Everything You Need to Know About Cica

You don’t need to raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by acne, rosacea, eczema, product formulas, or aggressive environmental conditions — we know all but a lucky few of you have. The good news is that there’s a solution you might not have tried yet for your redness and irritation, and it doesn’t involve a trust fall.

Centella asiatica, also known as Tiger Grass, is by no means a new ingredient — it’s an Asian plant that’s been used in skin care for centuries, ever since, as legend holds, Laotian villagers discovered tigers rolling in it to heal their battle wounds — but it’s popping up everywhere lately. And for good reason: The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant-rich herb will help just about every skin concern.

According to dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, “Centella asiatica is beneficial in treating dry, irritated, and inflamed skin as well as providing anti-aging benefits. Whether you are looking for general hydration or need to help calm inflammation, it can be used broadly regardless of your skin type. I commonly recommend it to my patients with eczema.” And it’s an ingredient you can use year-round, he says, because it’ll heal wind- and- cold-battered skin in the winter, and it won’t make you more sensitive to the sun in the summer. Plus, if centella is in the product, it’s a safe bet that plenty of other botanicals and collagen stimulators are, too; it pairs especially well with green tea, ceramides, vitamins A and C, and omega-3 fatty acids.

It may be most commonly called cica cream, but the coolest new formulas featuring the skin-soother go beyond the texture and take the form of innovative serums, sunscreens, and sheet masks. Check out some of our favorites below.  

Glow Recipe Banana Souffle Moisture Cream, $39

This cream was made to help hydrate and calm red, irritated skin. This formula combines calming cica with anti-inflammatory turmeric and soothing magnesium to keep skin totally chill. The combination of banana water and potassium also actively work to hydrate your skin, while non-comedogenic jojoba oil locks in moisture and strengthens your skin barrier. 

Yuripibu Asiatica Calming Ampoule, $38


Looking to boost your skincare routine in one easy step? Of course you are! Don’t be surprised if you start referring to this new lightweight concentrated ampoule as your “skincare soulmate.” Formulated with 95% centella asiatica extract, this water-free silky serum helps calm irritated skin and absorbs in a few seconds. If you have sensitive, combination, or blemish-prone skin, just pat a dime-sized amount in after cleansing and toning. It’s that easy.

ID.AZ Dermastic+ SPF 30 PA++ Cushion, $40

1050_Micro Circa + Cushion_fr
Reapplying sunscreen to your face throughout the day is crucial, but it’s also easier said than done — because who wants to rub white liquid all over their perfectly applied base makeup every few hours? This cushion SPF takes the potential mess factor out of the equation. Just press down on it with the puff, then tap (no need to rub) it on skin. No sticky fingers, no smeared foundation, no sun damage — you officially have no excuses left.   

Make P:rem Cica Pro Refresh Cream, $28


Does your red, irritated or dehydrated skin need a dose of ‘chill’? This cooling, refreshing gel moisturizer is packed with a soothing blend of cica,  niacinimide, probiotics and is free of parabens and synthetic dyes. It’s ideal for combination and acne-prone skin types, or just anyone looking for a silky moisturizer that absorbs in seconds on crazed mornings.  

Make P:rem Micro Oil Serum, $44

We love a beauty product with a party trick, like this serum that transforms textures from milky to oil as you massage it into your skin. The real ta-da moment, though, is the lasting glow it leaves behind, all thanks to gentle, reparative ingredients like olive and macadamia oil, berry extract, and — you guessed it — centella.

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