Trendy ingredients come and go, with a few powerhouses in constant rotation at the top of the popular list. Vitamin C is one of them (read: 3 Reasons Why Your Skin Needs Vitamin C), as well as Niacinamide (Read: Why We Love Niacinamide), and for good reason — these two ingredients are known for their transformative skin benefits!For those with delicate and irritated skin, however, one holy grail ingredient takes center stage all year round: Centella Asiatica, also known as Cica. This ingredient is often the star ingredient in Korean beauty formulas designed to soothe irritated skin, and has been used in Asian medicine for centuries — read on to find out what it is, how it works, and what we use it in!
What is Cica?
Cica, short for Centella Asiatica, is a small herb commonly found in swampy and shady areas in Asia and South Africa. Its high antioxidant content and healing, soothing, and nourishing properties make its extract a popular ingredient in healing creams — tigers are even purported to roll around against it to help heal their wounds, earning it the nickname “tiger grass” and “miracle elixir of life.”
What does Cica do?
Cica extract is rich in amino acids as well as phytochemicals like vitamin A, C, B1 and B2, all of which help the skin heal while helping strengthen the skin barrier. A stronger skin barrier means less moisture loss, so skin stays plump and hydrated. Topical Cica application is also proven to aid in the healing of incision and burns by promoting collagen production and inhibiting the inflammation that leads to scarring.
So how does the anti-inflammation part work? Madecassic acid, one of Cica’s active compounds, inhibits the release of inflammatory cytokines (the signalling molecules which regulate the body’s response to immunity and inflammation). This ability to fight inflammation makes Cica a great addition to your skincare routine if you suffer from irritation, redness, and acne, as it can minimize inflammation while healing and supporting the skin against oxidative stress.
What we use it in
You can find Cica in the Stay Fresh facial mist & setting spray as well as the multi-purpose Beauty Balm!
In the Stay Fresh mist, Cica is partnered with 9 other brightening, anti-inflammatory, and skin barrier-supporting ingredients like Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf extract and Prunus Malus (apple) fruit extract, making this mist great for daily use if you're acne-prone, have pigmentation, and are looking for a brightening antioxidant boost.
In the Beauty Balm, Cica is combined with licorice root, chamomile, tocopherol (vitamin E), shea butter, and other soothing ingredients to create a lightweight formula that deeply nourishes lips and soothes minor skin emergencies. The Beauty Balm comes in a pocket-friendly tube, so you can apply as needed anytime, anywhere!
One herb, a myriad soothing and skin-loving benefits! Cica is a powerhouse that works well with all skin types, so incorporating it into a routine that works is just a matter of locking down all your other skin needs. Still wondering what else you may need to introduce into your skin and makeup routine? Click here to take our Beauty Quiz!