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Unlocking the Power of Licorice in Skincare

Have you ever considered how licorice skincare could revolutionize your product line? This unassuming root holds a treasure with a lot of benefits for skin health and aesthetics.

As an expert in the cosmetics and skincare industry, I bring a deep understanding of how natural ingredients can significantly enhance skincare products.

Licorice skincare is more than just a trend; it’s a game-changer. Its adaptable properties address a wide range of skin concerns, making it a valuable addition to any skincare formulation.

In this article, we will delve into the science behind licorice in skincare, exploring its benefits, applications, and emerging trends that are capturing the attention of industry leaders.

So let’s get started!

1. Overview of Licorice in Skincare

Licorice root, sourced from Glycyrrhiza glabra, is a powerhouse in skincare, primarily due to compounds like glabridin and licochalcone. Glabridin is a star in skin brightening, adept at reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin-producing tyrosinase. This makes licorice an effective ingredient for products aimed at evening out skin tone and addressing age spots.

Additionally, licorice’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, largely attributed to licochalcone, soothe irritated skin and combat environmental stressors. These properties make it a valuable addition to formulations intended for sensitive or redness-prone skin, enhancing its appeal across various skincare needs.

2. Benefits of Licorice in Skin Health

Licorice root extract is a multifaceted ingredient in skincare, offering a range of benefits that cater to various skin concerns. Here are the key benefits of licorice in skin health:

  • Skin Brightening: Licorice is renowned for its ability to brighten the skin. It contains glabridin, which inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, responsible for dark spots and hyperpigmentation. In my experience, regular use of licorice-infused products can lead to a visibly more even and radiant complexion.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The root is a boon for sensitive and irritated skin due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. Licochalcone, a compound in licorice, calms redness and reduces itching, making it ideal for conditions like rosacea or eczema.
  • Antioxidant Protection: Licorice is rich in antioxidants, which protect the skin from harmful free radicals and environmental stressors. This protection helps prevent premature aging and maintains the skin’s overall health and vitality.
  • Hydration and Moisturization: Licorice also has excellent hydrating properties. It helps to increase the skin’s natural moisture levels, leaving it soft, supple and well-hydrated. For instance, a licorice-based serum can provide deep hydration while addressing dryness and flakiness.
  • Oil Regulation: For those with oily skin, licorice can help regulate excess sebum production. Its balancing properties ensure that the skin remains neither oily nor dry, contributing to a healthier skin barrier.
  • Soothing Sunburn: The cooling effect of licorice is beneficial for soothing sunburn. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the discomfort and redness associated with sun-damaged skin.
  • Improving Skin Elasticity: Licorice aids in improving the skin’s elasticity, thanks to its collagen-boosting properties. This leads to firmer, more youthful-looking skin over time.

Licorice is a good and potent ingredient in skincare, addressing a wide range of skin concerns, from brightening and hydration to soothing and anti-aging. Its natural origin and gentle effectiveness make it a valuable addition to any skincare routine.

3. Active Components of Licorice

These active ingredients have made licorice a staple in many cosmetic formulations, offering a range of skin-enhancing properties. Here are some of them that you should know:


Glabridin is a potent skin-brightening agent found in licorice. It works by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for melanin production, thereby reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. This makes it an effective ingredient for achieving a more even skin tone. TY Cosmetics leverages Glabridin’s benefits in their product formulations to cater to consumers seeking radiant and uniform skin complexion.


Licochalcone, another active component of licorice, is known for its remarkable anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It’s particularly effective in treating and soothing skin conditions like acne and rosacea, reducing redness, and calming irritation. I believe this makes licochalcone a valuable ingredient in formulations aimed at sensitive or problematic skin.


Liquiritin is instrumental in skin brightening and improving the overall complexion. It aids in dispersing and removing melanin in the skin, contributing to a clearer and more luminous appearance. This action is particularly beneficial for addressing issues like age spots and uneven skin tone. Additionally, liquiritin has been found to have moisturizing properties, which help in maintaining the skin’s hydration levels.


