Cica, known as Centella Asiatica, is also commonly referred to as Tiger Grass and Gotu Kola. It has been recognized for centuries as a medicinal herb used in Asian teas, Ayurvedic medicine, and traditional African medicine. It has gained popularity in the skincare industry for its topical soothing, rejuvenating and moisturizing properties. Particularly effective in calming inflamed and sensitized skin, Cica is a “go to” raw material for formulators looking to achieve a more balanced skin barrier in a topical application.
What is Cica?
Cica is harvested from the Centella Asiatica plant, a perennial herb native to the wetlands in Asia. It was discovered and traditionally used in various cultures for its anti-inflammatory medicinal properties but has since evolved into a topical material incorporated into skincare formulas. Cica has a rich content of antioxidants, amino acids, and fatty acids that have the ability to soothe and provide visual improvements to damaged skin.
What Does Cica Do to the Skin?
Centella Asiatica Extract or Cica performs in such a beneficial way on the skin due to its rich source of natural bioactive substances including triterpenoid saponins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, triterpenic steroids, amino acids and sugars. Numerous studies have been performed noting the beneficial effects of Cica on scavenging free radicals, exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity and the effect on the stratum corneum hydration and epidermal barrier function.
The clinical studies have also shown that it helps promote collagen synthesis which contributes to accelerated wound healing to improve the look of damaged skin and reduce the appearance of scars. The anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe irritated and inflamed skin, making it an excellent choice for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. The hydrating attributes help to maintain skin's moisture balance.
Benefits of Cica For Skin:
Cica is particularly effective in improving the look of damaged skin, reducing inflammation, and soothing irritation. Its rich content of antioxidants also helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors, while its collagen-boosting properties can help to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The benefits of Cica in skincare include:
Soothing: Cica has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce skin irritation and redness.
Hydrating: It helps to replenish skin’s moisture, making it feel smoother and more supple.
Wound Maintenance: Cica is known to boost and improve the appearance of skin damage caused by abrasive issues and treatments.
Antioxidant Protection: It also offers antioxidant benefits, helping to defend the skin against environmental stressors.
How Does Cica Work?
Cica works by promoting collagen synthesis. Triterpene compounds: asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside and madecassoside are the principal components of Cica responsible for this topical wound healing process which in cosmetic skincare can help improve the look of damaged skin and reduce the appearance of scars. This action has been demonstrated in a large number of scientific reports. The terpenoids (TTF) cause a significant increase in the percentage of collagen and cell layer fibronectin. The most beneficial effects are the stimulation of scar maturation by the production of type I collagen, decrease in the inflammatory reaction and myofibroblast production.
Cica’s numerous active compounds also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds work together to soothe irritated skin, help protect skin from environmental stressors, which can lead to premature aging, and fortify the skin's barrier function, promoting an overall healthy looking complexion.
Concentration Levels & Recommended Usage for Cica:
Cica is typically found in various concentrations in skincare products starting at 0.1%, depending on the product's purpose and to ensure it works in correlation with other active ingredients in the formula. It can be incorporated into creams, lotions, and serums due to its water solubility. For best results, it's recommended to use Cica products consistently over a period of several weeks.
Is it Okay to Use Cica Daily?
Yes, it is generally safe to use Cica daily. However, as with any skincare ingredient, it's important to do an initial patch test to monitor your skin's response and adjust usage as needed. If you notice any irritation or adverse reactions, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.
Who Should Use Cica?
Cica is beneficial for all skin types, but it's particularly suited for those with sensitive, inflamed, or damaged skin. It can also benefit those with dry skin due to its hydrating properties.
It can be particularly effective for those with skin conditions like acne, rosacea, or eczema under the guidance of a dermatologist.
As always, it's recommended to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional when incorporating any new ingredient into your skincare routine.
DISCLAIMER: All skin care articles are intended to help educate on specific ingredients and skin care topics. Our articles are written to be informative and informational. Any reference to a specific patient experience is not a medical suggestion for treatment. Please note that any Prequel products with referenced ingredients are formulated for Cosmetic Use Only and NOT intended as replacements for physician advice and/or pharmaceutical product recommendations.