Products with Licorice Extract for Dark Spots & Skin Irritation

Plant extracts in cosmetics continue to increase in popularity, but sources differ wildly on how effective or safe some of them really are. Even time-tested aloe and chamomile have their detractors, and it is often difficult - buy steroids online - to sort through all the contradictory Internet and print references and figure out which plants generally have a beneficial effect on the skin.Plain ordinary licorice extract may sound like a dull ingredient; most consumers probably still think of it as little more than a flavoring. However, sources seem to agree that it can prevent and reverse the inflammation that may lead to premature skin aging, possibly reduce redness from acne, and minimize dark discolorations and help fade those annoying post-blemish or post-skin-picking-session spots on the skin.Licorice: Good Ingredient for Red, Irritated Skin and Dark Spots on SkinLicorice or sweet wood comes from shrubs that are native to Europe and parts of Asia. Its root and extract have been used in herbal medicine for centuries, and several of its purported skin care benefits have been proved by todays scientists as well. Usually listed on ingredient labels as Glycyrrhiza glabra, it has various derivatives and important components: Licorices benefits may be obtained even when it is referred to by other names such as licochalcone or licochalcone A, gylcyrrhizin, and glycerrhetic acid.This plant fights the inflammation that leads to wrinkles, and may help reddened skin with acne or rosacea look better and heal more quickly. Its licochalcone stimulates natural production of the steroids cortisone and aldosterone, so it might improve very mild cases of eczema or even psoriasis (always check with your doctor, though). Dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann recommends licorice extract to improve the appearance of minor facial discolorations, although she prefers prescription products for more serious ones; and green skin care expert Julie Gabriel notes that licorice shows promise in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Along with soy, it can help get rid of the red marks left behind by acne blemishes, too.There seem to be relatively few reports of allergic reactions or skin sensitization reactions to licorice when used as a skin care ingredient, although it may be toxic and cause potassium loss, headaches, and other heath problems if consumed orally in high amounts.Skin Care Products Containing Licorice or Its Active Component Licorice is more expensive than some of the other commonly used skin-soothing agents, so you have to wade through a lot of ingredient lists to locate it. Make sure it is not listed after fragrance or preservatives like parabens or DMDM hydantoin, because in such small quantities it's really just there for show. Although it is present in quite a few natural or organic skin care lines, take care that irritating ingredients are not listed along with it. Avalon Organics Revitalizing Eye Gel contains licorice, for example; but pairs it with lavender, which often causes bad reactions when the skin is exposed to sunlight and can irritate the delicate skin around the eyes. Its kind of silly to use a product that irritates the skin and then attempts to soothe the irritation it caused!Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser and Soothing Night Cream are not exactly loaded with licorice, but they contain enough licochalcone to possibly make at least a slight difference in the appearance of mildly irritated skin.Paulas Choice RESIST Replenishing Toner contains a nice amount of licorice root, along with other interesting skin care ingredients like carnosine. This same lines Weekly Resurfacing Treatment also contains licorice, which might be why some people (including me) do not find it nearly as irritating as other 10% glycolic acid treatments. Paulas Choice Skin Recovery Moisturizer offers a salt form of the extract called dipotassium glycyrrhizate.DHC Wrinkle Filler contains an impressive amount of a licorice-based soothing agent, and is good for dry, sensitive skin types. DHCs Extra Nighttime Moisture contains some licorice, too; but not enough to make it a particularly exciting anti-inflammatory product.Cuccio Natural Butter Blend Body Butters contain a fair amount of Glycyrrhiza glabra plus all sorts of emollients, fatty acids, and other helpful skin care ingredients, making these hard-to-find body care products well worth seeking out. Skip these if allergic or sensitized to aloe, though.Lastly, Nuance Salma Hayek Renewing & Brightening Facial Serum may help lighten skin discolorations with licorice and a form of kojic acid. This also contains loads of other plant extracts, some of which Ive frankly never heard of and that dont commonly appear in other products. One is agave tequilana leaf extract, which sounds more like something that belongs in a Margarita than on your face. May be worth a try for minor dark spots, but I wouldnt expect miracles.SourcesBegoun, Paula, Dont Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, 8th ed., Renton, WA: Beginning Press, 2010. Quote concerning DHC Wrinkle Filler from p. 420.Edgar, Jolene, Psycho Skin, Allure, Nov. 2011.Gabriel, Julie, The Green Beauty Guide, Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 2008. Hyperpigmentation quote from p. 125.Goodheart, Herbert P., Acne for Dummies, Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2006.Leffell, David J., Total Skin, New York: Hyperion, 2000.Marta, Salma Hayeks Nuance Facial Serum,, Aug. 15, 2011.Winter, Ruth, A Consumers Dictionary - buy steroids online - of Cosmetic Ingredients, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2009.Baumann, Leslie, The Skin Type Solution, New York: Bantam Books, 2007.