What Is Centella asiatica Extract? - The Dermatology Review

What Is Centella asiatica Extract?

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01.25.21 AD DISCLOSURE

Centella asiatica extract is an ingredient used in skincare products that helps to maintain the skin’s natural barrier, may reduce the damaging effects of the sun, and provide the skin with a source of antioxidants. 

Centella asiatica extract has been used in many Korean beauty products for years. You may have heard of its other names such as Gotu kola, tiger grass, Brahmi, and Asiatic pennywort. In Korean beauty formulations, it is mainly used as a hydrating ingredient and is often used in moisturizers. 

The Centella asiatica plant is a herb that is primarily grown in Asia. It has a long history of being used in both traditional medicinal practices and as a culinary herb. The extract is often used in Cica creams which are designed to help soothe the skin and protect the skin’s natural barrier. Cica creams are a large part of Korean beauty. 

Centella Asiatica Extract

the good: Helps to support the skin’s natural barrier, provide antioxidants to the skin and protect the skin from damage.

the not so good: Like any ingredient, Centella asiatica extract can cause allergies for some people.

Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients.

Keep an eye on: Nothing to keep an eye on here.

Why Is Centella asiatica Extract Used?

Centella asiatica has a multitude of benefits to the skin, mostly thanks to the many active compounds such as madecassoside which acts as an antioxidant for the skin. Antioxidants help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals which are produced by diet, pollution, drinking, smoking and sun damage. 

The extract is also a source of amino acids which may help to soothe irritated or barrier damaged skin. This is because they may help to improve the appearance of dehydrated skin.  

One of the main issues that naturally derived ingredients often face is a lack of scientific evidence to back up their claims. However, there has been some research into this ingredient, preliminary studies suggest that it may help to maintain or support the skin’s natural barrier. The skin’s natural barrier is an important part of maintaining healthy skin as it prevents transepidermal water loss, and protects against bacteria and allergens. Some studies have also found that Centella asiatica may also help to protect against some of the visible signs of sun damage. Sun damage is often associated with many of the signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation. 

Is Centella asiatica Extract Safe?

Centella asiatica extract is generally considered to be safe, however like any naturally-derived ingredient the safety and efficacy of the ingredient can be hard to determine as it isn’t just one ingredient. Naturally-derived ingredients often contain a large number of compounds that make up the extract. This can make it difficult to determine which compounds are beneficial to the skin and which compounds are more likely to cause irritation and sensitivity.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, a group responsible for evaluating the safety of skincare and cosmetic ingredients has reviewed the research on Centella asiatica– derived ingredients. The Expert Panel concluded that Centella asiatica-derived ingredients are safe for their current uses and in the current concentrations in which they are used.

References:Gohil KJ, Patel JA, Gajjar AK. Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2010;72(5):546-556.
Bylka W, Znajdek-Awiżeń P, Studzińska-Sroka E, Brzezińska M. Centella asiatica in cosmetology. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013;30(1):46-49.

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