Skin-care products of all types appear to have one thing in common currently: cica. If it isn’t within the mask, serum, moisturizer, or at-home peel pad’s name, it’s on the ingredient list under its scientific name, Centella asiatica. The regenerative and healing advantages of cica, which in its natural form is a leafy green herb, have been known for hundreds of years, however it’s taken until recently for beauty consumers to totally catch on. Outside of Asia, where it is a commonplace ingredient, Western beauty brands like Dermalogica and Kiehl’s are also beginning to take note.
“Cica is believed to assuage and repair irritated skin,” Ellen Marmur, MD, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, previously told us, meaning it’s highly useful for treating pimples and calming sensitive skin. These attributes might be tied to cica’s chemical composition, which is “chock-full of amino acids, beta-carotene, fatty acids, and phytochemicals, including vitamins C, A, B1, and B2,” says Shari Marchbein, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, explained. In short, this antioxidant-packed herb stimulates collagen production and protects skin against inflammation and bacteria.
If you ask Charlotte Cho, an aesthetician and cofounder of K-beauty e-retailer Soko Glam, cica has turn out to be so widespread in Korean skin-care products because something is within the air — literally. “Sensitive skin is a quite common skin type in Korea resulting from high pollution levels,” she told Allure once we did a deep dive into the skin-care ingredient. “As a result, sensitive-skin-friendly ingredients, comparable to cica, are regularly present in Korean beauty products to calm inflammation, redness, and irritated skin.” And let’s be real:Tthe pollution levels are pretty rattling high stateside, too. With that in mind, our skin deals with the environmental aggressors’ damaging effects, like advantageous lines, wrinkles, dryness, and irritation.
Keep scrolling to seek out out which skin-soothing cica products you have to be incorporating into your skin-care routine straight away.
Our Top Picks:
- Best for Correcting Redness: Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum, $52
- Overnight Sensation: Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask, $34
- Most Soothing Sunscreen: Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Air-Fit Suncream Light SPF 30 PA++++, $17
- Multipurpose Moisturizer: Bloomeffects Tulip Nectar Skin Repair Balm, $47
- For a Skin-Care Reset: Peach & Lily Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask, $45
- Best Soothing Cleanser: Erborian Centella Cleansing Gel, $36
- Fragrance-Free Moisturizer for Daytime & Nighttime: Dermalogica Stabilizing Repair Cream, $64