Ingredient Deep Dive | Centella Asiatica
The folktales, mythologies, and stories we grow up with as children stick with us forever.
These narratives we are taught early on stay in our memories through the passage of time, sometimes, even becoming sources we draw ideas and inspiration from.
Here at Melixir, as we preserve in every bottle formulations that have roots in Eastern philosophies and centuries-old traditional Korean skincare rituals, we would like to familiarize you in-depth with our ingredients.
For our first Ingredient Deep Dive today, we are introducing Centella Asiatica [byeong pul], a special botanical inside our beloved products such as our Vegan Bamboo Serum, and share why we feel such a deep connection to it with a (not so) little side history.
Since When Tigers Smoked Pipes
There's an old saying throughout Asia that wounded tigers would roll in the leaves of Centella Asiatica to stimulate regeneration, hence its more widely-known name, “tiger grass.” And for a lot of us here at the Melixir House in Seoul, that powerful visual left us in awe and delight.
You see, most of us spent our younger days listening to many traditional Korean folktales, and interestingly enough, our all-time favorites always involve a tiger, whether it’s The Tiger and the Persimmon, The Sun and the Moon, or the Myth of Dangun - stories that passed down from generation to generation.
In fact, the tiger has always represented the heart and soul of Korean heritage since when tigers smoked pipes (호랑이가 담배피던 시절부터) - a phrase we like to say in lieu of “since the old times.” In many of the traditional paintings dating all the way back to the 17th century, the animal is often depicted standing in the mountains among rocks, clouds, and pine trees, exuding vigor and grandeur. Our ancestors hung these paintings in the most visible spaces in their households, as tigers were considered to be guardians - mountain deities if you will - that watch over us in protection and drive evil spirits away.
So the imagery of this majestic animal seeking natural healing from Centella Asiatica serves as a beautiful metaphor for how long this plant has been used and cherished in Korea for its medicinal power. After all, it’s the key ingredient in the healing ointment that’s found in literally every Korean household. Everyone applies it to their skin to treat all wounds from simple paper cuts to deep scrapes.
Of course, our love for it is not only limited to the plant’s relation with our cultural heritage.
Its Biology and Benefits On Our Skin
So, it’s about time we talk about the many wonders Centella Asiatica can do for our faces.
Firstly, one of the active compounds present in the plant is madecassoside, which is what makes the plant such a potent source of antioxidant properties that allow the skin to repair itself and correct visible damage. Additionally, all of the amino acids it contains are phenomenal at soothing even the most irritated, acne-prone skin.
We’d also like to note that the plant contains a chemical compound called saponin, which gives it the ability to revitalize the skin’s barrier against UV rays, free radicals, and pollutants.
Setting its indisputable healing properties aside, it is also great at locking in moisture all the while delaying aging, which gives the face a nice ‘glass-like’ glow and a youthful appearance.
As you can see, it's great at providing us the best of both worlds by beautifying our skin, in addition to its protective and healing properties.
And now we play with the idea - could it be that all this time, Centella Asiatica has been the secret to the tiger's strength and alluring beauty?
To Bring It To a Close...
Centella Asiatica may still be an unfamiliar name for many, even for those who claim their skincare game to be strong. It’s still considered a relatively new ingredient in the west, but in the East, it’s been revered as a panacea since ancient times.
Have we mentioned it's also dubbed “miracle elixir of life?” Voilà!
With every Melixir product you uncap, we hope to provide you a new cultural experience, backed by clinical results, and ultimately bring you closer to nature - even if it’s just through a quick whiff.
So now it's your turn. Share with us your experience with Centella Asiatica.
Here are our formulations created with Centella Asiatica:
Vegan Bamboo Serum | This fast-absorbing Bamboo Serum delivers intense hydration and fights visible signs of aging. Formulated with 77.87% bamboo extract and centella asiatica leaf extract, and Aczero, it replenishes the hydration level of your skin and reduces excess oil. It contains adenosine to help reduce the look of fine lines and visibly firm.
Vegan Relief Facial Moisturizer | A lightweight plant-based moisturizer uniquely formulated for oily & combination skin. Infused with green tea extract and black cumin seed oil, our facial cream alleviates dry skin and smoothes your skin while providing rich hydration. This lightweight moisturizer contains patented anti-acne agent Aczero and centella asiatica leaf extract to soothe irritated skin.