Native to Asia and Oceania, this is a plant with multiple virtues. An exceptional antioxidant, it can be found in many skin and hair care products, in the form of powdered Centella asiatica extract or vegetable oil.
The Benefits of Centella Asiatica for Skin.
- Centella Asiatica, Overview
- Centella Asiatica Skincare for the Fight Against Oxidative Stress
- Centella Asiatica for Collagen Production
- Centella Asiatica for Skin Marks
- Centella Asiatica Extract for Dark Circles and Dull Complexions
- Centella Asiatica for Skin Hydration
Centella Asiatica, Overview.
Native to Asia and Oceania, Centella asiatica is a creeping, semiaquatic herbaceous plant of the Apiaceae family. It grows mainly in swampy areas of tropical or subtropical countries. It can be found today in several Asian countries like India and China as well as in Africa, mainly in Madagascar and South Africa.
Also called tiger grass, the medicinal properties of this plant have been recognized for more than 2,000 years. The Asian populations used Centella asiatica for skin wound healing and more particularly to treat the cutaneous manifestations of leprosy.
In cosmetics, the use of this plant in the form of powder or vegetable oil is quite recent, at the beginning of the 70s. Centella asiatica extract is a rich source of natural bioactive substances: saponins, triterpenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, triterpenic steroids, amino acids, sugars… Today, it is possible to find this plant active ingredient in certain care products intended for dull skin or to prevent skin aging, such as serums and creams.
It is also used in healing and repairing treatments to reduce the appearance of skin marks and stretch marks. Finally, it is found in eye contour creams to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
Centella Asiatica Skincare for the Fight Against Oxidative Stress.
The phenolic compounds present in the leaves, roots, and petioles give Centella asiatica powerful antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radicals. These are generated by several factors such as UVA, pollution, cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, stress… They are molecules that are missing an electron. Highly reactive because they are highly unstable, free radicals tend to react with the body's healthy molecules, damaging cells and tissues.
This process, known as “oxidative stress”, accelerates skin aging and therefore the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation spots. The phenolic compounds present in Centella asiatica neutralize the action of free radicals by giving up an electron to make these molecules stable and less reactive. Thus, this plant active ingredient delays skin aging and protects the skin from external aggressions.
Centella Asiatica for Collagen Production.
Skin aging results from several factors and in particular from the decrease of the collagen rate in the dermis, the deep layer of the skin. This leads to a loss of elasticity and the appearance of wrinkles. In skincare, Centella asiatica extract is used to boost collagen production and thus slow down the appearance of signs of aging.
Centella Asiatica for Skin Marks.
Centella contains two molecules belonging to the saponoside family with recognized repairing and healing properties: madecassoside and asiaticoside. Thus, numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of these active ingredients on the attenuation of stretch marks, as well as scars and skin marks related for example to acne outbreaks or irritations.
Centella Asiatica for Skin Hydration.
Several studies have shown an increase in the skin's hydration rate following the daily application of a cosmetic formula based on Centella asiatica extract. Transepidermal water loss also decreased, which means that the chemicals in this plant are humectant, meaning that they retain water, like molecular sponges. The skin is moisturized for longer, preventing the appearance of fine dehydration lines and feelings of tightness due to skin dryness.
BOREL J. P. & al. Stimulation of collagen synthesis in venous and dermis fibroblast cultures by titrated extract from Centella asiatica. Connective Tissue Research (1990).
BRZEZINSKA M. & al. Centella asiatica in cosmetology. Postepy Dermatologii I Alergologii (2013).
PYTKOWSKA K. & al. Moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties of cosmetic formulations containing Centella asiatica extract. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2016).