Cica Benefits: Why Is It A Top Skincare Ingredient?

    Cica Benefits: Why Is It A Top Skincare Ingredient?

    When people look for new skincare products to try, they usually check the key ingredients list first. And among the top considerations is Centella Asiatica, also known as cica. Did you know that when you read cica on the label, it also directs to the same thing? Read on to know more about some cica benefits and why people consider it a top skincare ingredient.

    More About Centella Asiatica (Cica)

    Centella Asiatica, or simply cica, goes by many different names, such as Gotu kola, Tiger grass, or Indian pennywort. This small herb belongs to the Apiaceae family, which usually grows in Asia, primarily in the following regions:

    • India
    • Pakistan
    • Madagascar
    • Equatorial Africa
    • Central America
    • Tropical region of Oceania

    Around 3000 years ago, cica was used as a panacea in China, India, Africa, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Due to its medical properties, cica has been used to treat a variety of conditions in the past such as:

    Moreover, it has been even dubbed as the “fountain of life” back in the day. This is because folklore has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist who consumed gotu kola lived for more than 200 years.

    In the United States and Europe today, people use cica to treat varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. This refers to a condition in which blood pools in the legs. Furthermore, recent studies suggest some cica benefits for skin health. These aid in the healing of minor wounds and other skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis.

    5 Cica Benefits for Skin Health

    Cica Has Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

    The most notable cica benefits include being an antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory ingredient.

    It contains some of the most important bioactive compounds responsible for the said activities which are as follows:

    • Madecassic acid
    • Asiatic acid
    • α-terpinene
    • α-copaene
    • β-caryophyllene

    All these work together in the healing and repair of skin.

    Cica Helps Boost Collagen

    Studies also show that cica helps stimulate collagen production. Collagen refers to that type of protein that serves as a building block in tissue production. It helps in maintaining the elasticity of the skin.

    An active component of cica, madecassoside, also boosts collagen expression to eventually modulate inflammatory mediators.

    In a randomized double-blind study of 20 female volunteers, researchers observed significant skin improvements after six months of treatment. Their clinical scores revealed signs of suppleness, firmness, as well as skin hydration. These can help prevent and treat further signs of aging, such as wrinkle formation.

    Cica Helps With Dryness and Irritation

    Research showed that cica extract improved skin barrier function and redness reduction by locking in hydration and lowering skin pH.

    Additionally, another study of 20 women also asserted this claim. During the run, they used a product containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and even cica, which helped in skin hydration.

    Cica Brings Aid in Acne Treatment

    One of the top cica benefits is its capacity to treat acne, which is a primary concern of many.

    Recent research shared promising results of both the antibacterial and antimicrobial activities of cica extract. According to another study, the active compound madecassoside enhanced skin hydration as well as decreased inflammation of acne.

    Cica Treats Wounds and Burns

    Another addition to this long list of cica benefits is its effectiveness in treating wounds, burns, and even postoperative hypertrophic scars. Active triterpene compounds like asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside, and madecassoside are all in charge of cica’s wound-healing property.

    Key Takeaways

    Cica benefits are wide and significant, from aiding in wound healing to improving skin texture and complexion.

    Learn more about Skin Care and Cleansing here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    Gotu kola, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/gotu-kola Accessed March 20 2022

    Clinical and therapeutic benefits of Centella asiatica – Kulsoom Zahara, Yamin Bibi, and Shaista Tabassum, https://www.thepab.org/files/2014/Dec-2014/PAB-MS-14713-DEC4.pdf Accessed March 20, 2022

    Efficacy and Safety of Centella Asiatica (L.) Urb. on Wrinkles: A Systematic Review of Published Data and Network Meta-Analysis – Chuenjid Kongkaew, Peerapong Meesomperm, C. Norman Scholfield, Narttaya Chaiwiang, and Neti Waranuch, https://library.scconline.org/v071n06/80 Accessed March 20, 2022

    Moisturizing and Antiinflammatory Properties of Cosmetic Formulations Containing Centella asiatica Extract – A. Ratz-Łyko, J. Arct, and K. Pytkowska, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4852572/ Accessed March 20, 2022

    The 24-hour skin hydration and barrier function effects of a hyaluronic 1%, glycerin 5%, and Centella asiatica stem cells extract moisturizing fluid: an intra-subject, randomized, assessor-blinded study –  Massimo Milani and Adele Sparavigna, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5560567/ Accessed March 20, 2022

    Pharmacological Effects of Centella asiatica on Skin Diseases: Evidence and Possible Mechanisms – Kyoung Sik Park, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2021/5462633/ Accessed March 20, 2022

    Clinical, biometric and structural evaluation of the long-term effects of a topical treatment with ascorbic acid and madecassoside in photoaged human skin – Marek Haftek, Sophie Mac-Mary, Marie-Aude Le Bitoux, Pierre Creidi, Sophie Seité, André Rougier, and Philippe Humbert, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0625.2008.00732.x Accessed March 20, 2022

    Propionibacterium acnes related anti-inflammation and skin hydration activities of madecassoside, a pentacyclic triterpene saponin from Centella asiatica – Xueqing Shen, Miaomiao Guo, Haiyuan Yu, Dan Liu, Zhi Lu, Yanhua Lu, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30452312/ Accessed March 20, 2022

    Centella asiatica in cosmetology – Wiesława Bylka, Paulina Znajdek-Awiżeń, Elżbieta Studzińska-Sroka, and Małgorzata Brzezińska, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834700/ Accessed March 20, 2022

     

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    Written by Fiel Tugade Updated Jun 03
    Expertly reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD