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Skincare FAQ

What Madecassoside Can Do for Your Skin (And How to Use It)

The skin benefits of madecassoside according to the research explained in layman's terms.

Unlike its plant origin, madecassoside is relatively new to the beauty scene. Experts and beauty lovers alike have been drawn in by promising new research. They hint this might just become your next skincare staple! 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 madecassoside popping up recently in beauty news and the latest skincare products, but this star active has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.

Shortly, madecassoside is a terpenoid, an organic compound found in plants, and comprises over 30% of the active compounds in Centella asiatica.[2]


The source

Centella asiatica, which you may also know as tiger grass, is the magic behind your favorite cica products. Cica is a short-hand for cicatrizing, referring to Centella asiatica’s famous healing and scar-forming abilities. It’s known as one of the ‘elixirs of life’ and used to treat an assortment of skin conditions.[1]

C. Asiatica contains four powerful main active ingredients responsible for wound healing, stimulating collagen, and proliferating new cells.[1] The potent abilities of the plant have led to its skin-soothing reputation and inclusion in many of today’s most popular skincare products. Despite their popularity, these actives make up only 8% of the plant, and researchers are now turning to concentrated forms to provide stronger, more targeted results.[1]

What can it do 

Madecassoside is the powerful antioxidant responsible for the healing anti-inflammatory properties of C. asiatica.

It’s recently become famous in acne products 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!


It soothes the skin and accelerates its healing process

Madecassoside shares the wound healing properties of its parent plant and was shown to be an effective healer for burns, as shown in one study on mice. 

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 skin laxity and firmness. It also increased antioxidative activity, fought cellular damage, and prompted the growth of new blood vessels.[3]

The result is healthier new growing skin, providing you a better complexion and faster healing times.

More than that, due to its healing capabilities, madecassoside is a good option for sensitive and irritated skin.

It fights free radicals and reduces sun damage

The antioxidant power of madecassoside extends to its ability to protect and heal photo-damaged skin. Antioxidants fight and prevent damage from free radicals produced by UV radiation. Sun-damaged skin, especially for those with conditions like acne or darker skin complexions, is at greater risk of developing hyperpigmentation.

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

A 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 of the products and to reduce sensitivity from vitamin C.

Has anti-inflammatory properties

One of the most touted benefits of madecassoside and the object of much study is its anti-inflammatory properties. Several research studies show that madecassoside inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines, proteins that regulate an immune response.[3][5][7] 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 madecassoide is it promotes the natural production of hyaluronic acid, allowing your skin to retain moisture for that glass skin glow. 

Finally, madecassoide increases the protein loricrin in the skin, which is responsible for the structure and maintaining the skin’s barrier functions.[5] The result is a powerful combination of increasing skin’s ability to transport, hold, and retain water. Your dehydrated skin will be plump, moisturized, 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 products, making it a safer choice if you have other actives in your regimen. Even after cosmetic procedures like chemical peels and laser treatments, madecassoside may be a good option due to its wound healing properties. 

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]


Research on madecossoside 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, madecossoside may be your new star skincare ingredient.

  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.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 83.3 (2019): 561-568.
  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): 3033-3040.
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