also known to function as well as hydroquinone without its side effects.
INCI name: Glycyrrhiza glabra