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Skin School  >   Skincare

Licorice Root: What It Is and How It Can Brighten Your Skin

Often used as a sweetener in candies, drinks, and medicines – Licorice Root's got some amazing benefits for the skin!

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Here at Hero, we love us a good skincare ingredient. We carefully choose every ingredient in our products to ensure they deliver the best results. Whether you need to get rid of a pimple fast or want to brighten your skin, we've got you. 😉 One ingredient we want to shine a spotlight on for a moment is licorice root. It's more than just a candy flavor, friends. Keep reading for all the deets on all things licorice root, including what it is, its benefits, and (*spoiler alert*) how it works as a brightener.

But first, the licorice root fast facts

  • Main benefit: Naturally brightens the appearance of dark spots
  • Who it's for: Great for those with signs of dark spots and acne scarring
  • How often you should use it: Depends on the product, but usually 1-2x/day
  • Mixes well with: Antioxidants and other skin brightening ingredients, including niacinamide and vitamin C

Licorice root 101: the history

Licorice root is a medicinal plant. It comes from the root of the licorice plant. The fancy name for it is glycyrrhiza glabra, in case you were wondering. Licorice root may not be the most popular ingredient on the block, but it's been used for a long time—we're talking thousands of years—in traditional Chinese medicine. It's also often used as a sweetener in candies, drinks, and medicines. You can find licorice root in many forms, including teas, capsules, and topicals. Of course, we are most excited about its skincare benefits—the top three licorice root benefits for skin, below.

Licorice root benefits for skin 💪

1. Improves the look of dark spots

Some studies have found that Licorice root helps disperse the melanin (aka pigment) in the skin, improving the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

2. Evens out skin tone

Not only does licorice root help visibly fade existing dark spots, it also helps prevent new ones from forming. Licorice extract's main component is a flavonoid called glabridin. Although more studies are needed, some research shows that glabridin helps prevent ultraviolet b-induced pigmentation from sun exposure.

3. Boosts overall luminosity

Licorice root has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it's known for being great for irritated skin. Research has found that licorice extract is an effective agent in treating eczema. When applied as a topical on the skin, it significantly reduced symptoms.

    How to brighten skin with licorice root

    Ready to give licorice root a try? Surprise! Meet Hero's new brightening serum spot treatment, Lightning Wand, which features the star ingredient to help brighten your skin. Lightning Wand helps visibly fade the look of post-acne marks, dark spots, and sunspots. The brightening serum tackles the dark spots in three unique ways:

    • Exfoliates—Glycolic acid gets rid of dead skin and, in turn, helps the serum work better and faster.
    • Brightens—Lightning Wand infuses your skin with skin-brightening ingredients including niacinamide, tranexamic acid, vitamin C, and of course, the star of this show: licorice root.
    • Color corrects—Lightning Wand not only helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, but it also camouflages them with a sheer color-correcting tint while it gets the job done.

    Start using Lightning Wand once or twice per day as soon as you've extracted the blemish and until the dark spot looks brighter. You can either wear it under makeup or go makeup-free. Pro tip: Layer it with Rescue Balm for speedier results.

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