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Breaking down the hype around K-beauty's centella asiatica

By
Megha Sharma
5
min read
Skincare
Super Ingredients
Breaking down the hype around K-beauty's centella asiatica
Breaking down the hype around K-beauty's centella asiatica

Every now and then, there’s one skincare ingredient that you spot on the labels, that you’d just never heard of before. A few years back, it was salicylic acid. Then, niacinamide started appearing in dermat-approved recommendations—plus everywhere online. There’s bakuchiol, squalane, peptides, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid among other actives that, at some point, found favour with beauty enthusiasts and instantly reserved a mention in almost every skincare guide.

Now, relatively a newer kid on the block, what is centella asiatica (or cica)? What does it do? How can you use it? We let you in on everything about this natural ingredient, ahead.

What is centella asiatica?

Centella asiatica, or cica, is a medicinal herb used for wound-healing and to treat various skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It was used in traditional Chinese medicines for centuries, before cosmetic chemists discovered it and introduced it as a skincare ingredient in everything from sunscreens and serums to lip masks, toners and night gels. While it’s found in tropical and subtropical regions—like parts of India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar as well as South Africa and Eastern Europe—it's the Korean beauty brands (most recently, Skin1004) that have popularised it across the world as an effective ingredient for sensitive skin.

How exactly does centella asiatica benefit your skin?

The botanic extract not only hydrates and calms irritated skin, but also strengthens its protective barrier. Here are a few of the benefits it offers:

* It hydrates dry, sensitive skin

Centella asiatica is packed with moisturising properties, making it a great ingredient for those with dry or sensitive skin types. Its hydrating abilities help replenish lost moisture and leave the skin feeling soft and supple.

* It has anti-inflammatory properties

One of the standout features of centella asiatica is its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The multi-tasking ingredient contains compounds like asiaticoside and madecassoside, that work to soothe and calm irritated skin. By reducing inflammation, it helps reduce redness and itching, making it an appropriate choice for those with sensitive or reactive skin conditions like rosacea or eczema.

* It slows down signs of ageing

Centella asiatica has gained popularity for combating signs of ageing, if that’s what someone is looking for. By stimulating collagen production—a protein crucial for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness—it helps minimise the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.

* It strengthens the skin’s protective barrier

Our skin barrier acts as a shield against environmental aggressors, pollutants and moisture loss. Centella asiatica aids in strengthening this barrier, enhancing the skin’s defense mechanisms. A stronger barrier not only helps lock in moisture, but also reduces the risk of sensitivity and inflammation—promoting overall skin health.

How can you incorporate it in your skincare routine?

K-beauty brand Skin1004 offers a range of skincare products that feature cica as the hero ingredient. Straight from Madagascar, the centella asiatica used by them is known to be highly effective and potent. Here are a few ways to introduce the active compound to your skincare regimen.

* In a cleanser

Your daily face wash doesn’t need to feature a long lineup of ingredients to benefit your skin. A gentle cleanser, paired with complementing products, goes a long way. We recommend opting for Skin1004’s Madagascar Centella Ampoule Foam, which has a clay mask-like texture but becomes foamy when it comes in contact with water. Apart from maintaining the skin’s PH balance, it also removes any dirt residue without causing irritation.

* In a serum or ampoule

Cica-infused serums and ampoules target hyperpigmentation and acne scars, promote skin cell turnover and provide hydration to damaged skin. When used consistently, they can reveal a more even skin tone as well. Add the SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule (not to be confused with the ampoule foam) to your skincare routine—it's made of 100 percent centella asiatica extract. You can apply it twice a week after using the Madagascar Centella Toning Toner.

* In a moisturiser

In moisturisers, cica’s hydrating properties lock in moisture, strengthen the skin barrier and accelerate the healing process—making it an effective solution for dry, damaged, or compromised skin. Skin1004’s Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Moisture Face Cream can be your everyday go-to.

* In a sunscreen

When it comes to sunscreens, centella asiatica’s antioxidant properties provide an additional layer of defense against the UV rays, while its soothing qualities alleviate sun-induced inflammation and redness. One of Skin1004’s most sought-after formulations, the Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit SPF 50+ PA++++ Sun Serum is a non-nano chemical sunscreen that protects, heals and hydrates.

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Breaking down the hype around K-beauty's centella asiatica
SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule Foam (125ml)
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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule (30ml)
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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Toning Toner (30ml)
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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Moisture Face Cream (75ml)
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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit SPF 50+ PA++++ Sun Serum (50ml)
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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule Foam (125ml)

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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule (30ml)

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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Toning Toner (30ml)

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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Moisture Face Cream (75ml)

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SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit SPF 50+ PA++++ Sun Serum (50ml)

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