Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Tiger Grass in Skin Care

Dr. Jart+
Dr. Jart+
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Sometimes it feels like plants are kind of magical. Not only are they multifaceted organisms — aesthetically pleasing, able to provide sustenance, healing — but they can also help improve our complexions. Tiger grass, otherwise known as Centella asiatica, cica, or gotu kola, is an herb that's been used in Eastern medicine for many centuries. You may be wondering how it got its fierce name. Well, tigers have been known to roll around in the plant to soothe their wounds.

Tiger grass has been incorporated into many skin-care products for just that reason: to soothe. But that's not all it can do. Keep reading to find what tiger grass can do for skin and discover products that include the superstar ingredient.

What Is Tiger Grass?

Tiger grass is kind of like regular grass, but on steroids. Tiger grass is a hearty, perennial plant native to Southeast Asia and can grow quite tall like bamboo. It's nutrient rich with goodies like zinc, amino acids, and beta-carotene. However, the grass itself isn't actually what we're after, but rather the water that comes from it. Since it's rich in chlorophyll, products that use tiger grass are typically an emerald-green color.

How Does Tiger Grass Help Skin?

The most noteworthy use of tiger grass is for its healing properties (remember the tigers!). For skin, that means it can expedite the repair of everything from acne scars to cuts and scrapes. Tiger grass also has anti-inflammatory saponins, which help soothe irritated or sensitive skin and reduce redness. It's antioxidant rich, making it great for strengthening skin and protecting it from environmental damage. Tiger grass even boasts antiaging benefits, as it works to promote collagen production and hydrate skin.

What Types of Products Contain Tiger Grass?

Tiger grass has been a star ingredient in K-beauty and has been made popular by Dr. Jart+ — the brand's Cicapair line uses tiger grass as the star ingredient. Tiger grass can be found in everything from serums to creams to masks to color-correcting makeup. For example, the bestselling Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream ($49) uses tiger grass to relieve irritation and redness in just 24 hours, while the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment ($52) is a green-to-beige cream that neutralizes the look of redness and evens tone. The Kiehl's Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser ($30) formula is soap-free, fragrance-free, and surfactant-free, whisking away dirt and oil in a most gentle way. The Peach & Lily Water Crystal Hydrating Shimmer Peel-Off Mask ($13) is radiance boosting, calming, and hydrating all at once.

Are There Any Downsides to Using Tiger Grass?

Tiger grass can be beneficial for all skin types, but because of its soothing capabilities, it's often a top pick for those with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea (or really any redness). As with any new ingredient you introduce to your skin-care routine, if you're concerned about possible irritation, do your due diligence, and test it on a small patch of skin (perhaps on your forearm or chest) to see how your skin reacts.