It takes all sorts: Licorice found to combat facial skin sagging


Shiseido finds licorice strengthens skin structure

Japanese beauty giant Shiseido has made a breakthrough discovery with regard to facial skin sagging – and licorice is at the root of it.

When conducting joint research with Kyoichi Matsuzaki, Associate Professor at the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at St Marianna University School of Medicine, and Takahiro Ochiya, Chief of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the National Cancer Center Research Institute, a discovery was made regarding the loss of ‘dermal anchoring structures’ and their link to facial skin sagging. It was observed that in facial skin, the dermis exhibits convex matrix structures (dermal anchoring structures), which vary greatly compared with skin on the abdomen. It was confirmed that if facial skin has large dermal anchoring structures, there is less sagging and a greater retention of facial skin morphology – something that is lost with age.

However, when making these observations, Shiseido also discovered that exercises can combat the loss of dermal anchoring structures. In particular, exercises that contract then relax the muscles in the face – ones used to create facial expressions – result in the stimulation of fibroblasts (component cells of the anchoring structure). After four weeks of using Shiseido-prescribed exercises, women involved in the trial said they felt the exercises treated facial sagging.

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Alongside this discovery, Shiseido’s researchers conducted an ingredient search to identify a substance that could mimic these effects. Licorice extract was identified to produce the same effects as the exercises Shiseido’s test subjects carried out. As a result, Shiseido plans to apply these findings to the development of new skin care products.