Acne-fighting? Anti-ageing? Hydrating and healing? One ingredient can’t possibly achieve all these things! Unless that ingredient is Centella Asiatica of course!
If you’re a lover of Korean skin care and its trends, you probably know how prominent this moisturising skin saviour is. Known by a variety of names including cica, gotu kola, tiger grass and Asiatic Pennywort, this ancient medicinal plant has now had a newfound popularity in skin care. While many natural ingredients are big on fluff with little results, Centella Asiatica has the research to back its claims
What is Centella Asiatica?
Centella Asiatica is a perennial herb that grows in dark, damp areas primarily in Asia. For centuries, it has been well-documented in traditional chinese medicine as a healing superstar, and now, making a resurgence into modern skin care science. Korea has been coming out with cica creams, balms, serums and toners - left, right and centre.
Centella Asiatica is made of four main active ingredients: asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside and madecassoside. All these actives have been studied for its antimicrobial, antioxidant, redness reducing, age and acne fighting capabilities.
Skin Benefits of Centella Asiatica:
You may be wondering why many Centella Asiatica products contain the prefix ‘cica-’ well, it actually refers to its cicatrising (i.e. healing) capacity! This anti-inflammatory ingredient helps to soothe and heal compromised skin, especially the skin of burn victims, eczema and psoriasis sufferers. Moreover, if your skin is begging for some deep hydration, this swamp dwelling plant is a rich source of amino acids which help to maintain your skin’s hydration levels and overall smooth and supple complexion!
Related article: 5 Best Skin Care Ingredients for Redness
2. ACNE FIGHTING
Unlike numerous astringent acne treatments in the market, Centella Asiatica is instead a gentle antibacterial pimple preventer! One of its active compounds, Madecassic acid, not only suppresses acne inflammation, but also aids to stop the formation of acne (hypertrophic and keloid) scars! Therefore, whilst many acne products only help to reduce the breakout itself, this medicinal plant is a double whammy as it helps to inhibit pimples as well as heal the scars that is left behind!
Let’s face it, skin ageing is inevitable but, that doesn’t mean we can’t age gracefully with the help of some Centella Asiatica! Rich in Vitamins A, C, B1, B2, carotene and niacin, this ancient herb fights premature aging by promoting collagen production, free radical fighting abilities and UV damage inhibitor!
As we age, we lose about 1% of collagen per year. By using products with Centella, you’ll be fortifying your skin’s underlying foundation which will assist in firming your skin. Hence, you can say good riddance to saggy skin and hello to a plump, youthful complexion! What’s more is that due to its collagen generating capacity, Centella Asiatica is also known to reduce cellulite and stretch marks!
High in antioxidants
Everyone always talks about antioxidants yet, not everyone knows exactly what antioxidants do. So, what the hell do they do? Simply put, antioxidants (like vitamins A, C and B), prevent free radical damage that can weaken collagen production and age the skin! Thus, this healing plant boasts an abundant level of antioxidants especially in their leaves! That is why you regularly see Centella Asiatica Leaf Water in ingredients lists!
Reduces Sun Spots
For those of you wanting a clear complexion free of sun damage, you’re in luck because the active compound, Madecassoside, helps to mitigate UV-induced hyperpigmentation!
Related article: How to Treat Hyperpigmentation with Korean Skin Care
TOP 5 BEST CENTELLA ASIATICA PRODUCTS
BEST CENTELLA ASIATICA CLEANSING OIL: NEOGEN Real Cica Cleansing Oil
An innovative cleanser that has both the benefits of a cleansing oil and micellar technology, this lightweight cleansing oil has the magnet-like properties of micellar! Not only will it remove all traces of makeup and grime from the day without leaving a greasy residue, Centella Asiatica and Madecassoside also help calm and hydrate sensitised skin!
BEST CENTELLA ASIATICA WATER BASED CLEANSER: IUNIK Centella Bubble Cleansing Foam
A, mild pH-balancing cleanser that effectively cleanses your skin without stripping it from its essential moisture. Formulated with a whooping 69% Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Tea Tree Leaf Water and loads of botanical extracts, this bubbling cleanser will strengthen, soothe and hydrate weakened skin
BEST CENTELLA ASIATICA EXFOLIATING TONER: COSRX One Step Green Hero Calming Pad
As well as containing the newly discovered acid, PHA, these essence soaked pads are also enriched with CosRx’s ‘Green-RX Complex’ - Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana, Tea Tree Leaf Extract and Artemisia Princeps Extract! These pads will gently remove dead skin cells, relieve redness and irritation, hydrate the skin, fight acne and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores! What more could you ask for?
BEST CENTELLA ASIATICA SERUM: DR. JART+ Cicapair Serum
Just had a bad reaction and need something to calm your skin FAST? Then look towards the DR. JART+ Cicapair Serum! Formulated with centella asiatica capsules, this is a highly concentrated fast-relieving serum that will alleviate redness and compromised skin instantly.
CENTELLA ASIATICA MOISTURISER: A'PIEU Madecassoside Cream
Looking for an ultra skin repairing moisturiser? No worries, we got you! Containing 40% Centella Asiatica Leaf Water and 0.1% madecassoside, A’pieu has created a moisturiser that will do more than just soothe and repair irritated damaged skin, but will also brighten your complexion and keep your skin hydrated with niacinamide ceramides and panthenol, and Lactic Acid and Adenosine to smooth and plump the skin!