Does it really work? Can you use liquorice extract for hyperpigmentation and reducing dark skin spots? The ever increasing demand for a natural answer to pigmentation problems has manufacturers digging ever deeper to find potent but effective natural solutions. It seems that this plant extract may be one of them.
The licorice plant is native to southern European countries and parts of Asia. It has long been known and used for its flavoring properties, in western cultures better known for its use in sweets and flavored beverages, but it is used extensively across Asian countries not only for use in cuisine, but also for medicinal purposes. It is used to treat a great many ailments, coughs, gastric problems and viral illnesses. Notably, the Chinese use it to treat tuberculosis, and in Japan it is widely used to treat hepatitis.
Although the medicinal properties of the plant are obvious, it's possible to increase its potency even further. The process of boiling down the root of the plant is used to create the extract, which is then powdered or made into a syrup.
- So why does licorice extract work so well for treating hyperpigmentation?
Within the extract are very small trace amounts of a substance known as Glabridin. This is the magic ingredient. Glabridin has been found to have considerable skin lightening properties. It has been found to stop the formation of dark pigment in the skin, and importantly, still remain non toxic to regular skin cells. Along with the natural lightening power of the glabridin, licorice is also know for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent natural choice for treating hyperpigmentation.
How can you apply licorice extract?
Unfortunately good quality extract isn't something that is widely available, so most opt for a natural hyperpigmentation cream that contains a high percentage of the compound. To try it as a home remedy, reputable health stores are your best bet for a good quality organic brand, or some quick research online should yield results. The best way to apply the pure extract is to dilute a small powdered amount in some distilled water. There are no set guidelines as to how much to use, but it is a mild astringent, so start with a little at a time in case of any skin reaction. Soak a compress in the solution and apply it to the affected area for 10 minutes twice a day.
There are many natural hyperpigmentation remedies just as effective as licorice extract, but always remember, it's just a case of finding out what works best for you.
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