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What is Centella Asiatica Extract, AKA Cica?

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Even if you've only dipped your toe in the skincare ocean, you've probably heard of Dr. Jart+'s popular Cicapair Tiger Grass line—it's a holy grail, must have product line for anyone with sensitive skin prone to redness and breakouts. That's because it contains centella asiatica, an amazingly effective ingredient that's been in use for hundreds of years in Chinese Medicine. Here's everything you need to know about the ingredient.

What is cica?

Cica goes by many names; tiger grass, Indian pennywort, centella asiatica, and gotu kola. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study in 2013 titled Centella Asiatica in cosmetology in which the ingredient is described as "a medicinal plant that has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years as well as in scientifically oriented medicine." The plant looks like some kind of hybrid between a four leaf clover and a lily pad, and it's called tiger grass because tigers in India have been known to actually roll around on the plant to heal their wounds.

What does cica treat?

Cica is rich in saponins, which are anti-inflammatories found in nature. The study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine confirmed that the ingredient "is effective in improving treatment of small wounds, hypertrophic wounds as well as burns, psoriasis and scleroderma," and that "the mechanism of action involves promoting fibroblast proliferation and increasing the synthesis of collagen and intracellular fibronectin content and also improvement of the tensile strength of newly formed skin as well as inhibiting the inflammatory phase of hypertrophic scars and keloids." Long (and complicated) story short, cica is a great ingredient for soothing skin that is inflamed, it has antibacterial properties, and it's very moisturizing. She's a triple threat! 💁‍♀️Keep in mind that cica is more effective when left on the skin, as opposed to products that you can wash off.

Which products contain cica?

Thankfully with the increased popularity of this ingredient, you can now find cica in products ranging from sheet masks and wipes, to serums and balms—no need to roll around on the ground.

We have tons of awesome reviews of products containing cica by our community, from brands including COSRX, Dr. Jart+, Peach & Lily, and more. Even our recent much loved reward, Glow Recipe's Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, includes the ingredient. Watch some of my favorites below and add your review of your favorite product containing cica!

Centella Blemish Ampule
Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream
Real Cica Pad


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