What it is and products we're currently obsessing over
Korean beauty companies are at the forefront of the global market, for good reason. Notorious for using unconventional—borderline crazy—ingredients like snail mucin, bee venom, pig collagen and donkey milk, they deliver powerful results that are at par, or even of higher quality, with its Western counterparts. As a self-professed K-Beauty nerd, I've searched far and wide for the most effective products for my dry and, at some point, distressing, acne-prone skin.
Breakout season befalls even the mightiest among us; presenting, centella asiatica. Referred to as gotu kola, Indian Pennywort or tiger grass, for years, the perennial herb has been used as a healing agent. Currently, it's gaining popularity as a skincare ingredient. It repairs the skin barrier, fights inflammation and hydrates skin. It even diminishes the visible effects of sun damage. If you have sensitive skin or you're suffering from rosacea, this superstar ingredient is a godsend. It's sweeping the market and we're here for it! Here are cica-infused products we're currently obsessing over.
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CosRX Centella Blemish Cream (Beauty MNL, P1000)
My descent to the deep abyss of K-Beauty began with the CosRX Centella Blemish Cream. I'm already on my third tub after years of loyal service to my skin. It calms down redness, heals acne and combats would-be scars— what's not to love? Trade your skin-drying lotions for this blemish cream; use it as a spot treatment and see results overnight. Believe me.
iUNIK Centella Bubble Cleansing Foam (BeautyMNL, P593)
For the second step of your non-negotiable double cleanse, try the pH balancing cleanser enriched with 69% of centella asiatica extract water. It removes dirt and excess sebum while keeping skin hydrated; it won't break down your skin's natural moisture barrier! Plus, the gentle formula is suitable for all skin types.
Nacific Green Pair Plus Clear Toner (Beauty MNL, P1200)
Follow up your cleanser with a hydrating toner. It contains porous powder to help control excess sebum for oily/combo/acne-prone skin. It balances the skin's moisture level to keep it smoothe and refreshed. It also follows the 7-Free System, which means it doesn't contain parabens, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, talc, triethanolamine, imidazolidinyl urea and polyacrylamide. Gimme!
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Serum (BeautyMNL, P2250)
The Allure Best of Beauty 2018 awardee is jam-packed with a blend of strengthening jartbiome, soothing centella Rx and reparative cicabond, The potent serum is lightweight but highly concentrated and gives a punch of hydration; no wonder it's a Sephora bestseller. It repairs damaged skin resulting from external stressors and improves skin’s defenses against dryness.
A'Pieu Madecassoside Cream (Beauty MNL, P725)
On a particularly dry season after spending fall abroad, my skin's barrier was impaired. The A'pieu Madecassoside Cream was a lifesaver! Formulated with 40% centella asiatica leaf water and 0.1% madecassoside, the water-gel based cream soothes irritated skin and repairs skin damage. With niacinamide, it also brightens skin while panthenol keeps skin hydrated. Don't worry, even if you can't pronounce it, it's okay. (We're not judging.)
Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pads (Beauty MNL, P1100)
The game-changing Cica Pads from Neogen are soaked in centella extract and hyaluronic acid to tone irritated skin, boost collagen and gently exfoliate skin. With a pH of 5.83, it's suitable for daily use. Pro tip: These one-step cleansing pads are also perfect for nights out when you just can’t be bothered. You're welcome!
Benton Goodbye Redness Centella Mask Pack (Beauty MNL, P129)
For a quick fix, the hypoallergenic mask from Benton is drenched in cica ingredients to provide instant relief and give skin an allover glow. Don't waste the liquid, use the leftover essence for your arms and legs!
Did we miss any of your holy grails? Sound off in the comments below!
Art Alexandra Lara