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What is Cica? What’s it good for?

With so many trendy skincare ingredients and products, it’s hard to keep track of which ones work best. Cica, an ingredient that’s been popularized by K-beauty, is now making appearances in beauty products across North America, and it boasts a number of benefits. Those living in Korea in particular find cica useful due to its ability to aid with sensitive skin, which is something that some Koreans struggle with. 

From hydration to repair, cica seems to be able to do it all. But is it right for you, and should you start incorporating it into your beauty routine?

Here’s what we know about cica.

So, what is it?

Cica (Centella asiatica) is a plant that goes by many names: guta kola, Indian Pennywort, and tiger grass. Despite the fact that it’s new to the West, this ingredient has been used in Asia for centuries, regularly used in traditional Chinese medicine. 

It’s referred to “tiger grass” in many regions in Asia because tigers are known to use cica to rub on their wounds, helping their skin regenerate. In addition to helping skin repair, cica is also believed to help relieve minor burns, heal scars, and even soothe those who suffer from psoriasis.

What’s it good for?

Well, it turns out that cica is bursting with goodness. To start, cica contains amino acids, beta-carotene, fatty acids, and vitamins A, B1 and B2, and C. Because of these properties, cica can help stimulate collagen production, which helps produce youthful looking skin. Cica is also high in antioxidants, and can help firm, repair, and soothe skin, as well as improve appearance of wrinkles and age spots. 

As mentioned before, cica works particularly well for those who live in areas with high levels of pollution since it actively helps protect against external sources of skin damage, which also includes stress and UV light.

Lastly, cica can assist in hydrating the top layer of skin. Helping to boost circulation and blood flow to the skin, the plant helps decrease moisture loss and repairs cells as well. Needless to say, cica is somewhat of a miracle product in its many helpful uses. 

Should I use cica?

Since cica is beneficial to those who have sensitive skin, this means that those who do not suffer from sensitive skin should be able to incorporate cica into their skincare routines without issue. 

If you’re unsure, the best rule of thumb is to use the product a few times per week in the evenings, and build up your tolerance by increasing frequency of use. 

In terms of which products to look for, we recommend using products you can leave on your skin, as products that contain cica but require you to wash off will not yield the best results. As such, products like sheet masks, moisturizers, and serums are great for experiencing everything cica has to offer. 

Nighttime serums, in particular, are very effective as well. Leaving products containing cica on your skin for an extended period of time and throughout the night (which is when your skin naturally repairs) is likely the best way to incorporate cica.

While there are skincare products that boast efficacy but fail to produce positive results, cica is quite the opposite. Since it can be used by all skin types and is also packed with everything you need for healthy, glowing skin, cica is the perfect ingredient to include in your skincare routine.