licorice root for skin

Ingredient Spotlight: Licorice Root for Skin

If there’s one root that’s especially controversial, it’s licorice - particularly black licorice. Pungent and intense, the anise-flavored ingredient is much loved by those that are into it.... and avoided like the plague by those that aren’t. But here’s the thing: even if you don’t enjoy it as a snack, you definitely want to consider licorice root benefits for skin. Here’s why.

licorice root for skin

The History of Licorice Root Benefits

Licorice root comes from Glycyrrhiza glabra, a plant native to Europe and Asia. It’s been used for centuries in traditional Chinese, Greek, and Middle Eastern medicine to help with gastrointestinal and upper respiratory concerns, in large part due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

These components are what make licorice root for skin a powerful ingredient.

What is Licorice Root Good For?

For years, licorice root has been recommended by naturalists as a digestive and antioxidative aid. Some evidence points to licorice's skin benefits because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Using licorice root extract for skin and body health has scientific backing:

  • Glycyrrhizin acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cortisol agent. It downregulates inflammation that can cause gastrointestinal issues.
  • Triterpene Saponin, extremely numerous in licorice root, has anticarcinogenic effects.
  • Flavonoids in licorice have been shown to serve weight loss functions in certain studies.

benefits of licorice root

Licorice Root Extract vs Licorice Root

To clarify, licorice root refers to the whole root of the plant. It's ground and used in teas and medicine and contains all naturally occurring compounds of the root.

Licorice root extract is a concentrated form of the desired compounds found in licorice root, not a simple ground and liquified form of it. Licorice extract for skin is typically used because of its high concentration of things like flavonoids, glycyrrhizin, and Triterpene Saponin.

Let's get into the many uses of licorice for skin and why we consider it a staple of any natural skincare routine.

Licorice Root Skin Benefits

Antioxidant Powerhouse

Licorice root naturally contains flavonoids, plant-derived chemicals that help protect the licorice plant against stressors like UV radiation or environmental pollutants. Just like they protect the plant itself, these flavonoids can actually protect skin from free radicals and environmental stressors.

In this way, they can prevent the development of fine lines, wrinkles, spots, and other free radical damage-related skin conditions. Antioxidant licorice root benefits for skin can be found in the following skincare products:

All Nighter Routine

The All Nighter Routine is an anti-aging combo that improves skin texture and radiance as you sleep. We've added licorice extract to improve the look of uneven skin tones; its anti-oxidative properties attack free radicals that cause sun damage and dark spots.

licorice root benefits in our All Nighter Routine


Licochalcone A can also inhibit two inflammatory markers, meaning that licorice extract for skin can help stop inflammation in its tracks. Pretty important for any skincare regimen.

Inflammation contributes to acne, hyperpigmentation, redness, and sensitive reactions. It can be caused by anything from stress to allergens to an unhealthy diet. Because licorice root soothes angry, inflamed skin, it's a nice, gentle ingredient to add to a routine, especially for acne-prone skin. Licorice root skincare products can calm inflammation naturally, without harsh chemicals or synthetic compounds.

All In Eye Cream

Packed with all 8 of our namesake ingredients, the All In Eye Cream is gentle, lightweight, and creamy. Licorice root for skin is added to help reduce puffiness that contributes to "bags" and brightens the under-eye area.

All In Eye Cream with licorice for skin

Skin Brightener

Licorice extract skin products are probably most well-known for their ability to treat hyperpigmentation and brighten the skin - just like its friend vitamin C.

Here’s how it works. Hyperpigmentation is ultimately caused by tyrosinase, an enzyme that encourages melanin production in the skin (and melanin is the stuff that causes pigmentation). Well, licorice contains glabridin, a compound that actually inhibits tyrosinase and stops melanin production.

It also contains something called liquiritin, a compound that breaks up existing melanin. In short, licorice for skin pigmentation can help to prevent future spots and tackle any existing ones. And it’s a lot safer than heavy-duty alternatives like hydroquinone. Just make sure you don’t have a licorice allergy.

Soulmate Brightening Treatment

The Soulmate Brightening Treatment is a multidimensional moisturizer and treatment that facilitates rapid cell turnover while delivering antioxidants to the skin. Licorice root extract works to ward off hyperpigmentation while hyaluronic and glycolic acids stimulate deeper hydration and dead cell shedding.

Soulmate Brightening Treatment licorice root skincare

Plump and Tone the Skin

Who doesn't want plump, youthful skin?

Licorice root contains something called glycyrrhizin, a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Not only does this help improve a balanced skin tone, but it thwarts breakouts from reaching their full peak. It also prevents premature aging.

