A'pieu Madecassoside Cica Gel: A Great Budget-Friendly Moisturizer for Stressed Skin
Centella asiatica, better known as cica to most of us, is the it ingredient in Korean skincare right now and has been for the past year or so. Cica has many skin benefits but its main use is to soothe irritated skin. This Allure article gives a pretty good overview of cica and why it's become such a popular ingredient.
In preparation for my trip to South Korea in August I had a few cica-centric skincare products on my wish list because I'm constantly battling acne. I wanted to scope out A'pieu, a Korean brand I had seen a lot but had never tried, because their Madecassoside Cica line is both popular and affordable. I picked up the Madecassoside Cica Gel (₩14,000) to use in the summer and the Madecassoside Intensive Cream (₩13,000) for colder months. The Myeongdong A'pieu store where I bought these was having a 10% off promotion if you purchased at least two products from the cica line so I ended up paying about $10 each for tube! In the U.S. you can order A'pieu products online from Missha's website or YesStyle for a bit of a mark up.
I've been using the A'pieu Madecassoside Cica Gel for a few weeks now and have been really liking it as both a daytime and nighttime moisturizer. The gel texture is very pleasant and calming on the skin. It feels more nourishing than water gel formulations but it still absorbs into the skin quite quickly so it doesn't feel tacky on my face. I saw a few people on the Asian Skincare subreddit reported pilling or clogged pores after using this product but I didn't have the same issues.
There is no fragrance or smell to this product which is a huge plus. One of the reasons I stopped using K-skincare for awhile was because so many of the products used to be scented. There are more unscented, unfragranced Korean skincare products now so most of my routine has become dominated by Korean brands again.
Since using this moisturizer, my skin doesn't seem as irritated or red, especially after I use exfoliants. Niacinamide, a popular skincare ingredient that helps improve skin tone, is also near the top of the ingredients list which is a plus. Below is the full ingredients list from the YesStyle product listing if you're curious:
Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Water, Glycerin, Caprylyl Methicone, Niacinamide, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Panthenol, Pentylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Madecassoside, Polyglyceryl-10 Behenate/Eicosadioate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxyacetophenone, Tromethamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Asiaticoside, Allantoin, Adenosine, Silica, Octyldodecanol, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA
The A'pieu Madecassoside Cica Gel exceeded my expectations and I'm really happy to have this in my routine for the warm months when my skin doesn't need as much moisture. I'm hoping to have an equally great experience with the Intensive Cream from the same line.
Have you incorporated any cica products into your skincare routine? I have a few other cica skincare products to try from other brands so I'll report back once I've given them a test run!