Isoliquiritigenin is a lesser-known but equally important component of licorice. It boasts strong antioxidant properties, which play a crucial role in protecting the skin from oxidative stress and premature aging. Its ability to combat free radicals helps in preserving the skin’s youthful appearance and texture. It helps in achieving a balanced and healthy skin condition.

4. Licorice for Different Skin Types and Conditions

Licorice is a very good ingredient in skincare, catering to a variety of skin types and conditions with its unique properties. Its natural components is a valuable addition to diverse skincare formulations. Let’s break down how licorice benefits various skin types:

For Sensitive Skin

Licorice is particularly beneficial for sensitive skin due to its soothing properties. The anti-inflammatory compounds, like licochalcone, help in reducing redness and irritation, providing relief to reactive skin. Products containing licorice are often recommended for those with conditions like rosacea or eczema, as they calm the skin without causing further irritation.

For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

Licorice is also effective for oily and acne-prone skin. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties help in managing acne by reducing inflammation and combating acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, licorice can regulate oil production, preventing the clogging of pores that often lead to breakouts. It helps balance sebum levels while ensuring the skin remains hydrated and free from irritation.

For Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Licorice is good for dry skin, thanks to its hydrating properties. It helps in increasing the skin’s moisture retention, providing long-lasting hydration. This is particularly beneficial in preventing dryness and flakiness, common issues for this skin type. The natural compounds in licorice aid in strengthening the skin’s barrier function, which is essential in maintaining hydration and protecting against environmental stressors.

For Aging Skin

For aging skin, licorice offers anti-aging benefits. Its antioxidant properties combat free radicals, which are responsible for signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, licorice stimulates collagen production, improving skin elasticity and firmness. For example, a night cream with licorice extract can work wonders in reducing the appearance of age-related skin concerns, promoting a smoother, firmer skin texture.

5. Licorice in Various Skincare Products

Licorice can be found to enhance the efficacy and appeal of various skincare formulations. Here are some skincare products that commonly incorporate licorice:

Facial Cleansers

Licorice in facial cleansers helps gently purify the skin while providing soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Ideal for sensitive and acne-prone skin, these cleansers can reduce redness and irritation without stripping the skin of its natural oils. The calming properties of licorice make it a preferred ingredient in cleansers designed for daily use, ensuring a clean yet gentle skincare routine.


Licorice has chemical compounds from plant’s properties that combat hyperpigmentation. The glabridin in licorice helps diminish dark spots and brightens the complexion. These serums can be particularly potent, delivering concentrated licorice benefits directly to the skin. TY Cosmetics often incorporate licorice in their serum formulations to leverage these brightening and soothing properties.


Licorice is a common ingredient in moisturizers, especially those formulated for sensitive or irritated skin. I believe its hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties help in soothing the skin while providing essential moisture. For individuals with dry or flaky skin, a licorice-infused moisturizer can offer the dual benefits of hydration and comfort, making it a staple in daily skincare routines.


Incorporating licorice in sunscreens adds an extra layer of skin protection. Licorice’s antioxidant properties help defend the skin against environmental damage and can aid in soothing sun-induced irritation. This makes licorice-enriched sunscreens a smart choice for those looking for comprehensive sun protection with added skincare benefits.

Eye Creams

Eye creams with licorice are effective in addressing the delicate area around the eyes. Licorice helps in reducing dark circles and puffiness, thanks to its brightening and anti-inflammatory properties. In my experience, these eye creams can help revitalize the eye area, making it appear more awake and refreshed.

