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Skincare FAQ

Madecassoside Might Just Become Your Next Skincare Staple

The skin benefits of madecassoside explained in layman's terms.

Unlike its plant origin Centella asiatica, madecassoside is relatively new to the beauty scene but we hint this might just become your next skincare staple. Experts and beauty lovers alike have been drawn in by promising new research that touts madecassoside as a multitasker in skincare. We’re definitely intrigued! If you are in the same boat, here’s everything you need to know about madecassoside and its skin benefits.

What is madecassoside?

You may have seen it popping up recently in beauty news and skincare products, but this active has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Shortly, madecassoside is a terpenoid, an organic element found in plants, and comprises over 30% of the active compounds in Centella asiatica.[2]

The source

Centella asiatica, which also goes by cica and tiger grass, is the magic behind your favorite cica-infused products. Cica is a short-hand for cicatrizing, referring to Centella asiatica’s famous healing and scar-forming abilities. That’s why is known as one of the ‘elixirs of life’ and is used to tackle a bunch of skin concerns.[1]

What can madecassoside do 

Madecassoside is the powerful antioxidant responsible for the healing anti-inflammatory benefits of Centella asiatica, which has recently become famous in products addressing acne and for rosacea through its calming properties to sensitized skin. However, the skin benefits of madecassoside extend far beyond its ability to reduce redness and irritation. Madecassoside can help prevent UV damage, treat hyperpigmentation from the sun, enhance collagen synthesis, promote skin regeneration, and increase skin hydration.[1][3][4][5]

Let’s delve into all the skincare benefits madecassoside provides and see if it’s the right active for you!

Soothes skin and accelerates the healing process

Madecassoside shares the wound healing properties of its parent plant and was revealed to be an effective healer for burns, as shown in one study. In the study, madecassoside enhanced skin regrowth by increasing fibroblasts, the connective tissue cells which produce collagen and create the skin’s extracellular matrix.[3] This is incredibly important for skin structure and collagen synthesis, improving laxity and firmness. At the same time, madecassoside also increased antioxidative activity, fought cellular damage, and prompted the growth of new blood vessels.[3]

Fights free radicals and reduces sun damage

The antioxidant power of madecassoside extends to its ability to protect and heal photo-damaged skin. The role of antioxidants is to fight and prevent damage (early wrinkles and dark spots) caused by free radicals, such as UV, pollution, and dust.

In one study, madecassoside prevented hyperpigmentation and melanin production due to sun exposure by reducing inflammation from UV exposure.[4] This can help even the complexion and provide protection from cellular damage that leads to aging.

Another study conducted by La Roche Posay showed the anti-aging effects of combining vitamin C and madecassoside, particularly on improving skin texture, wrinkles, and firmness.[6] If anti-aging is your goal, consider combining the two to enhance the antioxidant powers and reduce sensitivity to vitamin C.

Has anti-inflammatory benefits

One of the most touted benefits of madecassoside and the object of much research is its anti-inflammatory activity. Several studies show that madecassoside inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines, proteins that regulate an immune response.[3][5][7] In turn, this reduces factors that cause inflammation, especially in skin conditions caused by overactive immune systems.

As such, madecassoside can be effective for helping calm redness from rosacea and in acne-prone sufferers and also soothe and reduce the irritation of conditions like eczema. You can use madecassoside to relieve your itchy, sensitive, over-reactive skin and then reap all the benefits of its intense hydrating properties!

It improves skin hydration

Surprisingly, the benefits of madecassoside don’t stop there. This wonder ingredient is also effective at promoting targeted skin hydration through multiple pathways. The application of madecassoside is shown to increase aquaporins in the skin.[5] Also known as water channels, they allow water to flow into your cells.

However, the most exciting part about madecassoside is that it promotes the natural production of hyaluronic acid, allowing your skin to retain moisture for that glass skin glow. 

Finally, madecassoside increases the protein loricrin in the skin, which is responsible for the structure and maintaining the protective barrier function integer.[5] The result? A powerful combination of increasing the skin’s ability to transport, hold and retain water. Yep, your parched skin will be plump, moist, and glowing!

When and how to use madecassoside for skin

Madecassoside is particularly beneficial for sensitive and acne-prone skin due to its ability to reduce inflammation and its gentleness as compared to many other actives. Madecassoside has not been shown to interact with other skincare ingredients, making it a safe choice if you have other actives in your regimen, such as retinol or vitamin C. P.S.: after cosmetic procedures like chemical peels and laser treatments, madecassoside may be a good option due to its potent wound healing effects. 

Madecossoside often comes in the form of heavier cream products. Due to its ability to hydrate and enhance natural hyaluronic acid, applying an HA serum before may boost the uptake and hydration of the product.[5]

Caveat

Research on madecassoside is limited, with more studies conducted on C. Asiatica and not its constituents. However, with the increased interest in the active and the results from current studies, madecassoside might be your new star skincare ingredient.

References
  1. Kasote, Deepak, et al. “Proangiogenic Potential Of Medicinal Plants In Wound Healing.” Evidence-Based Validation Of Herbal Medicine (2015) 149-164.
  2. Bylka, Wiesława et al. “Centella asiatica in cosmetology.” Postepy dermatologii i alergologii vol. 30,1 (2013): 46-9. 
  3. Liu, Mei, et al. “Madecassoside isolated from Centella asiatica herbs facilitates burn wound healing in mice.” Planta medica 74.08 (2008): 809-815.
  4. Jung, Eunsun, et al. “Madecassoside inhibits melanin synthesis by blocking ultraviolet-induced inflammation.” Molecules 18.12 (2013): 15724-15736.
  5. Shen, Xueqing, et al. “Propionibacterium acnes related anti-inflammation and skin hydration activities of madecassoside, a pentacyclic triterpene saponin from Centella asiatica.”
  6. Haftek, Marek, et al. “Clinical, biometric and structural evaluation of the long‐term effects of a topical treatment with ascorbic acid and madecassoside in photoaged human skin.” Experimental dermatology 17.11 (2008): 946-952.
  7. Sasmita, Andrew Octavian, et al. “Madecassoside activates anti‑neuroinflammatory mechanisms by inhibiting lipopolysaccharide‑induced microglial inflammation.” International Journal of molecular medicine 41.5 (2018)
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