The Centella Asiatica, a Plant that Cares for the Skin and Communities

Since 2016, this wild plant from Asia and Oceania has been at the heart of one of our sustainable sourcing projects

The Centella is a key ingredient for skincare. Since 2016, this wild plant from Asia and Oceania has been at the heart of one of our sustainable sourcing projects conducted in Madagascar. An initiative based on respect for biodiversity and fair compensation for pickers.

The Centella Asiatica is used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and in cosmetics. Depending on its country of origin, its active ingredients and properties vary slightly. At L'Oréal, we use the Centella harvested in Madagascar for its healing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties. It is one of the key ingredients in the skincare products developed by La Roche-Posay, Kiehl’s et L'Oréal Paris.

Because this plant constitutes a wealth in terms of biodiversity and a precious source of income for the communities who harvest it, we decided in 2016 to set up a responsible and solidarity-based sourcing program.

A plant, and thousands of pickers

A plant shaped like a small round-leafed clover, creeping and semi-aquatic, Centella grows in swampy areas on the heights of tropical regions. In Madagascar, the wild leaves are picked by hand between October and March, when the active ingredients are most concentrated. The Centella leaves are then dried, carefully sorted, and crushed.

Our project is deployed in two different areas of Madagascar: the first is the Fierenana region. Belonging to the district of Moramanga, its population comprises 98% farmers, mainly producing coffee, beans, and cassava; the second is the region of Ambatondrazaka, in the northeast of Madagascar, the historical harvesting site of the Centella.

With Indfrag and Ravina, our suppliers and partners, along with the international NGO Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), our objective is twofold: combining economic development - that of Malagasy women for whom Centella is an essential source of income - and respecting biodiversity in this region of Madagascar, which is characterized by a unique wealth of biodiversity but severely affected by poverty.

Training and technical assistance have been provided to the pickers to allow them increasing their harvesting capacity with more eco-friendly means. While increasing the ease of extraction of the plant, we have minimized the footprint of the production process to ensure the preservation of the resource.

Reliability and traceability of sourcing have been strengthened, and fair remuneration has been implemented. This remuneration is accompanied by community support that is particularly focused on empowering women and educating the children of the Centella pickers.

In 2020, 3,006 women have benefited from this initiative, which ensures them a fair remuneration and trains them in good harvesting practices.

This initiative has been accompanied by studies on the cultivation of Centella and on the optimization of the extraction process of its active ingredients, in order to further develop techniques that respect this fragile resource and the balance of biodiversity.

Discover more about our Commitments to Respect Biodiversity



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