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If you’ve ever dabbled in the land of Korean skincare, then chances are you’ve probably heard of Centella Asiatica, or cica for short. It’s quickly becoming a buzz-worthy ingredient, even here in the western world. And for good reason. So, what exactly is this star ingredient and is Centella Asiatica actually good for skin? And what is Centella good for exactly? Is is only good for sensitive skin?
I’m here to break down why the skincare community is raving about this powerhouse ingredient and deliver the best cica product recommendations for all skin types.
What Is Centella Asiatica?
Centella Asiatica is a plant that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Cica has quite a few different names, such as, Gotu kola and Indian pennywort. You will mainly see it as Centella Asiatica or cica.
Cica is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for various ailments for centuries because it’s truly a powerhouse ingredient. In fact, it’s been talked about as a “potential herbal cure all“
Centella Asiatica is packed with amino acids, fatty acids, and phytochemicals that your skin will absolutely love. Here is what makes cica so great for the skin:
- Amino Acids: help with moisture retention, strengthen skin barrier, act as antioxidants and so much more. Think of them as the building blocks for healthy skin.
- Beta-carotene: acts as an antioxidant to help fight free radical, sun and pollution damage
- Fatty Acids: an essential component for your skin structure and barrier. Fatty acids help with inflammation, fight bacteria and improve skin hydration
- Vitamin C: a powerful antioxidant that fights damage and helps with anti-aging
- Vitamin A: a potent anti-aging ingredient
- B Vitamins: the b vitamins in skincare can help with antiaging and soothing skin
Additionally, cica has antimicrobial properties, which can keep your skin’s defense barrier in check and can even help with acne.
In short, Centella Asiatica can help with oily skin, acne, antiaging, sensitive skin, really everyone can benefit from a little cica in their skincare routine! It truly is a do-it-all ingredient.
Is Centella Asiatica Actually Good For The Skin?
We’ve seen how cica has been used in herbal medicine, but what about using it topically in skincare for various skin conditions? What does Centella Asiatica do for the skin?
Well, Centella Asiatica has tons of different properties that make it a great addition to any skincare routine.
Here is what Centella Asiatica, or cica, can do for your skin:
- fights free radical damage
- stimulates collagen production
- wound healing
Is there anything cica doesn’t do? Not really!
Does Centella Help Acne?
Most people assume that cica is more for those with dry skin or sensitive skin. However, using Centella Asiatica for acne is actually one of the best reasons to use cica in your skincare routine.
Inflammation is one of the main causes of acne, and since cica is such a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient, it’s a great option at helping reduce the skin inflammation that comes with acne. Reducing inflammation can actually help prevent acne, so cica is a great way to treat and prevent acne!
Since Centella Asiatica also has antimicrobial properties, it can help kill acne causing bacteria that lives on your skin.
Cica can even help reduce the redness that comes along with acne.
And, finally, cica is so soothing, making it a great option to soothe your skin when it’s angry or irritated from other acne fighting ingredients.
Bottom line: Centella Asiatica is great for acne-prone skin.
Is Centella Asiatica Good For Acne Scars?
Many people don’t think of using Centella Asiatica for acne scars, but since cica can help stimulate collagen production, it’s actually a great option for acne scarring! Whether you have pigmentation issues from acne or indented acne scars, cica is a great way to help speed up the healing process of acne scars.
However, for best results, cica should be combined with other ingredients to help fade acne scars.
Bottom line: cica for acne scars is a great addition to a skincare routine
Is Centella Good For Dry Skin?
Cica has many properties that make it ideal for dry skin. It has the ability to help the skin retain hydration levels and keep all that moisture locked into the skin.
Centella Asiatica can also help rebuild and maintain a strong moisture barrier, which is essential for keeping skin hydrated and healthy. Centella Asiatica can, in fact, repair the skin barrier!
Bottom line: cica is a must have for dry skin types. If you’re suffering from dry skin, then cica is your savior.
Is Centella Good For Oily Skin?
Centella Asiatica is a great option for oily skin, as it can help hydrate and moisturize the skin lightly, without being super heavy or greasy. Since oily skin is usually more prone to breakouts, it’s anti-inflammatory properties are great for oily skin types as well, as they can help control the inflammation that comes along with acne.
Cica has even been shown to reduce sebum production. And who doesn’t want less oily skin??
Bottom line: cica is the perfect ingredient to keep oily skin hydrated
What About Centella For Sensitive Skin?
Centella Asiatica is probably one of the best ingredients for sensitive skin, including skin with rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and so many more inflammatory conditions of the skin.
Bottom line: Cica can help reduce inflammation, sensitivity and soothe skin that’s irritated, making is the best option for sensitive skin.
Other Benefits of Centella Asiatica In Skincare
Not only does cica have so many skincare benefits for all skin types, but there are so many other amazing properties of Centella Asiatica! Here are a few other amazing benefits of centella for the skin:
- Reduces cellulite
- Prevents and treats stretch marks
- Protects skin from sun damage
- Prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL)
- Increases blood circulation
- Increases antioxidant levels
- Heals wounds
Does Centella Asiatica Have Any Side Effects?
