You Have No Idea What Cica, Kakadu Plum, and Bakuchiol Are – But Should

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Photo: Courtesy of Tamara Williams

With thousands of new launches every year, it’s almost impossible to keep up with all the products, trends, and buzzwords in the beauty industry – let alone know whether they are right for you and actually work. And just when you think you know your SPFs from your AHAs, along comes a host of new acronyms to confuse us even more. Not to mention all the ads that claim a certain cream or serum will solve all your complexion problems…

But if you strip away all the dubious claims, you’ll find some genuinely useful innovations that could make a big difference, whether it’s in skincare or makeup. To help you sift through it all, Savoir Flair reveals the five beauty ingredients that are (actually) worth the hype.



Pandas aren’t the only creatures that can benefit from bamboo. Max Factor’s new ‘Lash Revival Mascara’ is enriched with bamboo extract to condition lashes over time while delivering jet-black mega-drama immediately.

Bamboo extract also has skin-soothing properties, which is why it’s found in Drunk Elephant’s ‘Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser’ that features an exfoliating “bamboo booster” made with ultra-fine bamboo and charcoal spheres to gently exfoliate. Team it with a bamboo charcoal cloth or sponge a couple of times a week to gently slough away dead skin cells.



It’s said that the healing effects of centella asiatica were first discovered when scientists saw tigers rolling in its leaves following a particularly bloody fight, inspiring the ‘Cicapair’ range by Korean brand Dr. Jart+.

Also known as cica, the plant has now been harnessed to help humans. “Cica balms are frequently used as a restorative for seriously dry skin, and it is fantastic that we now have a product that combines this high-level emolliency with the soothing, protective, and prebiotic benefits of the ‘Triple Oat Complex’ from Aveeno,” says skincare expert Rebecca Bennett. “I would recommend using this generously wherever seriously dry skin is a problem.”


Kakadu Plum

Boasting 50 times more vitamin C than an orange, the kakadu plum is the ultimate in antioxidants, which are essential if brightness is top of your skincare wish list. Extracts of the Australian fruit can be found in Goop’s latest glow-giver, a highly effective mask that combines chemical and manual exfoliants to mimic the effects of microdermabrasion treatments at home – and Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it.

For a quick daily dose of kakadu plum, pop on Sanctuary Spa’s ‘1 Minute Daily Glow Mask’ before jumping in the shower. By the time you’ve washed your hair, the antioxidants should have sunk in and it’ll be ready to wash off.


Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) has been around for a while – it’s true – but we’re talking about the next generation of the uber-hydrating molecule that can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water. L’Occitane has reformulated its cult ‘Immortelle Precious’ range with a dynamic HA complex and silicium, which it says helps to improve natural HA production, smoothing out fine lines even faster.

Meanwhile, Peter Thomas Roth’s ‘Water Drench’ serum features an intense, moisture-absorbing complex of 75 percent HA that allows it to slowly release over time, delivering intense hydration long after it has been applied.



Have you tried retinol, but found it was too harsh, leaving your skin red and flaky? Then give bakuchiol a go instead. This plant-based alternative offers the same benefits – reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation – but is more suitable for sensitive skin and doesn’t cause photosensitivity, so it can be used morning and night.

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