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The South Asian Insider

What is the hype about Centella Asiatica? Should you add it to your skincare routine?

Centella Asiatica, also called Gotu Kola, is a popular ingredient in K-beauty products.
As the craze for K-beauty continues to soar, the focus is also shifting to the game-changing ingredients used in Korean skincare products. One such ingredient currently in the spotlight is Centella Asiatica. Also called Gotu Kola, this herb is a key element in an array of K-beauty products such as serums, moisturisers and face masks.
Even Deepika Padukone, in her beauty line 82e, introduced a toner with Centella Asiatica as the key ingredient. Called Gotu Kola Dew, this toner was unveiled in a special video featuring Deepika and Shah Rukh Khan.
But what exactly is Centella Asiatica and what is the entire hype all about? Well, first things first, it is a botanical herb found in Asia and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Yup. Even before the K-beauty fad erupted, people availed its wide range of benefits. It has exceptional skin-healing abilities and antioxidant benefits that help improve skin elasticity, reducing signs of ageing and promoting a clean, healthy complexion.
Talking about what makes it a popular ingredient in K-beauty products, Zoya Ali, national learning and content creation head of South Korean beauty and cosmetics company AmorePacific, shared that it is also highly effective in soothing and calming the skin because of its abundant anti-inflammatory properties.
Apart from helping deal with ageing, calming the skin and giving it a healthy complexion, Centella Asiatica also strengthens the skin's natural barrier. "It protects the skin from moisture loss and environmental aggressors, ultimately making it more resistant to damage," Zoya added. Noted cosmetologist Dr Jaishree Sharad, in her new book The Skincare Answer Book, has also addressed the hype of Centella Asiatica while also adding that it has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition of India for thousands of years. It helps with scar management and wound healing and is also present in creams for stretch marks and anti-ageing creams, she has shared in her book.
Who needs to add Centella Asiatica to their skincare routine?
Centella Asiatica is a treasure trove of skincare benefits. But do you need to add it to your routine? We asked the same to Zoya Ali of AMOREPACIFIC, who shared that people dealing with the following issues should give it a try.
Compromised skin barrier: Those who have a damaged or compromised skin barrier should use Centella Asiatica since it supports the skin's natural barrier function. It promotes healthier and more resilient skin, preventing moisture loss and environmental aggressors and as a result, aiding in skin vitality.
Sensitive skin: It is widely recognized for its remarkable wound-healing properties, soothing and calming effects, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an ideal choice for individuals with sensitive, irritated, or inflamed skin, including those dealing with post-acne blemishes and bumps. It provides effective relief from redness, irritation, and skin irregularities.
Dehydrated skin: It helps boost skin hydration and replenishes moisture levels, making it beneficial for individuals with dry or dehydrated skin.
Early or pre-mature signs of ageing: Its skin-healing and antioxidant properties help to improve skin elasticity, making it effective for addressing early and pre-mature signs of ageing,
Basically, anyone combating signs of ageing, building a healthy skin barrier, and seeking radiant skin can benefit from Centella Asiatica-based products.
Things to keep in mind
"While Centella Asiatica is generally considered safe for most individuals, there are a few precautions to keep in mind when incorporating it into your skincare routine," said Zoya Ali.
Do perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to check if you have any allergic reaction to the ingredient.
It is also a good idea to consult your doctor about introducing it to your routine if you are using any medication or have underlying medical conditions.
"Centella Asiatica can have a mild photosensitizing effect on the skin, making it more sensitive to the sun. Ensure you use adequate sun protection," she added.