Another benefit of licorice root for skin is its collagen-boosting properties. Collagen is what keeps skin elastic and flexible, the opposite of what leads to wrinkles and fine lines.

Night Shift Hydration Gel

The Night Shift Hydration Gel is a lightweight moisturizer that absorbs quickly and hydrates deeply. Its cucumber base makes it cooling and refreshing, perfect for a nighttime wind-down. We've added licorice root to this skincare product as one of the ingredients that balance out an uneven skin tone.

Night Shift Hydration Gel with licorice

Enhanced Skin Barrier Function

Another one of the many benefits of licorice root is its protective qualities to the skin's natural barrier. The skin has a barrier that protects our bodies from pollutants, bacteria, UV rays, and more. Because licorice root contains antioxidants, it strengthens this barrier by destroying free radicals that are so harmful. This also promotes moisture retention, maintaining constant, healthy hydration.

Our Night Shift Hydration Gel and Soulmate Brightening Treatment incorporate these benefits beautifully, revealing plump, smooth skin after regular use.

How to Use Licorice Root Products in Your Skin Care Routine

It might seem like a miracle ingredient, but other steps are needed in addition to licorice root for skin care success. Using this powerful ingredient will help you achieve smooth, balanced, and even skin, but you need a well-rounded routine to ensure healthy, clean skin. Here are a few pointers for incorporating Eight Saints products with licorice root so you know when and where to apply for the best results.

Licorice Root Infused Skincare Routine

Cleanse Your Skin

Always start with a clean slate before applying your beloved skincare products, or they won't be fully absorbed. You'll cleanse in the morning when you wake up and at night to wash off the day.

Use the Bright Side Cream Cleanser for your face and a gentle body wash like the Rainbow Is My Favorite Color Bar Soap to cleanse the skin without stripping it and damaging your skin's natural biome. These two don't have licorice root but pair excellently with those that do.

Rainbow Is My Favorite Color Bar Soap

Tone Up

After cleansing, use a toner like the Coast Is Clear Face Toner to remove any impurities the cleanser might have missed. This will balance your pH levels and prime the skin for product absorption.

This toner doesn't have licorice root, but we'll get there in the next step!

Now, Brighten & De-Puff!

Now it's time to moisturize your squeaky clean face. Make sure to do this step before applying makeup. Prep your skin for the day with the Soulmate Brightening Treatment for a layer of hydrating protection and the All In Eye Cream for extra radiance under the eyes. This step ensures you take in the licorice root skin benefits all day long.

Sun Out - SPF In!

Did you know that a tan is your skin telling you it's received too many UV rays? Though we all love a good summer tan, too much sun damages the skin and is the number one thing that speeds up the aging process.

Protect your skin from harmful UV rays with our Chase The Sun SPF 30 Face Moisturizer. This lightweight moisturizer goes on clear, leaving no pale white streaks behind.

benefits of licorice root

Get Ready for the Zzz's

After you wash off the day with the aforementioned cleansers, it's time to apply night-time skincare products. These products are typically heavier than daytime products and work overtime while you sleep, uninterrupted by daily pollutants and the like.

Our Night Shift Hydration Gelcontains licorice root extract, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and many more natural pro-skin ingredients to deliver everything you need to wake up looking radiant and rested.


More SkinCare Please!

Licorice root for skin has immense benefits, but there are other super beneficial ingredients that we think you'd love too. Sample a few in the Minis X 3 travel pack: a perfect introduction to our other products.

Check out our blogs in the Ingredient Spotlight series and learn about Rose benefits for skin, Sunflower Oil for Skin, and Calendula Benefits. We remain loyal to the Eight Saints ingredients, keeping our list of additions organic and synthetic-free for the ultimate skincare routine.

Final Thoughts on Licorice Root Benefits

Incorporating licorice root extract into your skincare routines has numerous benefits for the skin, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and collagen-boosting properties. When used regularly, licorice root can help with:

  • Fighting free radicals
  • Inflammation and breakouts
  • Skin brightening
  • Skin texture
  • Skin tone balancing
  • Supporting skin's natural barrier

As with any new product, you don't know how your body might react. Make sure to patch-test new products in a discreet area like the jaw to test for reactivity.

And remember, don't stop with licorice root. A well-rounded skincare routine is the best way to ensure clean, happy skin:

  • Cleanse morning and night
  • Follow up with a toner
  • Moisturize and apply SPF
  • Apply night creams to repair skin while you sleep

Make this process sweet and simple by joining our Eight Saints VIP program. Receive a $40 store credit each month to use on any products you'd like. Build your dream skincare routine and enjoy free shipping, VIP customer support, exclusive specials, and gifts!

So next time you want to treat your skin to a little extra TLC, consider the licorice root benefits and give it a try - your skin will thank you!