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Licorice Extract to Protect the Skin from UV Irradiation Damage?

In a new study in Experimental Dermatology, ultraweak photon emission analysis of skin treated with LicA-rich licorice extract revealed a significantly lowered UVA-induced luminescence, indicative of a decrease in oxidative processes. Therefore a topical application of licorice extract is a promising new approach for cytoprotection in human skin.

Human skin is able to protect from constant exposure to environmental stressors, such as UV radiation and harmful chemicals through complex protective antioxidant defense systems. To cope with UV radiation, skin cells have evolved cytoprotective antioxidant defense systems and detoxifying enzymes. Solar UV radiation is an exogenous stressor for the skin due to the formation of free radicals which can cause damage to cellular proteins, DNA and lipids.
LicA-rich root extract from Glycyrrhiza inflate, protects skin cells from oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo by activating Nrf2. Topical application of LicA-rich lotion significantly decreases the UVA-induced UPE signal as an indicator for oxidative processes in the skin. This study suggests that a topical application of phytochemicals, such as Licorice extract is able to protect skin from subsequent UV radiation. This extract therefore in combination with UV-filters might provide superior sun protection on a biological basis.

By: Jane Mast PA-C, MPAS, SDPA Director at Large

[image by Leo Reynolds]

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