Everything you need to know about buzzy beauty ingredient Centella

If you’re a Sephora regular you’ve probably noticed a spike in products touting that they’re formulated with centella. But what in the heck exactly is this new buzzy ingredient and should you buy into the hype? I turned to RealSelf.com contributor Dr. Michele Green to find out.

What exactly is Centella?

Centella asiatica also known as go to kola is an Ayurvediv herb indigenous to African, Indian and Chinese medicine. Over the years it has been used in numerous skincare creams. Centella is best known for its use in Korean skincare for anti-aging.

It’s rich in antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids, and phytochemicals with neurotonic effects. The chemical component of centella shows it is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, B1, B2, beta carotene, and niacin. These powerful antioxidants and amino acids are essential to skin health and provide tons of benefits–from protecting the skin from sun damage, to reducing inflammation, to brightening skin tone and helping with in cellular repair. Antioxidants and amino acids are substances which protect the inner and outer skin from free radical damage and oxidative stress. In studies the use of centella showed reduction of wrinkles due to its neurotonic effect when applied to the skin.

Where can you find this ingredient?

Centella has been around since the seventeenth century and can be found primarily in Asia, India and Africa.

Who should use Centella and who should avoid it?

Centella can be used by anyone topically. There are however restrictions if consuming it.

And the big question: Does it work?

There have been numerous studies over the years on the efficacy of centella. In studies centella is able to penetrate the skin without losing efficacy. Centella is known to increase collagen production, heal wounds, improve the appearance of stretch marks and varicose veins. Below are three studies published on the efficacy of centella asiatica.

Are there some products you would recommend?

Loaded with 40% centella asiatica leaf water, A’Pieu Madecassoside cream is at the top of my list. Another option is Pure Heals Centella 90 Ampoule, which contains 90% centella extract.

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