6. Potential Side Effects and Considerations

While licorice root extract is generally considered safe and beneficial for most skin types, like any ingredient, it can have potential side effects and requires certain considerations. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Potential Side EffectsConsiderations
Allergic Reactions: Rare but possible reactions like redness, itching, or swelling.Skin Type Suitability: Use cautiously, especially for those with extremely sensitive skin.
Skin Sensitivity to Sun: Increased sensitivity to UV rays, necessitating diligent sunscreen use.Product Formulation: Ensure licorice is combined with complementary ingredients for balance.
Overuse Effects: Potential irritation or imbalance from excessive use, especially in high concentrations.Quality of Skincare Products: Choose products from reputable brands with high-quality, well-sourced licorice.
Interaction with Other Skincare Ingredients: Possible adverse reactions when combined with certain acids or retinoids.Long-term Use: Monitor skin’s reaction over time and adjust usage if adverse changes occur.
Hormonal Imbalance Concerns: Potential estrogenic effects, a concern for those with hormone-sensitive conditions.Frequency of Use: Regular but moderate use is recommended to avoid potential side effects.
Pigmentation Changes: Rare cases of uneven skin tone or pigmentation, particularly with high concentrations.Combination with Specific Medications: Consult healthcare providers before use if on certain medications.
Long-term Skin Effects: Prolonged use of high concentrations might lead to skin thinning or other changes.Patch Testing: Advisable to test for any adverse skin reactions beyond allergic responses.
Dehydration or Dryness: Possible for some skin types, especially if not balanced with hydrating ingredients.Storage and Shelf Life: Proper storage and awareness of shelf life are crucial for maintaining product efficacy.

While licorice is a beneficial and generally safe ingredient in skincare, being aware of its potential side effects and considerations is important. Proper usage, attention to skin type and condition, and choosing quality products are key to harnessing the benefits of licorice in skincare effectively and safely.

7. Emerging Trends and Future of Licorice in Skincare

According to LinkedIn, Licorice Extract Market was USD 2,056.48 Million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 3,253.91 million by 2030, indicating a CAGR of 6.0% during the forecast period.Let’s break down the emerging trends and future potential of licorice in skincare:

Personalized Skincare

The trend towards personalized skincare is seeing licorice being used in custom formulations tailored to individual skin concerns. With its versatile properties, licorice can be combined with other ingredients to address specific issues like hyperpigmentation, sensitivity, or aging. For example, a personalized serum might include licorice for its brightening properties, along with other ingredients targeted to the user’s skin needs.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Products

As the demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products grows, licorice is being appreciated for its natural origin. Future skincare lines are likely to emphasize the sustainable sourcing of licorice and its biodegradable nature, aligning with the increasing consumer preference for environmentally responsible products. This shift not only highlights licorice’s efficacy but also its role in promoting sustainable practices within the industry.

Innovative Product Formats

I have seen licorice being explored in various innovative product formats beyond traditional creams and serums. These include licorice-infused sheet masks, sleeping packs, and even exfoliating peels. Such wide applications demonstrate the ingredient’s versatility and adaptability to different skincare trends and client preferences.

Combination with High-Tech Skincare

The future of licorice in skincare also involves its combination with high-tech beauty solutions. This includes the integration of licorice in formulations designed for use with skincare devices, such as LED masks or ultrasonic applicators. I believe the idea is to enhance the efficacy of licorice through technology, maximizing its skin benefits.

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As we go through into the world of licorice skincare, remember that the journey towards effective and innovative skincare is continuous and ever-evolving. Embracing ingredients like licorice not only enhances product efficacy but also aligns with the growing demand for natural and sustainable beauty solutions.

At TY Cosmetic, we take pride in our reputation as experts in Skincare Formula. If you’re aiming to enhance your brand with customized skincare products, we are ready to turn your vision into reality. Reach out to us to discover personalized skincare solutions designed specifically for you!

Hi, I'm Sunny Zheng, hope you like this blog post.

With more than 10 years of experience in OEM/ODM/Private Label Cosmetics, I'd love to share with you the valuable knowledge related to cosmetics & skincare products from a top-tier Chinese supplier's perspective.

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