Licorice Serum, $35 at Nordstrom
Skin prone to redness and irritation? Soothe it with this antioxidant-rich serum. Licorice and green tea extracts calm angry, red skin while hydrating and protecting against UV damage. Use the serum by itself or layer with other serums. The product can even be used on the undereye area prior to eye cream.
Soothing Serum, $38 at Ulta Beauty
This serum does exactly what it promises on the bottle. Apply it as a spot treatment or to the entire face before moisturizer. A blend of certified organic ingredients, including licorice, raspberry juice and bearberry botanicals, calms and soothes skin. The multitasking product also fights free radical damage and increases hydration.
PRE:EMPT SERIES Refreshing Shower Mask, $50 at Perricone MD
As much as we love steamy showers, they're not the greatest for skin. Before stepping into the shower, apply the cooling gel mask. The licorice, jojoba and squalane in-shower mask protects skin from the damaging effects of hot water. The heat and steam actually help activate the mask to calm skin. The formula has also been designed so it will hold up in the shower. No drips here.
Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, $52 at Dermalogica
Ensure skin gets plenty of vitamins with this revitalizing mask. It contains a cocktail of vitamins and botanicals that helps target dryness, dullness and the signs of aging. If skin has been exposed to stress, apply the mask to a cleansed face for 10 to 15 minutes. The vegan and gluten-free formula will help restore skin and boost elasticity and collagen synthesis.
Cleansing Nectar, $32 at Fig+Yarrow
We're familiar with toners, mists, essences and astringents, but nectar? It's actually a cleanser-toner hybrid. The product is enriched with botanicals, including licorice root and willow bark extract that gently exfoliate while soothing. The formula is pH balanced so it won't disrupt skin. Plus, it can be diluted with water for those with sensitive skin.
First Aid Beauty
Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream, $22 at Sephora
Licorice to the rescue. The noncomedogenic lotion helps sort skin out by hydrating, calming and protecting it. The product is suitable for all skin types, including those with very sensitive skin. It is allergy tested, dermatologist recommended and suitable for everyday use. Use it in place of a regular moisturizer morning and night. It offers plenty of hydration thanks to squalane and ceramides.
Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil, $38 at Glow Recipe
Don't wait until the fifth step in your skin care routine to address stressed skin. Do it from the get-go with a calming cleanser. This gentle-yet-effective cleansing oil is potent enough to remove makeup, but keeps skin balanced. Instead of mineral oils, it uses a blend of botanical oils, including avocado oil and hazel seed to cleanse. Licorice root ensures skin stays soft and balanced.
Gentle Peeling Exfoliant, $10 at Ulta Beauty
Exfoliators of any kind can strike fear into those with sensitive skin. This one shouldn't as it gently removes dead skin cells thanks to papaya, tangerine and licorice extracts. Apply a few pumps of the product to damp hands and massage on skin. Rinse with water and skin will be flake-free and glowing, but not red.
Dark Circles Relief and De-Puffing Eye Serum, $76 at Nordstrom
Licorice's brightening properties make it a good ingredient for eye products. The dermatologist-tested formula perks up and hydrates eyes so you'll at least look awake — even if you feel very different. The serum simultaneously tackles puffiness and dark circles so eyes will look sparkling.
ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream, $32 at Sephora
Certain acne treatments can leave skin dry and itchy. This soothing gel cream ensures skin is moisturized and comfortable. Plus, it reduces the appearance of breakouts. Skin soothers including lavender, sage, chamomile and Japanese licorice extract target redness, shine and irritation. The treatment also helps support skin's protective barrier and fights free radicals. Apply the product morning and night as needed.
Allies of Skin
Bright Future Overnight Facial, $120 at Net-a-Porter
Wake up to more radiant, soothed skin with the help of this sleeping peel. Like a sleeping mask, the product works while we count sheep. This hypoallergenic chemical peel takes off dead skin cells, boosts hydration and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores and breakouts. What's more, licorice root extract helps brighten skin. The product has a slow release formula so the active acids won't irritate skin, but it still offers twice the brightness and exfoliation as traditional peels.
Super-Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm, $26 at Boscia
Before using concealer, try this depuffing eye balm. The easy-to-apply stick revives tired eyes in a few swipes. It has an invigorating cooling sensation that helps treat the eyes and senses. Licorice root extract calms and minimizes the appearance of dark spots. The brightener can be worn under and over eye makeup and reapplied throughout the day.
When it comes to skin care products, it’s all about the ingredients. The right ones can transform skin but the wrong ones can cause dryness, redness and a smattering of breakouts. Those with sensitive skin know this too well, which is why people with reactive skin are very careful about what they put on their faces. If you’re looking for a soothing ingredient that won’t irritate skin, licorice is an important one to know.
So everyone’s on the same page, we’re not talking about licorice candy, we’re talking about the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra, a plant native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. In terms of skin care, licorice is beneficial for brightening, lightening dark spots and improving skin tone, saysDr. Toral Patel, leading board-certified dermatologist in Chicago. Patel notes that licorice also contains an anti-inflammatory compound known as glycyrrhizin, which can soothe red, irritated skin.
Unlike divisive licorice candy, licorice skin care is generally well tolerated by the majority, says Patel. The exception is those with a licorice allergy or intolerance, in which case, steer clear. Those who are curious about trying the soothing ingredient can find licorice most commonly in serums and creams. Here are some of the best calming licorice beauty products to try now.
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