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Propriétés de la Centella asiatica sur la peau.

What are the benefits of Centella asiatica for your skin?

Originating in Asia and Oceania, Centella asiatica is a plant with multiple benefits. It’s an excellent antioxidant, found in many skincare and hair care products in the form of a powdered extract or as an oil. Here are its biggest benefits when used in skincare.

Published January 16, 2023, by Maylis, Chemical Engineer, — 6 min read

Centella asiatica, an overview.

Centella asiatica is a creeping, semi-aquatic herbaceous plant from the Apiaceae family that originates in Asia and Oceania. It grows primarily in swampy areas of tropical or subtropical countries. You can find it in several Asian countries such as India and China, as well as in Africa, mainly in Madagascar and South Africa.

Also known as tiger grass, its medicinal properties have been recognized for more than 2,000 years. Asian populations used it in poultices to heal wounds, particularly for skin lesions typical of leprosy. 

Using Centella asiatica as a powder or as an oil in skincare is a relatively recent development, from the start of the 1970s. Centella asiatica extract is a rich source of natural bioactive substances: saponins, triterpenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, triterpene steroids, amino acids, sugars… Nowadays, you’ll find it in skincare products for dull skin, or which prevent skin aging, like serums and creams. It’s used in healing and repairing products, designed to reduce the appearance of pigmentation marks and/or stretch marks. It’s also found in creams for the eye contour, which reduce the appearance of dark circles and eye bags.

Centella asiatica helps your skin to fight against oxidative stress.

The phenolic compounds present in its leaves, roots and stalks give Centella asiatica powerful antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radicals. Free radicals are caused by several factors, such as UVA rays, pollution, cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, stress… They are molecules which lack an electron, which makes them very reactive because they’re highly unstable, and tend to react with an organism’s healthy molecules, damaging cells and tissues.

This process, known as “oxidative stress”, accelerates skin aging and the appearance of wrinkles and/or pigmentation marks. The phenolic compounds present in Centella asiatica neutralize free radicals by giving them an electron, making them stable and less reactive. In this way, Centella asiatica slows skin aging and protects the skin from external irritants.

Centella asiatica stimulates collagen production.

Skin aging is caused by several factors, most notably the reduction of collagen levels in the dermis, the deepest layer of the skin, which causes loss of elasticity and the appearance of wrinkles. In skincare, Centella asiatica is used to boost collagen production and slow down the signs of aging.

Centella asiatica reduces the appearance of pigmentation marks.

Centella asiatica contains two molecules belonging to the saponoside family that are known for their restorative and healing properties: madecassoside and asiaticoside. Several studies have shown the benefits of these active ingredients when used to reduce the appearance of stretchmarks, scarring, and pigmentation marks caused by acne or irritation.

Centella asiatica gets rid of dark circles and revives dull skin.

It helps to stimulate blood micro-circulation, which reduces the appearance of dark circles and eye bags and brightens tired skin.

Centella asiatica maintains skin hydration.

Several studies have shown an increase in the skin’s hydration levels after daily application of a cosmetic formula containing Centella asiatica. It helps to minimize transepidermal water loss, thanks to its humectant properties, meaning that it holds water, like a molecular sponge. It leaves the skin hydrated for longer, helping to reduce the appearance of dehydration lines and that pulling sensation caused by skin dryness.

Sources :

  • BOREL J. P. & al. Stimulation of collagen synthesis in venous and dermis fibroblast cultures by titrated extract from Centella asiaticaConnective 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).


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