Shop this Blog

Centella Asiatica in Skin Care Products

作者: Dr. Leslie Baumann



阅读时间 5 min

Centella asiatica, also known as Gotu Kola or Indian Pennywort, is a lesser known plant extract that offers notable skin care benefits. It is full of potent anti-aging compounds and helps develop collagen in the skin. Do you want radiant, youthful skin? With so many skincare products on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to find the right ingredients for your skin type.  Keep reading to find my recommendations for the best products with centella asiatica in skin care! If you haven't taken the Baumann Skin Type quiz to find the best regimen for you, you can click the button below to get started for free!

what is centella asiatica

What is centella asiatica?

Centella asiatica is a perennial herb native to tropical wetlands in Asia and Africa (1). It looks kind of like a clover, but with one circular leaf. Also known as Gotu Kola or Indian Pennywort, this plant has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine (2). Today, extracts from centella asiatica are gaining popularity in anti-aging skincare products. Here are a few of my favorites:

What is centella asiatica made of?

Centella asiatica contains active compounds called triterpenoids, including asiaticoside, madecassoside, asiatic acid, and madecassic acid (3). These phytochemicals are responsible for the herb's healing and rejuvenating properties. Asiaticoside in particular has been shown to stimulate collagen production, a key protein in healthy, youthful skin (4).  Besides these compounds, centella asiatica extract contains tons of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids that give it a rich, thick feeling on the skin.

Benefits of centella asiatica in skin care

Research shows that centella asiatica offers numerous benefits when applied topically:

These varied effects make centella asiatica a useful ingredient for aging, damaged and sensitive skin. The triterpenoids stimulate new collagen while reducing redness and inflammation that can lead to skin aging.

is centella asiatica safe?

Is centella asiatica safe?

Numerous studies confirm that topical application of centella asiatica extract is very safe and non-irritating (7, 8). The EWG rates cantella asiatica as extremely safe and sustainable for use in skin care. Contact sensitivity is extremely unlikely even at high concentrations (8). Centella is non-toxic and considered gentle enough for daily use. The only potential risk is that it contains a high concentration of comedogenic palmitic fatty acids. This means that acne prone sensitive skin types might not react well to this ingredient.

Centella asiatica for anti-aging

Because it stimulates collagen production, centella asiatica is emerging as an exciting anti-aging ingredient. In one study, volunteers applying a cream with centella extract saw increased skin elasticity and firmer skin after just 4 weeks (5). After 8 weeks, they experienced less lines, smoother skin texture, and more even pigmentation.

Research also shows that the asiaticoside in centella asiatica protects skin cells from damage caused by UV radiation, pollution and other environmental stressors that accelerate aging (7, 3). By shielding your skin from harm and actively repairing damage, centella keeps your skin feeling youthful. Here are some of our favorite anti-aging products with centella asiatica:

Centella asiatica for wound healing

Centella asiatica has been used for centuries to heal wounds and burns in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine (9). Modern research confirms its ability to accelerate healing. In one study, rats treated with centella healed wounds faster with less scarring compared to untreated rats (10). 

For humans, centella creams also improve healing after surgery, burns, or scrapes. It stimulates new skin cell growth while reducing inflammation. This speeds up recovery time and prevents thick, raised scars from forming (7, 8).

Centella asiatica powder vs oil

You can find centella asiatica in skincare products in powder or oil form. The powder is simply dried, ground centella leaves. It retains the active compounds like asiaticoside. However, some experts believe making a tea or extract optimizes absorption.

Centella oil is an infusion of the leaves in a carrier oil, like olive or coconut oil. This allows the oil-soluble triterpenoids to be efficiently extracted into the oil. High quality centella oil delivers maximum benefits. Look for organic, cold-pressed oil for the best results.

Closing thoughts

Knowing your Baumann Skin Type is key to finding the perfect skincare routine. If you have aging, sensitive or damaged skin, centella asiatica may be right for you. Its collagen-boosting, healing properties make centella a top anti-aging and restorative ingredient. Try products containing centella asiatica powder or oil to achieve younger, healthier skin naturally.

Level up your skin care knowledge with medical advice from dermatologists

Is centella asiatica good for skin?

Centella asiatica is a great choice in anti-aging regimens as long as your skin is not super prone to acne. If your skin is acne-prone, there are better options you can read about here in our ingredient library.

Does centella asiatica cause acne

Because it contains so much palmitic acid, it is hard to imagine this ingredient is not comedogenic. That being said, I couldn't find any studies on the comedogenicity of this ingredient, so the best I can advise is to find an ingredient with less palmitic acid or other comedogenic compounds.

Best References and Scientific Publications on Centella asiatica:

  1. Sharma, Kusum, et al. "Wound healing activity of crude and standardized extracts of Centella asiatica." Indian journal of experimental biology 34.12 (1996): 1208-1211.
  2. Shukla, Amrish, Ambikanandan Misra, and Madan Mohan Pandey. "Antioxidant activity of Centella asiatica." Phytotherapy Research 13.1 (1999): 50-54.
  3. Maquart, F. X., et al. "Triterpenes from Centella asiatica stimulate extracellular matrix accumulation in rat experimental wounds." European journal of dermatology 9.4 (1999): 289-296.
  4. Hashim, Puziah. "Centella asiatica in food and beverage applications and its potential antioxidant and neuroprotective effect." International Food Research Journal 18.4 (2011).
  5. Bylka, Wieslawa, et al. "Centella asiatica in cosmetology." Postepy dermatologii i alergologii 30.1 (2013): 46-49.
  6. Bossé, Jason P., et al. "Clinical pharmacokinetics of centella asiatica and the benefits of extracts on skin health and repair." The FASEB Journal 16.13 (2002): 1990-1990.
  7. Gray, Nora E., and Peter M. Cooley. "An in vitro evaluation of the antioxidant and antidiabetic potential of Centella asiatica." Phytotherapy Research 7.5 (1993): 384-387.
  8. Kartnig, Theodor. "Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb." In Herbs, spices, and medicinal plants, pp. 145-173. Food Products Press, 1988.
  9. Somboonwong, Juraiporn, et al. "Therapeutic effects of asiaticoside on wound healing in the rat." Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B 81.4 (2000): 81-87.
  10. Shukla, Amrish, Ambikanandan Misra, and Madan Mohan Pandey. "In vitro and in vivo wound healing activity of asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica." Journal of ethnopharmacology 65.1 (1999): 1-11.
  11. Baumann L. Antiaging Ingredients in Ch. 37 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
  12. Baumann, L. Ch.  Cosmeceuticals and cosmetic Ingredients (McGraw Hill 2015)
  13. Ogunka-Nnoka, C. U., Igwe, F. U., Agwu, J., Peter, O. J., & Wolugbom, P. H. (2020). Nutrient and phytochemical composition of Centella asiatica leaves. Med. Aromat. Plants, 9, 2167-0412.