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February 28, 2023
You may have heard that Gotu Kola, or often referred to as Cica, is great for soothing sensitive skin, but did you know that this humble botanical does so much more than that?
Find out all the skin benefits that Gotu Kola provides below!
Gotu Kola comes from the plant Centella Asiatica, and has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and even the French used it to heal skin wounds in the late 1800s. In the old days, it was used mainly for its health benefits, including improving brain function, easing anxiety, aiding memory and boosting the immune system. Today, it is one of the most common botanical ingredients in skincare products.
What makes Gotu Kola so great is its nutrient profile. It is abundant in a potent combination of amino acids, beta-carotene, fatty acids, antioxidants, triterpenoids saponins, polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, vitamins, and other phytonutrients, which, together provide the skin with a wide array of benefits.
Gotu Kola is rich in pentacyclic triterpenoids, and has antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which help to reduce redness and swelling, as well as fight off infections and inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines. It is therefore well suited for people with sensitive, and acne-prone skin, as well as open wounds. In fact, it is often used to treat eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
In a 2012 research study where Gotu Kola was applied to open skin wounds, it was found that it stopped bacterial growth, promoted new cell production, calmed the skin around the wounds, and sped up the whole healing process.
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Rich in phytochemicals, especially triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylenes, that stimulate collagen and fibronectin synthesis in fibroblasts, and prevent collagen breakdown, Gotu Kola helps smooth wrinkles, increase skin elasticity, and prevent sagging skin.
A 2020 study found that at 10% concentration, Gotu Kola increased collagen level by an average of 77.89%, and even at only 2.5% concentration, collagen level increased by 21.12%.
What's better, a 2015 study of 15 subjects showed that Gotu Kola extracts reduced the appearance of abdominal stretch marks over a period of 6 to 12 weeks!
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Dehydrated skin, simply put, does not have enough water, either because it does not have enough water to begin with, or the skin cannot retain water due to a damaged barrier. The result is dullness, roughness, tightness, acne and inflammations, as well as fine lines.
Thanks to its high triterpene steroids, triterpene saponins, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and essential amino acids content, Gotu Kola can help prevent trans-epidermal water loss and repair the skin barrier.
A 2020 study showed that at 10% concentration, hydration increased by 81.58% on average, and even at only 2.5% concentration, hydration increased by 39.4% on average.
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Free radicals are the main cause of aging, as they can trigger chronic inflammations, as well as break down the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Although invisible to the eyes, this gradually slows down our skin’s natural rejuvenation process, and appears on the skin in the form of dryness, dullness, loss of elasticity, wrinkles, pigmentation, redness, itchiness, and even chronic conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.
Not only is Gotu Kola abundant in antioxidants like flavonoids, studies have shown that triterpenes such as Asiatic acid, Madecassoside and Madecassic Acid in Gotu Kola could increase the skin's glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase content, both of which enhance the body’s antioxidant activities to restore quality, health and youthfulness to the skin.
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UV-rays, inflammations, and hormonal fluctuations can all stimulate melanin synthesis, resulting in pigmentation and dull skin. Beta-carotene, flavonoids, centelloids, tannins and vitamin C found in Gotu Kola display high tyrosinase inhibition abilities that reduce melanogenesis and help decrease melanin production in the skin.
Regular application of Gotu Kola can therefore help fade pigmentation, brighten skin, and fade acne marks.
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Gotu kola is known for its ability to improve blood circulation——better circulation means more nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the skin, which speeds up the skin’s healing and regenerative process. Not only is it crucial for delaying signs of aging, it is also useful in treating acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, varicose veins, broken capillaries, and even hair loss!
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