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Are you concerned that your skin is darker? Is it also getting darker day by day due to increased sun exposure? Don’t worry! First of all, you need to understand that skin darkening as a result of exposure to sun radiation is actually your body’s own protective measure to prevent dreaded diseases. Secondly, why fear when you have powerful natural resources like Liquorice which can de-tan your skin totally, every day?
As you might already know, melanin is the colouring agent present in the skin. The reason for certain people being fair, wheatish, brown, dark brown or black in colour is because of the amount of melanin content in their skin. This is also a genetic factor and does not change with age.
Though there are many other factors that determine skin colour, melanocytes are the major contributors in evolving skin colour. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between the amount of exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and the distribution of native skin pigmentation in races around the world. The ultraviolet radiation is intense and more severe near the equator in tropical regions. People living in these areas have higher melanin content in their skin contributing to darker skin colour. On the other hand, those living near the poles have pale white or pinkish skin colour due to haemoglobin and connective tissue present beneath the skin unlike those in hotter regions, wherein melanin is the major determining factor.
Thus skin adapts to radiation and prevents damage to DNA and skin cells. However, women generally have a lighter skin colour allowing for greater absorption of sunlight which is required for synthesizing vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important element in the calcium pathway and is required for efficient calcium absorption. Since calcium is required in greater quantities during pregnancy and lactation, women have been blessed with a lighter skin colour.
If you are somebody with a darker skin tone, it is not something for you to feel bad about. In fact, it means that your body has a better protection mechanism to prevent absorption of harmful ultraviolet radiation and resultant health hazards.
Dark spots are often caused due to hyper pigmentation and over exposure to sun. As a result of over pigmentation, there is increased melanin production in certain areas of the skin which is viewed as darks spots.
As much as it is a natural phenomenon, it does cause unevenness when it comes to skin tone. An easy way to get rid of dark spots is to use liquorice and exploit its skin brightening properties. It has the ability to reverse the effects of sun exposure and resulting hyper pigmentation.
Research performed by the national centre of biotechnology has revealed that the glabridin part of the Liquorice constituents has the ability to inhibit pigmentation. It inhibits the enzyme that causes skin darkening due to sun exposure. At the same time, glabridin also puts a check on melanin production.
While it reduces melanin production, it also neutralizes the acid balance in cells and prevents the acidic reaction that ultimately results in pigmentation. In turn, it produces skin lightening even through topical application.
Liquorice extract is not only powerful in bringing about skin lightening, but it is also capable of fading out dark circles and scars.
‘Licochalcone’ present in liquorice is an oil-controlling agent that prevents excess oil secretion in the skin. This is especially useful for people with oily and acne prone skin. As liquorice neutralizes pH levels and also inhibits excess oil secretion in the skin, it naturally protects skin from bacterial and fungal infections that cause acne and other severe skin diseases such as dermatitits, eczema and psoriasis.
Liquorice can be used in many ways in skin care regimes and has been used by Egyptians and Greeks since age old times as a natural remedy for skin darkening. A simple way to use liquorice is to make liquorice extract by boiling two tablespoons of liquorice root powder in one cup of water to make a thick decoction. You can strain the liquid and dip a cotton ball in it and apply a thin layer on your skin in the morning and at night.
You will be able to notice the skin lightening benefits of liquorice every day with this easy method as it quickly re-instates your skin colour by intercepting the melanogenesis that happens in response to sun exposure.
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