With all the incredible antioxidants and holy grail goodies out there, you’ll be forgiven if you haven’t heard of Centella Asiatica (Cica). Also known as Tiger grass or Gotu Kola, this healing ingredient is popping up all over cosmetic lines. In particular, moisturisers loaded up with Cica (known as a Cica balm or a Cica cream) are incredibly popular in Korean skincare. Not only do they promise to reduce blemishes and soothe redness and inflammation, but Cica is also considered to be the product to help restore your skin’s natural barrier (especially if you’ve been layering on stripping toners and harsh exfoliants).
If you’ve got sensitive or inflamed skin, are acne or dermatitis-prone, or simply want a new moisturiser, look for a skincare product that contains Centella Asiatica or any of its different concentrated compounds (asiatic acid, madecassic acid, madecassoside, and asiaticoside). Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up our favourite Cica balms, and they’re all available in Hong Kong!
The Dr. Jart+ Tiger Grass Cream (known in the Hong Kong market as Cicapair Cream) was one of the earliest Cica products to hit the market. Inspired by stories of Asian tigers who would roll in Centella Asiatica to heal their battle wounds, this “tiger grass” moisturiser contains all four compounds of Centella and has a thick creamy consistency, guaranteed to become your winter staple. The entire Cicapair line is brilliant – we’re big fans of its Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30, a green to beige blemish covering cream with added sun protection!
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream (5oml), available at Sasa from $372 to $465
Infused with Bija oil (which protects and smoothes skin), as well as all four Centella Asiatica ingredients, innisfree’s cica option is the ultimate soothing product. Its gel-balm is light, non-greasy and easy to absorb – perfect to work into your everyday routine or to provide a first layer of moisture.
Innisfree Bija Cica Balm (4oml), available at innisfree locations across Hong Kong for $190
The Soon Jung collection from Etude House is formulated specially for sensitive skin, meaning it’s safe, gentle and hypoallergenic. If you have easily irritated skin and are in dire need of something mild and moisturising, this affordable gel-balm contains panthenol and skin-calming madecassoside.
Etude House Soon Jung 5-Panthensoside Cica Balm (40ml), available at Etude House locations across Hong Kong for $143
French brand La Roche-Posay is dedicated to providing dermatologist tested skincare, suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Its Cicaplast Baume is a soothing multi-purpose balm with a triple-action formula containing panthenol, vitamin B5 and madecassoside, making it the perfect solution for those who have inflamed or irritated dry skin.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 (40ml), available at various locations across Hong Kong for $100
Korean skincare brand COSRX is a cult-favourite. It already carries products containing Centella Asiatica, including a blemish cream, ampule, and toner. Its latest matte cica balm contains the perfect concoction for dry skin – a medical grade Centella Asiatica extract, with asiaticoside, asiatic acid, and madecassic acid, and ceramide NP, to strengthen your skin’s barrier and help it retain moisture. You can find more COSRX products at Åland in Lee Theatre.
COSRX Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream (80g), available online on YesStyle for $169.90
This super affordable option from A’pieu comes in various forms: a cica gel, balm, or a more lotion-y cream. Containing Centella Asiatica leaf water and madecassoside, each product is gentle and soothing, easy-to-absorb, and keeps your skin hydrated and soft.
A’pieu Madecassoside Cica Gel (5oml), available online on YesStyle for $101.90
Featured image courtesy of Dr. Jart+ via Instagram, image 1 courtesy of Dr. Jart+ via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of innisfree via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of Etude House via Instagram, image 4 courtesy of La Roche-Posay via Instagram, image 5 courtesy of COSRX via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of A’pieu via Instagram