Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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What Are the Dangers of Licorice Root Extract?

What Are the Dangers of Licorice Root Extract?

Several molecules are extracted from licorice root that are beneficial for the skin due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Learn more about the side effects and dangers of licorice root extract for the skin.

Licorice Root Extract at a Glance

This ingredient is extracted from the roots of licorice root, a plant in the family Fabaceae that is related to wisteria, clover, and peas. In skin care, it is listed under the I.N.C.I. name "Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract." It is mainly used for its stain-fighting and antioxidant properties.

Licorice root extract contains over 95% glabridin, a molecule known for its lightening effects. It inhibits the activity of tyrosinase. As a reminder, these enzymes are involved in the process of skin pigmentation called melanogenesis. They catalyze the formation of L-dopamine, but also the formation of dopaquinone, a precursor of skin pigments (black melanin and red melanin) stored by melanocytes. Therefore, glabridin is used when applied to the skin to unify the complexion and soften the appearance of stubborn melanin spots.

What Are the Side Effects of Licorice Root Extract When Used on the Skin?

Currently, there are no major side effects of licorice root extract.

What Are the Side Effects of Licorice Root Extract?

According to the EU regulation, a skin care product may contain only 2 to 5% licorice root extract. At these concentrations, skin reactions (redness, itching) have been observed in very rare cases. Nevertheless, it remains a safe-to-use and non-allergenic ingredient.

Note: Before using any new skincare product for the face, always perform a skin compatibility test. To do this, apply a small amount of product to the back of your wrist or the

Sources :

  • LHERVOIS T. La réglisse : plante antique et plante d’avenir ? Université de Poitiers - Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie (1991).

  • SARKAR R. & al. Cosmeceuticals for hyperpigmentation: what is available ? Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery (2013).

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