Centella Asiatica extract is obtained from Asian Hydrocotile, a plant belonging to the Apiaceae family typical of Madagascar, India, Ceylon and Mauritius. Essentially, Asian Hydrocotyle is a healing plant that grows in humid and shady places, such as along waterways, marshy areas and in forests that see very little sunlight. Its characteristic are violet flowers and rounded leaves, arranged in a rosette.
It’s precisely the leaves that contain active ingredients that make Centella Asiatica a remedy used for the toning of blood vessels and healing of the skin. It’s thanks to these virtues that Centella Asiatica is also known as “Indian ginseng” and “tiger plant”: legend has it that tigers, when they suffered an injury they rubbed against it to heal.
Since ancient times Centella Asiatica has been used to cure skin diseases such as lupus and ulcerations. From this plant is possible to extract elements with phytotherapeutic power consisting mainly of triterpenes, asian acid, madecassic acid glycosides, asiaticoside and madecassoside.
This precious active ingredient is used in various preparations for dermo-cosmetic use aimed at the treatment of cellulite blemishes, improving the functionality of microcirculation and maintaining skin elasticity.
The “cica creams” (acronym of Centella asiatica) are considered a real Korean beauty remedy to give your skin a healthy appearance and above all erase the signs of aging. Centella asiatica possesses many healing and revitalising virtues. It promotes the formation of new layers of cells: thus accelerating the healing of first and second degree burns, dermatosis and eczema. It’s also an excellent ingredient in anti-wrinkle that prevent skin laxity.
Centella asiatica stimulates the formation of new collagen, it also increases skin tone, very useful against wrinkles and sagging skin. It also intervenes in the re-epithelialization of damaged tissues.
Dermatology studies have shown that the treatment of a with a centella asiatica cream significantly improves the density of the skin micro-reliefs and decreases the depth of wrinkles thanks to an increase in the synthesis of collagen.
The application of centella-based creams, in addition to stimulating the production of collagen thanks to fibroblasts (dermal cells), also increases skin fibronectin, an important structural protein for the maintenance of microcirculation.
This improves the structure of the skin as a whole, making it more turgid and compact.
Centella asiatica’s ability to repair damaged tissues makes it very useful as cicatrizing agent. The plant extract can be found in gels and creams and it can be applied directly on the scar. Thanks to its cicatrizing and re-epithelizing properties centella asiatica counteracts the loss of elasticity and the formation of wrinkles and stretch marks.
Centella Asiatica and photoaging
Due to all the properties previously discussed, centella asiatica is used as an anti-photoaging agent. Its elements have the ability to to significantly stimulate the synthesis of type I collagen, the quantities of which tend to grafually decrease with ageing, resulting in fragility not only cutaneous, but also vascular, with the related aesthetic and functional consequences.
All this has been experimentally confirmed by a recent trial conducted on 20 participants, in which the use of centella asiatica extracts, combined with viamin C, has guaranteed in six months of treatment a visible improvement in firmness, elasticity and hydration of the skin subjected to photoaging.
The researchers also investigated the cellular action of these elements, identifying the individual molecular variations induced for example by madecassoside, and also characterizing in detail all the biological mechanisms involved in the photo-protection and in the synthesis of type I collagen, thus completing the clinical and biological description of this plant.
Centella asiatica extracts have generally proved to be safe and well tolerated. Only rarely and in predisposed subjects the use of these extracts has transiently determined the onset of local allergic reactions and eczema. Centella asiatica in not suitable for people who are obviously allergic to it and have particulalry photosensitive light complexions.