Licorice has long been used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation or the darkening of skin due to an increase in melanin levels. Licorice works in inhibiting discoloration by blocking the production of melanin, as well as absorbing the harmful UV rays of the sun which tend to cause dark spots.
Piperlongumine is another key ingredient in similar skin care products which aids in the regulation of the melanin synthesis. This is a natural product of the fruit of long pepper that originates from India and South East Asia.
These extracts have long been found to be effective in the treatment of melasma, a disorder which causes facial discoloration characterized by the appearance of brown patches on the surface of the skin. Studies have found that individuals with melasma who used skin care products containing licorice and piperlongumine experienced a 70% improvement in the condition of their skin in just one month.
Research has shown that they offer skin lightening effects that are similar to prescription treatments such as those containing hydroquinone. The enzymes found in licorice extract may also aid in the stimulation of cell renewal following UV rays damage, thereby producing skin that is healthier and more luminous. Their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-irritant properties make them a multipurpose acne fighter.
The enzymes it contains assist in the elimination of bacteria responsible for causing acne, while also regulating the production of sebum. While normal sebum amounts are vital for the maintenance of healthy skin, excess oil is typically associated with acne. The potent anti-inflammatory abilities also aid in soothing the swelling that results from pimples, and the redness triggered by breakouts.