The Benefits and Uses of Cica Cream

Centella Asiatica, or cica, is a common ingredient in psoriasis, eczema, wound and other treatments. Recently, the compound has been showing up in European pharmacies as a scar treatment and K-beauty products. People are now praising the ingredient as a solution for dry and sensitive skin, encouraging the manufacture of creams.

What Is Cica Cream?

You might see cica cream under several names, including tiger grass and gotu kola. Regardless of the name, it is an antioxidant-rich skin moisturizer. The actual ingredient — Centella Asiatica — is an herb native to Africa and Asia. Over the past several hundred years, it has been a primary component in traditional Asian medicine, used in creams and ointments for wound healing. Three thousand years ago, the herb was a folk medicine cure-all.

In the 19th century, the herb made its way into Western medicine as a treatment for superficial scratches and burns and psoriasis and eczema flare-ups. Now, you can find it in a variety of skin creams and sensitive skin care products. You might find the cream sold as asiaticoside cream or medecassoside cream because of its primary ingredients: Asiatic acid, asiaticoside and medecassoside acid.

How Does Cica Cream Work?

Centella Asiatica contains fatty acids, amino acids, phytochemicals and beta-carotene. The combination of all the nutrients produces a product with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, helping to calm inflammation and repair the skin. Also, some research suggests it can stimulate collagen production.

Several studies also point to cica cream as beneficial in treating psoriasis and eczema, acne, scars, wrinkles and dry and irritated skin. Despite the promising outcomes of various studies, the data is not conclusive. Most of the research involves animals, not people; there are currently no peer-reviewed or high-quality studies on the cream's advantages for treating acne, eczema or psoriasis.

How Do You Use Cica Cream?

Most cica creams only require you to wash your face and apply the cream; it is not a complicated process. However, some people are allergic to Centella Asiatica, which means testing a small spot on the skin before regular use is advisable. Also, you may want to ease into the everyday use of the cream. Some dermatologists recommend using the cream every other night and gradually working up to nightly use. Eventually, you can begin using the product twice per day as recommended.

Also, if you apply several other products to your skin, it is best to use those first, saving the cica cream for last. The cream essentially acts as a thicker moisturizing barrier. Dermatologists also recommend applying a layer of sunscreen on top of the cica cream as the final layer of skin protection.

Cica cream is not new; societies have used the primary ingredient for centuries to treat various skin conditions. Today, producers and medical professionals recommend using the product as a moisturizer but also encourage caution because some people may be allergic. If you would like to use cica cream, you might want to consult your dermatologist first. They can help you better understand if the cream is beneficial for your skin type.

This Is Why Your Moisturizer Stopped Working

Most women and men in the U.S. (75%) have problems with dry skin during winter. When you're trying so hard to protect your skin, why can it sometimes seem like moisturizer isn’t doing anything?

4 Signs Your Moisturizer Isn’t Working

Hydration is an essential part of skincare. These four red flags mean your moisturizer isn't working correctly.

Rough or Dry Skin

Healthy, hydrated skin should be three S's: soft, smooth and supple. If your hands feel closer to sandpaper than silk, it’s a sign your skin needs TLC urgently! Rough, dry or cracked skin has been stripped of its natural protective oils, and your moisturizing routine isn’t helping.

Peeling

Sunburns aren’t the only reason your skin can peel. Peeling means the epidermis — the top layer of skin — has been damaged. Dryness or irritation from harsh ingredients can be responsible. Hand sanitizer can cause both.

Bumps or Acne Breakouts

For some people, moisturizers cause a different problem: clogged pores. Hydrating your skin is still important, but it’s better to choose a lighter product with “oil-free” on the label. Honey, lactic acid and glycerin are great ingredients for avoiding breakouts.

Burning Sensation or Rashes

Moisturizers should never make your skin burn, tingle or itch. The effect should be completely the opposite — a calming, comfortable sensation you look forward to. If you notice irritation or red spots after applying a beauty product, it usually means you have a mild allergy to one of the ingredients. People with sensitive skin should opt for moisturizers that are non-allergenic and fragrance-free.

6 Reasons Moisturizer Doesn’t Always Work

Why aren’t your skincare products delivering the results they promise? These six reasons may be the cause:

  • Washing needs to go hand-in-hand with moisturizing: Every time you wash, you need to moisturize. Period.
  • Skipping nutrients doesn’t do your skin any favors: Eating too much fast food can leave your body low on essential vitamins for healthy skin.
  • Overdoing heavy creams can make skin dependent on moisturizer: Giving your skin too much of a good thing can make it stop producing natural oils. Don’t apply heavy creams every day.
  • Underestimating cold or dry weather hurts your skin: Applying moisturizer once a day in cold weather is almost the same as doing nothing. Your skin needs more.
  • Aging lowers your body’s natural hydration: As you age, you need to increase your moisturizing routine. Increase the quantity of skin-healthy vitamins you get as well.
  • Not protecting yourself from UV rays is worse than you think: UV rays can damage your skin even if you don’t get burnt. Put on sunscreen when you’re spending time outdoors.

6 Tips for Supple Skin All Year Long

Boost skin hydration with these six simple steps:

  • Feed your skin: Make sure you're getting sufficient vitamin E, protein and omega-3s in your diet.
  • Be a skin whisperer: Stick with moisturizers and ingredients that work for you, no matter what's trendy.
  • Cleanse and hydrate: Remove dirt, oil and makeup from the skin, and then apply moisturizer.
  • Apply when wet: Using skin lotion when you get out of the shower or while your hands are still wet locks in extra moisture.
  • Massage: Help moisture and nourishing ingredients penetrate better with a gentle massage.
  • Exfoliate more: Get rid of dry, dead skin cells that block lotions from absorbing correctly. Moisturize after exfoliating.

Great skincare ingredients don't have to be expensive. Glycerine, petrolatum and shea butter are among the best for hydration, and they're within reach of most people.