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Licorice extract may help protect skin from UV stress

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

Licorice extract may help protect skin from UV stress
Licorice extract may help protect human skin cells against UV damage by upping production of protective antioxidants, according to German researchers. 

The study looked at the impact of supplementation of Licochalcone A - the main component of the root extract of the plant Glycyrrhiza inflata​ (Chinese Licorice) - on both isolated human skin cells and in healthy volunteers. 

Published in the journal Experimental Dermatology​, the results suggested that the extract could be useful in supporting biological defenses against UV damage alongside suncream. 

Less harmful radicals were detected in the isolated skin cells treated with the extract, and similar results were seen when the extract was applied to the inner forearms of the volunteers for a period of two weeks. 

Gitta Neufang, one of the researchers behind the study, said: "Even with the best sun-protecting filter system (SPF50+) 2% of UV-rays still reach the skin and cause damage. We hope that our study helps to improve the effectiveness of sunscreens to protect from the harmful aspects of sun exposure." 

Source: Experimental Dermatology

Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 42–47, doi: 10.1111/exd.12588

"Licochalcone A activates Nrf2 in vitro and contributes to licorice extract-induced lowered cutaneous oxidative stress in vivo"

Authors: J. Kühnl, D. Roggenkamp, S. A. Gehrke, F. Stäb, H. Wenck, L. Kolbe and G. Neufang

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