Dipotassium glycyrrhizate (DPG) is the dipotassium salt of glycyrrhizic acid, also known as glycyrrhizin – a key component in licorice root extract, which is also known as Glycyrrhiza glabra, Fabaceae. Glycyrrhizin is the main sweet-tasting constituent of the plant, which can be extracted and used in candies or sweeteners. Licorice extract is 30 to 50 times sweeter than sugar. In cosmetics and personal care products, DPG functions as skin-conditioning agent with anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties, as well as an emulsifier and gel-forming agent.

Licorice root extract has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is well known for its soothing effects on inflamed membranes and its expectorant properties in removing phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract. For this reason, licorice can be used from the common cold to liver disease. Many of the health benefits provided by licorice come from glycyrrhizin, which could explain why DPG is now used in skin care products as an anti-inflammatory ingredient.

Functions of DPG in cosmetics

  • This substance is a skin-conditioning agent that has the ability to improve the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness, soothing and calming the inflammation.
  • Clinical studies have determined that DPG is an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis (eczema) because of its ability to reduce redness and irritation.
  • DPG helps preserve hyaluronic acid content in the skin, maintain hydrated, supple and youthful skin.

It functions as an emulsifier and gel-forming agent in cosmetics and personal care products. Emulsifiers improve the consistency of a product, which enables an even distribution of topical skin care benefits.

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