Skincare ingredients can be very intimidating, especially seeing as most of their names are 1) in Latin or chem-speak, or 2) longer than three syllables. A lot of times, this leads us to fear away from learning more about the many amazing ingredients that are doing everything in their power to help our skin, as well as educating ourselves on the ingredients we should be steering away from.
So let’s take another look at centella asiatica. Also commonly known as centella and gotu kola, this ingredient might be the best thing since sliced bread.
Centella is a small herbacious plant that is native to the wetlands in Asia. For thousands of years, this medicinal herb has been used in ancient practices in India, China and Indonesia for the purpose of healing wounds, improving mental clarity, and more.
A member of the parsley family, centella has no distinct taste or smell. And while this herb produces a small oval fruit and pink flowers, the herb’s medicinal properties all come from its stem and leaves. It’s extracts are effective in various methods and is safe for ingestion and/ or topical application.
Centella has recently started to cross borders to become more popularized in Western medicine, now more commonly appearing in modern medicine.
So what exactly are it’s benefits, you ask?
The “fountain of life”
Myth has it that famous Chinese herbalist, martial artist and tactical adviser Li-Ching Yeun, lived for over 200 years because of his regular dedication to consuming various medicinal herbs – including centella – to maintain his health. This legend makes it unsurprising that centella has been listed as one of the world’s “miracle elixirs of life” and also holds the nickname, “fountain of life”.
While we aren’t saying that centella is going to be your fountain of youth, this herb definitely carries properties that make it a strong source of relief for irritation, sensitivity, swelling and more, also making it the perfect addition to skincare product for an extra calming touch.
The power behind centella comes from certain chemical compounds called triterpenoids, which various lab studies have shown that it works to help heal wounds.
“For example, some studies suggest that triterpenoids strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the area.” Dr. Kashmira J. Gohil says in her pharmalogical review of centella asiatica, which she refers to as a potential herbal cure-all. “Based on these findings, gotu kola has been applied to the skin, or used topically, for minor burns, psoriasis, preventing scars after surgery, and preventing or reducing stretch marks.”
From medicine to skincare
Centella is found in many creams and ointments for wound healing, and also has made its way into the mainstream through skincare focused on reducing irritation and inflammation for sensitive skin.
This is why centella has risen as a silent hero in many of Klairs products.
First making an appearance in skincare in the form of toner, the Supple Preparation Facial Toner helps to soothe the skin of any irritation that might have been induced by the physical stress caused on the skin while cleansing. Moving onto serum and cream, the Rich Moist Soothing Serum and Cream are enhanced by centella as they not only work to lock-in moisture, but also to keep the skin balanced, preventing it from experiencing any further sensitivity or irritation throughout the day.
All in all, while centella is no stranger to the medicinal world, we can hope to see continued advances for the herb in the world of skincare with one step at a time.