This herb is gaining popularity in skincare, but it has been around for centuries. It also has many healing properties.
What is Centella Asiatica?
Centella Asiatica, Indian pennywort (Brahmi), cica, and cica are all names for this antioxidant-rich medicinal herb that has been used for centuries to heal wounds and treat illness. Legend has it that tigers used to roll in plants after they were injured. This is where the name “tiger grass” came from. It’s still used as a skin-saver today. Mona Gohara MD, an associate clinical dermatologist at Yale School of Medicine, says that the herb’s high concentrations of amino acids and beta-carotene are what makes it so beneficial.
What does Centella Asiatica do?
Shari Marchbein, MD, a New York City dermatologist, says that the anti-inflammatory properties of this cream increase hydration and soothe and repair dry, red, and irritated skin. It’s therefore recommended for treating various skin conditions, including those that are reddening and rough (e.g., psoriasis or eczema). Chiara Butler, a chemist with Function of Beauty, uses the ingredient in its new skincare products. She says that madecassoside (the plant’s chemical makeup) and asiaticoside (the skin-beneficial compounds found in its chemical makeup, are both known for their soothing properties. Dr. Marchbein says that Cica also increases circulation and has been proven to improve skin firmness and elasticity.
How do you use Centella Asiatica?
The plant extract can be used in almost every step of your skincare routine. It can be added to cleansers and creams as well as serums, creams, and serums. Nikita Wilson is a New York City cosmetic chemist. “I love creams and serums as they stay on the skin for long periods for maximum efficacy,” she says. Butler concurs, stating that a cica can be used morning, night, or both. It’s important to note that Centella Asiaticaproducts often contain a green tint to counter the reddening caused by inflamed skin. Dr. Gohara suggests applying a cica balm to your retinoid at night. While retinoids can cause skin irritation, the cica will protect it from further damage.