By Helene Ravlich
If like me, you’ve experienced severely sensitised skin, chances are you’re friends with at least a few different Cica creams. At their heart is the ingredient Centella asiatica – AKA Tiger Grass or gotu kola, with the medicinal plant the shining star of skin-soothing cica creams from all around the world. Now get ready to make a new BFF in the form of madecassoside, one of the primary, most active compounds in Centella asiatica.
Madecassoside is one of four principal bioactive compounds in the plant extract Centella asiatica, and as an active skincare ingredient it is making its presence felt in a raft of buzzworthy new releases. One double-blind study has shown even small amounts of this compound (0.1% in one case) combined with vitamin C have antioxidant benefit when applied to skin, and it serves as a worthy antioxidant in its own right. Studies also show it is non-sensitising and can even help revitalize skin’s surface, further adding to its list of possibilities for sensitive and sensitised skin.
Unlike Centella asiatica, madecassoside is still somewhat of a new ingredient on the scene. Still, the effects it can have on the skin—everything from soothing properties to antioxidant benefits to hydration—make it one that skin experts say has some serious promise. Centella asiatica is lauded for its outstanding soothing and wound healing effects, but madecassoside alone is seriously rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids, and also phytochemicals.
In early studies, madecassoside has been shown to reduce free radicals formed by exposure to environmental factors such as UV rays and pollution. It has also been suggested that madecassoside can dial down the effect of inflammatory cellular messengers called cytokines, including those that are typically turned on during an acne flare, making it a star ingredient for acne sufferers, too. Lab studies internationally have also suggested that madecassoside can increase the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid production, and that it has the power to enhance collagen synthesis and aid wound healing and skin damage.
The combination of soothing, anti-inflammatory and healing properties make madecassoside a no-brainer if you’re dealing with sensitivity, inflammation or acne, and with new studies showing its potential for aiding in the prevention hyperpigmentation and as well as hypertrophic scarring, this could be one new buzz ingredient that most definitely lives up to the hype.
Where you’ll find madecassoside: