Cica, short for Centella Asiatica, is a medicinal plant that has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. It grows in many parts of Asia, mainly in India, Pakistan, Madagascar, Equatorial Africa, Central America and tropical regions of Oceania. This plant is also commonly known as tiger grass since it is believed that tigers naturally rolls around this grass to heal their wounds after a fight. This supports the evidence behind their wound healing properties. It has recently gained popularity in the skincare industry since many people have noticed a lot of skin improvement from using Centella Asiatica-based products.
The active compounds in this ingredient are Asiaticoside, Madecassoside, Asiatic and Madecassic acids. These active compounds are responsible for many of the skin-loving benefits of this ingredient.
8 skincare benefits of Centella Asiatica
Improves wound healing
Do you know that Centella Asiatica has been widely used to treat wounds? It is a very effective treatment for wounds or burns. Centella Asiatica has been shown to accelerate the wound healing process and prevent raised scars from forming.
Promotes collagen production
How does this ingredient improve wound healing? The compound, Madecassoside, found in Centella Asiatica, plays the most significant role in improving wound healing as it has properties that increase collagen synthesis.
Has anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammatory flare-ups can exacerbate your rosacea, acne and eczema. Centella Asiatica tones down inflammation on our skin and helps to calm them down. If you're prone to redness and irritation, Centella Asiatica should be your go-to ingredient.
Is rich in antioxidant
We all know that we can fight off free radicals by using antioxidant-rich products. But, do you know that aside from vitamin A, B, or C, many other plant extracts are potent in antioxidants.
We also hear that prevention is key, and we couldn't agree more. No one wants that post-acne inflammatory hyperpigmentation or UV-induced hyperpigmentation. Using a Centella Asiatica based product can help prevent it!
Improves skin texture
A small study with 27 female volunteers using an Asiaticoside base cream showed a 65% improvement of periocular wrinkles (Crow's feet) after 12 weeks. Doesn't it sound so promising?
*Please note that this is a preliminary study on small number of subjects.
Has anti-microbial properties
Extracts of Centella Asiatica have been found to be an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent. This backed up their use and benefits in traditional medicine before there has been any scientific evidence behind it.
Is great for acne-prone skin
Acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum, colonization by bacteria, and clogged pores. The anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of Centella Asiatica makes it a great supporting ingredient for anyone who is dealing with acne.
How the Centella Asiatica extract compound is extracted plays a significant role in the extracts' quality. If it is not extracted properly, it may extract some skin-irritating phytochemicals. Don't forget to patch test any of your new product, especially if you have very sensitive skin or any bad reaction to Centella Asiatica based products.
Centella Asiatica Product Recommendations:
Balances, softens and preps your skin for your whole routine. This helps balance your skin pH, hydrate, and soothe your skin.
Repair and strengthen your skin barrier with this ampoule to keep your skin protected and reduce skin sensitivities.
It is the name; this ampoule is full of Cica (84.28%) to soothe and calm irritated skin.
Ampoule: ISOI Cicago Cica Double Effect Ampoule
A bi-phase ampoule powered with two layers aimed at fortifying the skin barrier and soothing irritated skin. Make sure to shake the bottle before use to get the best of both layers.
This lightweight serum is so hydrating and soothing at the same time. It helps tone down redness, irritation and helps with hydration.
Sheet mask: ABIB Mild Acidic pH Sheet Mask Heartleaf Fit
This mask contains Centella Asiatica, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Licorice extracts that help soothe inflammation and brighten your skin at the same time.
Serum: COSRX Pure Fit Cica Serum
This Centella-enriched serum is formulated with Cica 7 Complex solution to tackle red and irritated skin whilst reinforcing the skins barrier.
Tea tree, AHA-BHA-PHA and Centella Asiatica, a blend of amazing ingredients for anyone with acne-prone skin.
Takeaway: Who else loves this jack of all trades Centella Asiatica plant extract? If you’re looking for any skincare product with Centella Asiatica, make sure to check out our curations.
- By Claudia Christin (@funskincare)
MBBS, Ph.D. (Dermatology)