This skincare ingredient has been getting a lot of attention lately as a gentler substitute for the popular, hydroquinone. Dark spots can plague you for several reasons including sun damage, hormonal shifts causing melasma, and post-acne trauma. Whatever the reason behind the discoloration, one thing most can agree on is that we want those dark spots and patches. Whatever your reason is for seeking a plant-based alternative, let’s dive into what makes this ingredient so great, who it’s best suited for, and why we are including it as a standout ingredient in our Night Renewal Serum.

Dark spots are caused by an overproduction of melanin (pigmentation). Licorice root extract helps by blocking the enzyme needed to produce this pigmentation, as well as removing and dispersing the existing melanin in the skin. Not only can it improve existing dark spots, it can even prevent new ones from developing. When you are looking at ingredient lists, it pairs wonderfully with other antioxidants and skin brightening ingredients such as niacinamide, goji berry extract, vitamin c, and beta carotene. These ingredients work in combination to improve the look of your skin, fading unwanted dark spots and evening skin tone and texture.  For the fastest results try a serum vs a toner, cleanser or moisturizer. Serums typically contain higher ingredient concentrations, making them more potent and effective.

Who should try licorice root extract in their skincare? Most can benefit from it, but it is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin or those with ingredient restrictions such as women who are pregnant. It can be used morning and evening as part of a treatment routine, however, if your skin becomes irritated at all, scale back use. In addition, make sure you don’t undo all the time and money you invest in fading these spots. We suggest using an SPF of 30 as the final step in your skincare routine to keep dark spots from reoccurring.