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A photo of Centella Asiatica Skin Line


Kiehl’s Ingredient Spotlight: Centella Asiatica

Centella asiatica has been used in beauty since ancient times. Discover what Centella asiatica skincare can do for skin, plus how to use it in your routine.

If you, like us, are a fan of skincare products that harness the power of both science and nature, one ingredient you should have on your radar is Centella asiatica, also known as Gotu Kola—it’s been used for hundreds of years. Ahead, you’ll learn all about Centella asiatica skincare. Plus, get a chance to check out a Centella-based skincare routine we’ve curated especially for you.

What Is Centella Asiatica?

Originating from the Southeast Asian tropics, Centella asiatica is a plant used since ancient times. In the past, it's been used for a multitude of reasons, but for our purposes here, we’re focusing on the benefits of Centella asiatica for skin.

Is Centella Asiatica Good For Skin?

You bet! Centella can be good for your skin in many ways. This multitasking antioxidant has been shown to have soothing and protective properties, which contribute to its skin-enhancing qualities. These attributes help calm skin. Due to these actions, Centella asiatica skincare may help treat the appearance of a variety of common skin concerns including, but not limited to, sun damage, fine lines, discolorations, and other signs of aging or blemish-prone skin.

The two Kiehl’s products that contain extract of this protective, skin-adoring ingredient are Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser and Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream. They also make the perfect pair.

Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser

Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser is our mildest cleanser, designed specifically for sensitive skin. It gently removes dirt, oil, and other irritating impurities while soothing and balancing your skin. The dual-action formula moisturizes as it calms, providing eight-hour hydration. Dermatologist-tested on 100% sensitive skin, it’s non-comedogenic, free of alcohol, surfactants, and fragrance, and gentle enough to be used on the area around your eyes.

Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream

Follow it with Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream, which brings D-panthenol and sustainably-sourced madecassoside along for the ride. The hypoallergenic formula has been clinically-demonstrated to help repair the moisture barrier of compromised skin.* This gentle cica-cream relieves, strengthens, and intensely moisturizes your skin to help restore its healthy appearance. It’s also dermatologist-tested on 100% sensitive skin, won’t clog your pores, and is fragrance- and alcohol-free.

*Based on an instrumental test of the skin barrier and clinical grading in an 8-week study. Tested for tolerance on subjects with self-perceived sensitive skin.

Can Centella Asiatica Repair The Skin Barrier?

As hinted at with the above Centella products, Centella asiatica skincare can help strengthen and repair your skin’s moisture barrier, which is its first line of defense. The key to keeping this vital barrier healthy-looking is proper hydration. Research has shown that Centella asiatica extract can increase hydration in the skin’s surface and reduce water loss.I It also helps protect your skin against oxidative stress from free radicals and helps restore and maintain your skin’s natural barrier.

A compromised moisture barrier is the likeliest of culprits behind common skin concerns, and by helping to repair it, Centella-based products can help with a range of issues such uneven tone and texture and sagging skin.

Is Centella Asiatica Good For Acne-Prone Skin?

One of the most common cosmetic concerns is acne-prone skin, which tends to be easily inflamed. Centella asiatica’s gentle nature helps soothe aggravated skin and protect it from further irritation. Plus, it can help improve the appearance of blemishes while it calms your skin.

For a more targeted approach, try Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment, which stars 10% mineral sulfur and vitamin B3. It’s clinically-demonstrated to rapidly reduce the appearance of acne while helping to prevent new pimples from forming. Apply a thin layer over problem areas after cleansing, and reapply it two to three times daily as needed.

*Tested in a dermatologist-controlled study.

How To Incorporate Centella Asiatica Into Your Routine

By soothing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin, Centella asiatica can be an excellent addition to your skincare routine, especially if you have sensitive skin. To start reaping its benefits, follow these five simple steps.

Step 1:


Start by washing away any excess oil and impurities with the aforementioned Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser. To use it, apply the gentle, pH-balance cleanser to your dry skin, massaging it on in light circular motions. Then, wipe away this rinse-free formula with a cotton pad. (Of course, if you prefer to rinse, that’s alright, too.)

Step 2:


Now, prime your skin for your other products by using a toner. You can find our best ones here.

Step 3:

Apply a Serum

Next, apply your favorite serum or serums. Or, choose one or more from our best formulas.

Step 4:


Here’s where Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream comes in. Gently press and smooth the calming cica-cream onto your skin twice a day or as needed.

Alternatively, try Skin Rescuer, a gentle, ultra-lightweight formula with rose callica botanical extract, mannose, and chamomile. It’s designed to help visibly reduce the telltale signs of stressed skin like redness and fatigue. Even better, it provides instant comfort and helps repair your moisture barrier, leaving it less vulnerable over time. Your skin will soak up all-day hydration to help keep it looking fresh, radiant, and even-toned. Apply it day and night after cleansing and your other treatments.

Step 5:

Put On Sunscreen

In the daytime, it’s important to protect your skin with an SPF of 30 or higher. We recommend Super Fluid Daily Mineral Defense, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. The formula, with SPF 50+, titanium dioxide, and vitamin E, helps defend your skin against the sun’s harmful rays with UVA/UVB technology and antioxidant protection. This lightweight mineral sunscreen won’t clog your pores, has no fragrance or parabens, and is dermatologist-tested. It’s also lightly tinted to help enhance the look of your natural skin tone and leaves behind a soft matte finish.

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