Exploring how this skincare trend can help damaged or sensitive skin – plus the best natural products to get you there!
Any skin care product that claims to ‘calm’ or ‘repair’ is 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 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 worldwide 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 for 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 or gotu kola – but where did the tiny but mighty green herb 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 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 its 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 antioxidants, and it possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory 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 its ability to increase blood circulation. This encourages the skin’s healing process, which speeds up wound recovery – hence why the powerful herb is thought to be related to the Latin meaning 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 exiting anytime soon. Cica-centric products are here to stay, and we’ve uncovered a few top choices for clean beauty connoisseurs.
With cica popping up in serums, moisturizers, and more, you may want to opt for natural products that are designed to be left on the skin instead of being rinsed off. Though there are many cica formulations out there, many will contain PEGs, perfumes, and skin-irritating ingredients sensitive skin types may want to avoid. Natural cica skin care is best!
If you are looking to soothe and calm your skin, cica is a premier ingredient. Any skin type including sensitive or acne-prone skin is a good candidate to try gotu kola skin care. Side effects aren’t very common, but it’s always a good idea to patch-test the product on your inner forearm first before applying it all over.
It can be tricky figuring out which products with this prized herb to use in your daily routine – that’s why we’ve rounded up a few clean gotu kola skin care products for you to explore! No matter what your skin type or concerns are, this beloved botanical could probably assist you in some way for healthier, happier skin!
If you’re looking for a skin-calming superstar, our Black Tea Grass Jelly Antioxidant Moisturizer will have you seeing stars! This intensely nourishing moisturizer effectively soothes the skin while also providing intense protection against free radicals. Formulated to sink deep into the skin, this calming formula combats signs of aging by nourishing skin with powerful hydration and beneficial antioxidants so skin looks firmer, brighter, and more youthfully radiant.
A daily serum should be something that’s loaded with antioxidants, gentle, and hydrating to provide that healthy glow. Our Black Tea Grass Jelly Anti-oxidant Serum is not your grandmother’s cup of English Breakfast; it’s made with pu’erh, a fermented black tea that’s loaded with protective antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals, while the plant saccharides in grass jelly hydrates and plumps the skin, making it perfect for flawless makeup application.
Our Nopal Cactus Cleanser features a trifecta of purifying, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties that will have you saying hello to a softer, more hydrated complexion. It’s formulated from nature’s cleansers like aloe vera, nopal cactus, and prickly pear. This natural cleanser is excellent for balancing the pH level of your skin by deeply hydrating it. Bring some desert magic to your skincare routine with this cactus-infused superstar!
So, what’s the final verdict? If you’ve got sensitive skin, then it’s time to make this prized 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. Gotu kola is a skin trend that’s here to stay!
We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.
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.