Active Ingredients: Cica

Rachel Gibbons Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Cica

Cica, the new hot ingredient that is worth the hype!

If you’ve been on TikTok the past two years or any social media for that matter, then you’ve probably seen and heard about the fad of K-skincare. Most particularly, the name Cica would have definitely popped up here or there and one particular product in the spotlight would be the Dr.Jart+ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment, and generally the entire Dr.Jart+ Cicapair line. Well, what’s all the buzz around this ingredient and why is it increasingly being used in brands everywhere? 

Cica is a nickname for Centella Asiatica and may be relatively new to the skincare realm but it has been a staple in traditional Chinese medicine to treat burns and wounds for centuries. Its other names include Indian Pennywort, Gotu Kola and tiger grass. The last name originated from the belief in Asia that Centella Asiatica is what tigers rub on their wounds to help with the healing process. In the skincare realm, Cica has been frequently used in Korean skincare as sensitive skin is a prevalent concern due to high pollution levels and cica has the ability to help calm and repair inflamed and irritated skin.

The most important ingredients of cica are called triterpenoids saponins, consisting of asiaticoside, asiatic acid, madecassic acid and madecassoside. There are times where these ingredients are used on their own and are labelled Centella Asiatica/Cica extract.



Soothes and calms

  • Cica boasts amazing anti-inflammatory qualities that help to soothe and repair irritated, dry or itching skin or chronic skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
  • Skin suffering from redness, such as psoriasis, can find that cica will visibly reduce the redness and even out the skin tone.

Rejuvenates the skin

  • Cica is packed with amino acids, beta-carotene, fatty acids and phytochemicals, including vitamin A, B1, B2 and C. All these combined can revitalise the skin as collagen production is stimulated which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as aid in cellular repair.


  • Cica also contains madecassoside which serves as an antioxidant that helps to further protect the skin against free radicals and environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays. By preventing oxidative stress from occurring, it also slows down the process of ageing skin.

Treats acne too

  • Cica is also suitable to help treat and prevent acne due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties. Calming any inflammation will strengthen the skin barrier and its own natural healing process, preventing any harmful chemicals from penetrating the skin that may cause more damage.
  • A large reason behind acne breakouts is that bacteria has entered the skin and is causing damage from within, in targeting the bacteria or fungi, it will hinder the growth of more acne.

Increases hydration

  • With a stronger skin barrier, there will fewer chances of moisture being lost or TEWL (transient epidermal water loss), increasing hydration in the top layer of the skin.
  • The triterpenoids components are also said to stimulate glycosaminoglycan and hyaluronic production in our body.


What to note?

  • Like all ingredients and products, do conduct a patch test prior.


Products we recommend 

Dr.Jart+ Cicapair

Tiger Grass Cica skincare calms redness, soothes irritation for all skin types and restore moisture levels. Also formulated with  a herb complex - Houttuynia Cordata and Yarrow - as well as a Minerals Solution Botanic Complex - Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Osmopur.

drjart cicapair enzyme cleansing foamdrjart cicapair toner


drjart cicapair serumdrjart cicapair cream

drjart cicapair calming gel creamdrjart cicapair recover

drjart sleepair ampoule mask

In order from L-R: Cicapair Enzyme Cleansing Foam , Cicapair Toner , Cicapair Serum , Cicapair Cream , Cicapair Calming Gel Cream , Cicapair Re-Cover , Cicapair Sleepair Ampoule-in Mask

COSRX Pure Fit CICA-7 Complex

This entire line is concoction of CICA-7 complex - Centella Asiatica extract (leaves, root and the plant itself), Asiatica Acid, Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid and Madecassoside and Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract that possesses a calming effect that helps to recover and strengthen weak and sensitive skin. This line’s cica concentration is 8 times higher than the preexisting line.

cosrx pure fit cica cleansercosrx pure fit cica toner

cosrx pure fit cica powdercosrx pure fit cica serumcosrx pure fit cica creamcosrx pure fit cica sheet mask

In order from L-R: Cica Cleanser , Cica Powder , Cica Toner , Cica Serum , Cica Cream , Cica Calming True Sheet Mask


VT Cosmetics CICA x Care 

This line is entirely focused on calming the skin from its own concoction of Cicaliao that aims to soothe dry and tender skin - Centella Asiatica Extract, Propolis Extract, Green Tea, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassoside and Medecassic Acid. It also contains Cicahyalon - triple hyaluronic acid - that aims to strengthen the moisture barrier and hydrate the skin.


vt cosmetics cica cleansing watervt cosmetics cica cleansing tissue


vt cosmetics cica mild foam cleanservt cosmetics cica emulsion

vt cosmetics cica emulsionvt cosmetics cica cream

vt cosmetics cica sun sprayvt cosmetics cica mask pack

vt cosmetics cica capsule mask

In order from L-R: Cica Mild Cleansing Water , Cica Mild Cleansing Tissue , Cica Mild Foam Cleanser , Cica Skin , Cica Emulsion , Cica Cream , Cica Sun Spray SPF50+/PA+++ , Cica Mask Pack , Cica Capsule Mask

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