So now that I'm down to a very very basic regimen for my closed comedone (cloggy pores!) acne, I'm going add licorice extract to the mask I already use. Please see my post about how licorice root works on skin pigmentation.
And here's a recipe for licorice skin toner. And here's a post on how it worked out for me.
To review a bit:
The production of melanin is regulated by tyrosinase, an enzyme present in the melanocytes. It converts an amino acid called tyrosine into dopaquinone. This in turn is convered to melanin granules. In order to prevent hyperpigmentation, tyrosinase action can be disrupted.The transfer of melanin from the melanocytes to the keratinocytes is regulated by the cleavage of PAR-2 (protease-activated receptor). Soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI) and Bowman-Birk inhibitor (BBI), both proteins found in soy, and niacinamide, a vitamin B3 derivative, have all been found to inhibit the cleavage of PAR-2.So in order to be an effective lightener, the formula should contain:
- A tyrosinase inhibitor to decrease melanin production (it can't be stopped completely);
- A PAR-2 cleavage inhibitor to disrupt the transfer of any melanin to the skin surface;
- An exfoliant to remove any cells with excess melanin that do manage to make it to the top.
So the licorice is the tyrosinase inhibitor
The salicylic acid is our exfoliant
I'm going to start with just these two. I already know the salicylic acid has a positive impact on my clogging issues, so I'll add just the licorice first. If the licorice works out I'll add the PAR-2 cleavage inhibitor (B3 niacinamide) to my next formula and see if my clear pores are maintained.
|Licorice Extract from Makingcosmetics.com|
Okay! So I'm starting by adding the licorice extract to my regular salicylic face mask. Makingcosmetics.com suggests a 5 to 7 % concentration of the licorice extract. It's water soluble, so it will dissolve in the honey. Here's my recipe:
I made this recipe based on 1/4 teaspoons.
1/4 teaspoon salicylic acid powder (10%)
1/2 teaspoon alcohol (20%)
3/16 teaspoon licorice extract (@ 7%)
1.6 teaspoons raw, unfiltered, local honey
Okay, this is probably not the most scientific way to do things, but since the salicylic acid content is only about 10 %, it seems safe enough. (It's not good to play around too much with salicylic acid. For me, a 15 % concentration is too much, so if I'm unsure or trying out a new recipe, I'd keep it to around 10 %).
So I estimated the ingredients.
Put 1/4 teaspoon of salicylic acid powder in a glass bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of alcohol and stir with a wooden chopstick until dissolved. Add 1/4 teaspoon of licorice extract, then add half that again into the mix, so it's around 3/16 of a teaspoon (I did it this way because I don't have, nor have I ever seen, a 1/16 teaspoon!). Stir it up, and add a little more than 1 1/2 teaspoons of your honey.
|Salicilic acid from Makingcosmetics.com|
Mix it up good!
Put it on your face. I use the whole thing, and it tingles at first, for about 5 minutes. Leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour and then rinse it off with cool water. Wipe your face with a clean, cool washcloth and rinse again. Moisturize with a little hemp oil. I usually put the hemp oil on my face without drying it. That keeps more moisture in your skin.
The immediate result was a very very soft and clean face. After a few weeks of using this maybe once a week and the toner every day, lightening should be visible. It works for me!