The benefits of centella asiatica also for skin (also known as gotu kola) have been known for generations. Centella asiatica skincare products have been available and used in skincare products for many years, and has become a huge trend in the skincare industry, brought into the spotlight by the rise in Korean beauty (K-beauty) products.
K-beauty routines are usually complex, involving a number of steps with a wide range of novel textures and ingredients. They focus on skin soothing, brightening and prevention of the manifestation of skin concerns.
In contrast, western routines are typically based on improving skin conditions from an aesthetic or symptomatic point of view.
Products that use centella asiatica for skin boast a wide range of claims, including improved skin hydration, moisturization, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Some of the claimed gotu kola benefits for skin include anti-aging related results such as improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin elasticity, boosting collagen and protecting against sun damage.
In this article, we delve deeper into some of centella asiatica for skin benefits. We also provide information on the best gotu kola skincare products you can make at home, including a facial cleanser, moisturizing cream and face mask.
Skin hydrating benefits of centella asiatica
Many studies have focused on the protective properties of centella asiatica for the skin. Results suggest this extract, or more specifically the active ingredient it contains, has the ability to boost the integrity of the skin’s barrier by increasing hyaluronic acid synthesis, and therefore boosting our body’s own natural moisturizing factors (NMF).
Although these studies use a complex system for how centella asiatica reaches the deep layers of the skin, which is not reproducible in home formulation, the results are promising.
Results show hydrating qualities which support the skin’s defense barrier and can contribute to a healthy skin appearance as well as leaving skin soothed and hydrated. This also suggests centella asiatica may be the perfect ingredient for dry, dehydrated or barrier-compromised skin.
Anti-acne benefits of centella asiatica
Centella asiatica’s active ingredient, madecassoside, has also been shown to reduce skin inflammation caused by high levels of acne-causing bacteria. Inflammation can disrupt the skin barrier making skin even more susceptible to further acne, redness, inflammation and dehydration.
Reducing the inflammation caused by acne can break this cycle, strengthening the barrier and reducing acne and its associated symptoms such as inflammation, irritation and redness. It’s one of the main gotu kola benefits for skin, but it’s not the only one.
Anti-aging, collagen boosting and skin elasticity benefits of centella asiatica
Madecassoside has also been shown to boost collagen production and reduce inflammation and associated signs of skin aging.
A recent study showed that after six months of treatment, there was a significant improvement in clinical observations of skin moisturization, wrinkle depth, skin suppleness, firmness and skin hydration.
The test sample used also contained 5% Vitamin C along with the 0.1% madecassoside, which could suggest Vitamin C and centella asiatica extract work together well to produce an anti-aging benefit.
The study also found an increase in the normal structured elastic fiber network (responsible for skin firmness and elasticity) in sun damaged skin over long-term use when used in combination with Vitamin C. This could suggest centella asiatica, when combined with Vitamin C, can help repair photoaging – aging caused by long-term overexposure to UV radiation.
We cannot determine, from this study, whether the gotu kola benefits for skin were a result of the madecassoside or due to Vitamin C activity. More studies are needed, and with the popularity of centella asiatica growing, those studies are sure to be conducted soon.
Wound healing benefits of centella asiatica
Collagen boosting not only helps skin appear younger, but collagen types I and III are both required in the wound healing process. Centella asiatica components are shown to boost collagen levels, which may accelerate wound healing and scar maturation (which will diminish the appearance of scars more quickly).
It has also been found that, when topically applied, products containing centella asiatica (with Vitamin E and collagen peptides) were found to decrease stretch mark formation during pregnancy.
These studies show promising results for the potential of gotu kola extract and its constituents to have beneficial effects on wound healing, scar minimization and reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
Antioxidant benefits of centella asiatica
Many studies have found that the extract contains high levels of polyphenols, tannins and flavonoids, suggesting that centella asiatica has high antioxidant activity.
In some ways, the composition of these compounds is similar to the antioxidant compounds found in green tea, which may provide skin soothing benefits as it works to counteract the negative effects of pollution exposure, sun damage and inflammation, which are all sources of oxidative stress in the skin.
How can I create centella asiatica skincare products at home, and experience the benefits for my skin?
It is now possible to make a range of beautiful and effective skincare products containing centella asiatica (gotu kola) at home!
The Natural Cosmetic Formulation Club hosts an Ingredient Guide called Formulating with Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola), available to all Club members.
Not only will you learn more about the science behind centella asiatica, such as its composition, functions and benefits, you will also be able to read more about the studies into the ingredient and how to formulate with it.
Formulating with Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) also offers you the opportunity to formulate a product range consisting of a citrusy Gotu Kola Cleanser, a luxurious lavender and bergamot Gotu Kola Moisturizer and a gorgeous rinse-off Gotu Kola Mask.
The centella asiatica skincare range has been developed to provide an opportunity for you to incorporate this exciting and much talked about centella asiatica extract into your daily skincare routine and assess the benefits for yourself.
Perhaps you own a natural and organic beauty business?
As an ingredient generally well tolerated by all skin types, centella asiatica is definitely worth adding to your skincare range so your customers can reap the benefits of this trending ingredient.
Find out more about natural and organic skincare ingredients
Every Member of the Natural Cosmetic Formulation Club has access to a library of resources that are being added to all the time.
Perhaps you want to learn about the benefits of probiotics? You will definitely want to check out the Club’s Probiotics and the Skin Microbiome class.
Or maybe you want to formulate with AHAs and BHAs? Try the Formulating with AHAs and BHAs ingredients guide and learn about the science behind these popular acids.
Not a Member?
No problem! Simply check out our Natural Cosmetic Formulation Club page here to find out how you can join the Club, get access to Formulating with Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) and discover more exciting material that’s released on a regular basis.
If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com