When used topically, you won’t experience any side effects from cica. Only healthier skin! Some studies have shown that cica can even be beneficial when taken orally. However, taking Centella Asiatica orally may come with its own side effects, so as always, speak with your doctor before starting any new medications or supplements.
However, it’s possible to have an allergy to any ingredient and centella is no different. If you have sensitive skin or a lot of allergies, it may be beneficial to patch test new products, just to be safe.
Does Centella Asiatica Really Work?
Recently, I have been dealing with a stubborn case of perioral dermatitis, and am here to sing the praises of Centella Asiatica. For me, Centella Asiatica really does work amazingly well for my skin.
Any kind of dermatitis is no fun to deal with, but since I’ve started using cica products, I’ve not only been a huge difference in my perioral dermatitis, but also my skin hydration and brightness.
I recently began using a new centella serum that has done wonders in just a few days. My skin feels more hydrated and soft and it instantly calms my skin.
I also use a cica cream at night and during the day. It keeps any irritation at bay and soothes skin. Whenever I get a PD flare up, cica product will immediately calm my skin, reduce inflammation and redness, even in just a few minutes!
Centella Asiatica Skincare Products
Here are my top picks, including the best Centella Asiatica Korean skincare products, as well as western formulations of this powerhouse ingredient.
Although cica has been very popular in korean skincare for years, the western world has seen the powers of cica and are starting to formulate some great Centella Asiatica products.
1. SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Asiatica Ampoule Facial Serum
This serum is one of a kind, in that it’s 100% Centella Asiatica. Yes, really. Nothing but the soothing goodness of cica. This is a great option for sensitive skin as it doesn’t have any filler ingredients that can cause an unpleasant reactions. Fragrance free.
This cica serum is one of my recent purchases, and so far it’s nothing short of amazing. I can apply this serum and within just a few minutes the redness and inflammation on my skin is diminished. It’s truly amazing.
2. PURITO Centella Unscented Serum
This cica serum is packed with almost 50% Centella Asiatica, plus peptides, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamide. This serum will help fade acne scars, fight fine lines and wrinkles and hydrate and soothe the skin instantly. Plus it’s fragrance free, so it’s another great option for sensitive skin, but all skin types can benefit from this multitasking cica serum.
3. COSRX Centella Blemish Cream
This lightweight cream is great for oily skin and acne prone skin. Packed with Zinc Oxide and Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, this healing cream will help tackle and heal acne, while keeping skin hydrated and soothed. It will even help decrease sebum production thanks to it’s high concentration of cica.
4. Dr.Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops
This color correcting serum is tinted green to help camouflage any redness, while soothing and repairing skin. Along with Centella Asiatica, this serum is packed with antioxidants, soothing ingredients and minerals to really help soothe the most irritated skin. This cica serum also helps brighten the skin tone and it’s great to wear on it’s own or under makeup to hide any redness and soothe irritated skin.
5. Neogen Real Cica Pads
When you have irritated skin or inflamed acne, the last thing you want to do is irritate your skin even more with exfoliants. But these cica pads contain 2 very gentle chemical exfoliants to help shed dead skin without irritating the skin. Plus, it’s full of Centella, ceramides and hyaluronic acid to ensure your skin won’t get irritated or dried out.
6. PhytoCELL Cell Revival Cica Cream
This antioxidant rich cream is perfectly hydrating and soothing without being too heavy. The star ingredients are the four Centella Asiatica derivates which instantly soothe and calm redness. It’s another must-tasking cica product that’s great for hydration, antiaging and, of course, soothing.
7. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
A multi-purpose balm that is great for healing cracked, rough skin. It can be used on your face or really anywhere on your body that needs some serious TLC. With Centella Asiatica, as well as Shea Butter, Panthenol, Glycerin and Thermal Spring Water, this cream can seriously heal damaged skin.
This is one of my favorite Centella products of all time. It’s not heavy but packs a bunch with hydration and moisture. It’s great to use in the winter when your hands get cracked. If you work in healthcare like me and are constantly washing your hands, this will be your saving grace!
8. L’Oreal Revialift Cicacream
This cream is the ultimate anti-aging cica cream. Centella Asiatica combined with retinol make it the perfect anti-aging duo to treat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles and combat anti-aging. Plus, it’s super affordable and accessible!
9. Avene Cicalfate+ Repair Cream
This is a wonderfully rich cream full of skin repairing ingredients that helps maintain hydration and soothe dry and irritated skin. This is a thicker cream, so it’s great for drier skin types. With postbiotics, copper, zinc and spring water, it’s a powerful cream that can heal and repair damaged skin.
What is centella good for? Well, pretty much everything! Acne, acne scars, oily skin, anti-aging, it’s pretty much a do it all ingredient that everyone can benefit from.
Do Use The Centella Asiatica Goodness For Your Skin?
What are your favorite cica products? Let me know down below!