Cicapair Tiger Grass RePair Serum
Dr. Jart’s Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum has an equal share of pros and cons that make it an iffy choice for all skin types. What’s good about this serum is really good, but the bad stuff is a deal breaker, especially if your goal is to calm irritated skin.
Packaged in a green glass bottle topped with a standard dropper applicator, this serum’s liquid-gel texture is easy to apply and feels lightweight. It sets to a non-sticky, hydrating finish that won’t feel slick even on oily skin (although if you have very oily skin you might not be happy).
Wondering what tiger grass is? It’s one names for the plant Centella asiastica. Skin care products with this ingredient are often referred to as cica products.
Centella asiastica is used in all of Dr. Jart’s Cicapair products, and it’s a very good antioxidant and soothing ingredient, not to mention it’s a rich source of amino acids. Multiple forms of this plant are used here, ensuring your skin reaps the most benefits (but just to be clear, this plant and its derivatives are but one brilliant natural ingredient for skin; Centella asiastica isn’t the best one out there).
Sadly, this serum contains more fragrant oils than any form of tiger grass, and all of the fragrant oils are proven to trigger skin irritation. The mint-like cooling sensation this has is it dries isn’t the product refreshing your skin; rather, it’s your skin telling you it’s being irritated. See More Info for details.
Unfortunately, the problematic ingredients run counter to this product’s claims of soothing skin. Centella asiatica is unquestionably soothing, but you’re losing much of this benefit when the cicapair product you use contains sensitizing fragrant oils. See our list of best serums for soothing, antioxidant-packed options that omit such troublemakers.
- Silky, lightweight liquid-gel texture applies easily.
- Sets to a smooth, non-sticky hydrating finish.
- Multiple forms of Centella asiastica provide soothing, antioxidant benefits.
- Contains fragrant oils proven to irritate skin.
- Mint-like cooling sensation as this dries is skin telling you it’s being irritated.
- The problematic ingredients run counter to this product’s claims of soothing skin.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
This soothing and luxurious serum is designed to calm skin irritation with potent capsules containing centella asiatica, an Asian herbal plant commonly referred to as tiger grass that is known to aid in skin recovery. It leaves overly sensitive or red skin looking and feeling more comfortable.
Dr. Jart+ At-a-Glance
Strengths: The BB creams (Beauty Balms) provide broad-spectrum sun protection and are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Expensive; BB creams are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen; the masks are gimmicky and minimally helpful for skin.
Dr. Jart+ is a line of skin-care products based in Korea. Its most popular products are the Beauty Balms, known in the United States as BB creams. Before we discuss this brand's contribution to the BB cream craze, we want to state that at this time we are reviewing only the Dr. Jart+ products that are available at U.S. Sephora stores. If you visit the Korean Dr. Jart+ Web site, you'll see several other skin-care products are offered. We might review those in the future, but it's clear that the questions we've received about this brand have to do with the BB creams.
No information is available about an actual Dr. Jart, and our Korean friends tell us there is no actual Dr. Jart, so it is a made up name to help give the line some credibility. According to the company's English Web site, the brand is supposed to be the brainchild of multiple dermatologists as well as 21 "medical specialists." That's a lot of cooks for one product line, but as we've reported before, and as many of you know from experience, there are plenty of doctors' products that are terribly formulated and that come in bad packaging. All that really counts is whether or not you should give this line a closer look, despite the marketing claims
It didn't take much review to discover that there is nothing particularly medical or dermatologist-oriented about these products. The people behind Dr. Jart+ don't have access to any special ingredients other cosmetic companies can't use, and their products contain no unique ingredients that have any research showing that they improve skin. U.S. Sephora stores sell two BB cream options from Dr. Jart+; one of them is great and the other is lacking in too many areas to make it worth purchasing. But the question remains, should you purchase a BB cream at all? They are not must-have products, and most are far from being the "new idea in skin care" they're made out to be. Essentially, whether they're called BB creams, Blemish Balms, or Beauty Balms, all of these products are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen. Some include a helpful amount of beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (vitamin C, arbutin) to improve brown spots. Such discolorations are considered a blemish in Asian cultures, but that's the only distinguishing feature. Compared with standard tinted moisturizers, BB creams typically provide slightly to moderately more coverage. In that sense, they fall between tinted moisturizers and foundations, but many BB creams go on sheer also; so, ultimately, it comes down to the individual products. If you're happily using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, there's no reason to forgo it in favor of a BB cream, but there's no harm in testing them out to see if you prefer their effect. Most won't notice much difference between them and a tinted moisturizer.
For more information about Dr. Jart+, visit http://www.drjart.co.kr/global/eng/.
Note: The company does not publish a phone number on its Web site, which doesn't bode well for building consumer trust or obtaining any help from customer service, so buyer beware.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.