Many people use special black licorice soaps for skin lightening due to the presence of glabridin (Glycyrrhiza glabra) which is a compound found in licorice root extract. I have seen my scar lightened through the use of Physicians Formula tinted moisturizer , which I found out later had brightening effects due to licorice extract and tomato derivatives. I have personally bought licorice extract from the farmers market but I didn’t stick to the regimen ( lack of willpower during the time, but I will start again and post results )
I’m not sure if I want to use licorice extract alone as the livestrong website suggests, because it looks, smells, and feels like soy sauce! When it dries for a bit ,it feels quite sticky and I’m not sure if it’s something I want to go to bed with. Perhaps I will try combining it with facial oils.
Licorice extract is one of the common skin brightening ingredients I have heard of, along with kojic acid and vitamin C which I will write about another time. ( I do not want to list hydroquinone because it has been said to cause cancer)
There is a vague suggestion from this ehow article that says-
“Mix licorice extract with other natural compounds to treat hyperpigmentation. Extracts made from such natural ingredients as mulberry, raspberry, green tea, German chamomile, horse chestnut and grape seeds may increase the potency and skin brightening powers of pure licorice extract. You can use licorice extract in conjunction with lemon juice, which also acts as a skin brightener.
Anyway, onwards to the facts!
Patches containing licorice root extract may provide some relief for skin problems around the mouth such as canker sores, according to New York University’s Langone Medical Center. The patches dissolve upon contact. Cold sores and genital sores related to herpes may respond to creams containing 2 percent licorice root extract. Other problems for which licorice root creams are studied include eczema and psoriasis. So far, limited research exists regarding licorice root in topical form; ask your doctor for current research and for her opinion about licorice root products to soothe your skin problems.
Homemade Skin Formula
Depending on how widespread your skin rash is, herbalist Stephanie Tourles suggests either soaking in a tub containing home-extracted licorice root, or dabbing the extracted liquid directly onto affected areas. Because licorice root is a woody rather than leafy herb, a decoction represents a better method to extract the root’s property. To prepare a licorice root decoction, bring 2 tbsp. dried licorice root and 6 cups water to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. Cool, strain and add the infused licorice water to a lukewarm bath, or apply it directly to your skin throughout the day.
“Applied topically to your skin, licorice extract gel or ointment may help treat eczema, and gargling with a licorice extract solution may help treat canker sores according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Licorice extract might also help if you have cold sores, melasma, genital herpes or shingles. Topical applications of licorice could help treat psoriasis as well, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. No widely conclusive medical evidence entirely confirms licorice extract’s effectiveness for treating these skin conditions, however.
“Licorice extract contains glycyrrhizin and flavonoids, which are thought to produce anti-inflammatory action in the skin according to the University of Michigan Health System. The glycyrrhiza extract in licorice may be responsible for its actions in healing canker sores as well. Another substance found in licorice called liquiritin may help treat the skin-pigmentation disorder melasma. Most licorice extracts have the glycyrrhizin constituent removed, because it can cause serious health problems like low potassium levels and elevated blood pressure. This common form of the extract is called deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL.”
Most of the dangers associated with using licorice extracts orally or topically relate to its content of glycyrrhizin. Therefore, use of DGL extracts is generally considered safe, but no safety studies have confirmed this, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Even small amounts of glycyrrhizin may be dangerous if you have heart failure or heart disease, edema, hypertension, diabetes, or kidney or liver disease, warns the University of Maryland Medical Center.”
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/157697-licorice-extract-and-skin-care/#ixzz2SrwvvOMu
” Glabridin inhibits melanogenesis by inhibiting tyrosinase isoenzymes T1 and T3 .
This enzyme is behind melanin synthesis. ” Source
ALSO, when using scar lightening products of any kind, it is even more imperative to wear sunscreen or the pigmentation will worsen!