Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola): The New Beauty Herb on the Block

Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola): The New Beauty Herb on the Block

Having trouble with hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, moisture, or even cellulite? Centella asiatica extract is an ingredient you may want to consider looking for in your skincare product today! Centella asiatica extract, also known as gotu kola or Indian pennywort, has been slowly making its appearance into the ingredient lists of quite a few skincare products in the Asian market.  C. asiatica extract has been used for thousands of years and was traditionally used in Asian medicine to relieve and treat skin diseases.  The C. asiatica herb was used to help with burns, scars, eczema, or scleroderma but also other diseases related to the inner body and mind.  There is growing research on the effects of this extract on diseases such as dermatitis or psoriasis.

The main active components of C. asiatica extract include asiaticoside, madecasosside, asiatic acid, and madecassic acid.  These components, along with other active substances in C. asiatica, provide antioxidative, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.  Continue reading for additional research on this extract.


What Are Some of the Ways that Centella Asiatica Works?

Research was done on 25 subjects to test for the moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties of C. asiatica.  Applying emulsion and hydrogel containing C. asiatica extract twice daily not only increased the skin’s hydration levels, but also possibly contained anti-aging effects.  Anti-inflammatory activity was detected protecting and reducing skin irritation.

Our skin naturally ages as we get older. Sooner or later, all of us will have to face deep wrinkles, sagging skin, and roughness.  In a clinical trial on the anti-aging effects of C. asiatica extract, subjects applied a cream containing vitamin C and C. asiatica extract two times a day to their face and arms.  The cream showed improvements in roughness, texture, wrinkles, and reduced dark spots on sun-damaged skin.

The extract of C. asiatica may promote wound healing .  Like snail slime extract, C. asiatica extract also triggers the skin’s collagen-producing cells to divide and produce more collagen synthesis, both of which can accelerate wound healing.  Collagen helps to give our skin more thickness and substance.  In addition to healing wounds, the collagen stimulating properties may improve the appearances of stretch marks.  Clinical studies showed that creams containing C. asiatica extract may improve the appearances of stretch marks.


Can Centella Asiatica Get Into the Skin?

As of now, researchers were able to find asiaticoside in the different layers of skin after applying C. asiatica extract on the skin.  Since this is only one of the compounds in the herb, more research is needed to see if the other components of the extract can get into the skin too.


Is the Craze About Centella Asiatica Justified?

Although many studies were done suggesting the effectiveness of C. asiatica extract on the skin, more clinical trials are needed to further study this interesting plant extract.  Most of the studies were short-term, and we still do not know if the results will hold up with longer term use.  If you are feeling brave, give C. asiatica a try.  But just remember, everyone’s skin type is different and we still do not know if the skin can develop allergies to C. asiatica with long-term use.  Next time you come across C. asiatica extract as one of the ingredients listed in your beauty product – and are feeling brave – give it a try and maybe you will like it.


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