Exploring how this skin care trend can help damaged or sensitive skinPosted on March 8, 2021 Written by: 100% PURE®
Any skin care product that claims to ‘calm’ or ‘repair’ is seen as a hero for all skin types. We all know how environmental aggressors can negatively affect our skin, and make it more sensitive to the outside world. Ingredients friendly for sensitive skin have become more popular than ever, and cica skin care is a big part of that trend.
Cica is a hero ingredient used in ancient times for wound healing, but has made its rounds more recently in K-Beauty and Western markets as an all-star for anyone facing skin sensitivity. Find out what this mighty little ingredient can do for your skin, and where you’ll find it on the clean beauty scene.
Cica is actually a nickname: scientifically speaking, it’s known as centella asiatica. It’s a medicinal herb also known by the common names gotu kola, tiger grass, or Indian pennywort. As you might have guessed from its descriptive nicknames, cica is nothing new on the beauty block – it’s been working its skin-healing magic around the world for centuries.
It’s known as a ‘miracle elixir of life’ in Chinese medicine, or Brahmi: meaning ‘Greatest of the Great’ in Indian Ayurveda medicine.
Cica has had a myriad of medicinal and skin benefits of centuries past. In the late 1800s, the French used centella asiatica to heal wounds and coined the word cicatrisation: which essentially means wound healing.
Legend has it tigers would rub their wounds on the Asian healing plant – hence the name tiger grass!
Now we know the history of cica – but where did cica emerge and take off as a go-to beauty solution for sensitive skin?
We first need to look to the East, where it became a game changer in K-Beauty. It gained widespread popularity in Korean products in an effort to battle the effects of air quality and pollution levels, which can cause skin sensitivity and other concerns. To help combat this, cica swept across the Korean beauty market as a savior for calming sensitive skin and environmental aggressors.
K-Beauty’s part in creating the “cicatrisant” trend has brought this ingredient stateside. The general view of gotu kola skin care is that it should promote speedy healing, while encouraging the regeneration of healthy skin cells.
As the cicatrisant trend has gained steam, other natural ingredients that can heal and repair have been riding on its coattails. Take geranium oil for example: similar to centella asiatica, it is prized for anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It’s especially known for its role in products meant to fade scars and promote healing – much like cica products would do.
Do you have sensitive, irritated, or stressed skin that seems unaffected by the attempts of your normal products? Maybe it’s time to try gotu kola. This skin-soothing active boasts a powerhouse of anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and antibacterial properties. Gotu kola can also help strengthen skin, boost hydration, fight off free radicals, and so much more!
Another benefit that gotu kola is most known for is an ability to increase blood circulation. This encourages the skin’s healing process, hence speeding up wound recovery, hence the powerful herb thought to be related to the Latin for scar (cicatrix). That means that dark marks from acne scars can also be targeted, or other areas of hyperpigmentation due to scarring.
Gotu kola is also rich in triterpene saponins – a molecule that helps keep skin tighter and firmer – and is packed with flavonoids that help encourage the new production of collagen.
Even if cica – aka centella asiatica, aka gotu kola – still sounds relatively foreign, know that this healing herb won’t be making an exit anytime soon. Cica-centric products are here to stay, and we’ve uncovered a few top choices for clean beauty connoisseurs.
It can be tricky figuring out which cica products to use in your daily routine – that’s why we’ve rounded up a few clean cica skin care products for you to explore! Though there are many more products out there, many will contain PEGs, perfumes, and skin irritating ingredients sensitive skin types may want to avoid.
#1: Rael Tea Tree Sheet Masks
These natural bamboo sheet masks are infused with botanical ingredients, to treat acne, dehydration, and everything in between. Infused with a healthy dose of centella asiatica (cica) extract and tea tree oil, these antiseptic masks help heal breakouts while keeping skin smooth and clear.
#2: Naturopathica Gotu Kola Intense Repair Balm
This intensely moisturizing, multi-use balm helps to soothe, repair, and replenish lost hydration for every skin type – especially sensitive. Featuring the reparative and soothing properties of centella asiatica (under the name of gotu kola), this rich formula targets dryness and inflammation while it soothes and nourishes.
#3: Gaia Herbs Gotu Kola Leaf
As a notable hero ingredient known for its skin care (and health) usage, these extract drops give you the best of both worlds. Featuring certified organic gotu kola to support healthy brain and cognitive function, this liquid extract is great for anyone feeling a little stressed – and can also be used topically!
If you’ve got sensitive skin, then it’s time to make this magical herb your BFF. Even if your complexion isn’t stressed or overly sensitive, you may find that cica skin care can be a beneficial addition to your daily routine – if even just for its anti-aging or free-radical-fighting abilities alone.
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.