Centella Asiatica for Skin: The Ancient Herb That Tackles Redness
Centella asiatica leaves in beakers. Learn about the benefits of centella asiatica for skin.

Cica, tiger grass, Centella Asiatica — an ingredient that possesses many names but is more commonly known as the latter in the West. A lot of you may have first encountered it in K-Beauty skincare (hello Dr.Jart+), and this is because of its origin. Gotu Kola, its traditional Chinese name, is an ancient Asian medicinal herb that, for centuries, was a staple remedy for wounds and scarring in many regions of South and East Asia. In India, it's known as Mandukaparni or India Penny Wort in English, and in Chinese medicine, it’s often dubbed a “miracle elixir of life” as for over thousands of years. How to use centella asiatica for your skin? It's been proven to be effective in treating various skin conditions like lupus, psoriasis, eczema, acne, leprosy, the list honestly goes on and on.

Centella asiatica benefits

A standout perk of Centella is that it’s abundant in skin moisturizing properties as it has a high content of pentacyclic triterpenoid glycosides, collectively known as centelloids. Centelloids work like little skin sorcerers that stimulate your skin’s glycosaminoglycans AKA GAGs (which includes the much-loved hyaluronic acid) to keep your skin’s hydration, dewiness, and plumpness intact. This is why Centella is highly-recommended for dry and eczema-prone skin.

It’s extremely effective in healing burns and wounds. In Europe, Centella is commonly marketed as Madecassoside instead, which is a component of Centella that's found in the ingredients list of many over-the-counter wound remedies. In addition to their moisturizing factors, centelloids also come with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that aid with speedy wound recovery. 

A study from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that Centella can decrease erythema, which is a pretty big deal as redness is extremely hard to treat. Keep in mind that not all erythema is created equal, however, Centella can lessen the intensity of redness induced by an inflamed skin barrier, eczema, and flushing. 

A few Centella-infused staples…

For a dry, sensitive, or inflamed skin:

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm B5, $15

This is a rich, all-purpose skin-soothing cream that’s great for irritations and dry skin. It’s infused with Centella, panthenol (vitamin B5), shea butter, and glycerin to replenish and restore your skin barrier.

Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream, $42

This is a great ‘skin recovery’ cream for any nicks, cuts, and scrapes, as well as windburn around the mouth. I also like its hand-bag friendly size to hydrate and protect on the go.

Bioderma Cicabio Cream, $15

This is a lightweight and slightly tinted face and body moisturizer to calm and hydrate dry and irritated skin. 

For redness:

Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask, $34

This is a very dense cream-based overnight mask that deeply moisturizes and helps soothe redness. I like to put it on my neck, chest, ears, and other areas that flush easily.

Dr. Jart+’s Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops SPF 35, $46

What I love about this serum is its color-correcting green tint, which subtly counteracts and neutralizes red, making red patches appear less prominent. 

Selfless by Hyram Centella & Green Tea Hydrating Gel Cleanser, $20

In the face cleanser department, I'm loving this formula - it’s very lightweight, hydrating, and works to calm and soothe redness and irritation. 

Shop all the above here.