Skin Benefits of the Centella Asiatica Plant

Skin Benefits of the Centella Asiatica Plant

Centella Asiatica goes by many names and has many uses. A member of the parsley family, Centella Asiatica is common in many cuisines and has been used in Ayurvedic for thousands of years. While it’s been a common ingredient in skin care products for a long time, in the past few years, it’s really taken off.

While the name may be new to you, the hype around this little plant isn’t. In China, Centella Asiatica is known as “The Miracle Elixir of Life.” But can this herb really be worthy of such high praise? What does the science say?

What is Centella Asiatica?

Centella Asiatica has been a staple of both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for millennia. The plant with lily pad-esque leaves supposedly goes by the nickname “Tiger Grass” because tigers roll in it when they’re injured. (We don’t recommend going out into the jungle to test that claim.)

You can find the herb growing wild in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. It also dots the landscapes of many Pacific islands. The plant is edible and — in addition to having many culinary uses — it’s taken by mouth to treat a wide range of medical conditions. In fact, it’s also sometimes called the “herb of longevity.”

While Centella Asiatica has been in the West for centuries, it’s usually played a supportive role in skin and wound care products. But all of a sudden, it’s become the star of the show.

But Centella Asiatica has grown in popularity thanks to the meteoric rise of South Korean skincare products, commonly known as “K-beauty.” Generally speaking, K-beauty products are formulated to be gentle, in part because air pollution throughout the country can leave skin extra sensitive. Centella Asiatica is a staple ingredient in many K-beauty products, with many manufacturers creating dedicated product lines using several (or, in some cases, all) of Centella Asiatica’s four active compounds:

  • Asiaticoside.
  • Asiatic acid.
  • Madecassic acid.
  • Madecassoside.

So, what is it about Centella Asiatica that has skin care influencers across social media platforms gushing? And are any of the benefits supported by scientific evidence?

The benefits of Centella Asiatica in skin care

Centella Asiatica has thousands of years of anecdotal evidence supporting it+s use.  But what about the science? There aren’t as many studies out there as you might expect, though interest has gone up in the past few years. Here are the benefits of Centella Asiatica as we understand them today:

Moisturizes dry, sensitive eczema prone skin

One of the reasons Centella Asiatica features so prominently in skin care products is that it does a great job keeping skin hydrated. Stein explains that it also helps your skin barrier retain moisture and reduces redness and infammation. That’s especially important for people with conditions likeexcema or rosacea, which can dry out and sensitize your skin.

Helps with burn and wound healing

Remember the tale about tigers rolling in Centella Asiatica when they’re injured? The science suggests that we might be wise to follow suit. Stein says that Centella Asiatica is rich in antioxidants.

We need antioxidants to help fight off free radicals, which are little molecules that eat up the good parts of our defense system, damaging DNA and the skin barrier. Centella increases antioxidant levels to help fight off those free radicals. So, in conjunction with other products like petrolatum jelly, it also helps burns and wounds. 

Reduces inflammation

Inflammation is an important part of the healing process for wounds of any kind. But like party guests, it should be there for a good time, not a long time. A continual immune response can make things worse.

Acne is inflammatory. Excemais inflammatory. A lot of skin conditions are inflammatory in nature, an active ingredient like Centella can help reduce inflammation when used in conjunction with other medications or over-the-counter products.”

Slows signs of aging

Centella Asiatica has properties that reduces signs of aging, as well as the appearance of scars and cellulite:

Centella Asiatica contains phytochemicals that are important for reducing oxidative stress on the cells that make up our connective tissue.

  • The four active compounds in Centella Asiatica — asiaticoside, asiatic acid, madecassic acid and madecassoside — stimulate collagen production

Centella can make your skin appear more hydrated, plumper and healthier, all of which can help you look younger.

How to use Centella Asiatica in your daily routine

Let’s say you’re sold on Centella Asiatica. How exactly are you supposed to integrate it into your skin care rotation? There are so many different preparations out there, from creams and ampoules to sheet masks and sunscreens. 

Every ingredient is a little bit different. But to see the benefits of something like Centella Asiatica — that’s helping your skin and is nonirritating — The best is to use products that stay on your face for longer periods of time, like creams, serums and lotions.

It’s also worth noting that you can find Centella Asiatica in products designed to target specific skin care concerns, from treatments of Acne, to scar recovery and stretch mark therapy.

You can find Centella Asiatica Extract in our Hemp Skin Serum.