>What You Need To Know About The Benefits Of CBD For Skin
What You Need To Know About The Benefits Of CBD For Skin
Once an obscure molecule, CBD is now touted as a cure-all for just about everything under the sun. So it probably shouldn’t be surprising that it’s the latest addition to (often pricey) skincare product lines. But is this a pure marketing strategy or does CBD for skin actually make sense? Before you buy, a few tips from us on what you need to know about the benefits of CBD for skin might help you zero in on what to look for in a brand. Also, whether or not it’s as good as they’re saying it is.
Published March 18, 2020
Updated April 28, 2021
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Well, anytime you see CBD being sold as a silver bullet for every skin issue known to humankind, you should probably raise an eyebrow at the very least. A product containing CBD isn’t going to literally peel back years of sun damage, no matter what the glowy Instagram images might tell you.
To understand how all this works, you need to know a bit about your endocannabinoid system – an inter-related network of chemicals and receptors located throughout your body. The majority of these receptors are concentrated throughout the brain and central nervous system, and these are the receptors that are responsible (at least in part) for CBD’s beneficial, balancing, relaxing effects.
However, scientists have discovered that there is also a dense network of these receptors lying within the epidermis (the outer layer of skin).When CBD is applied to the skin, it activates these cannabinoid receptors, resulting in a broad range of effects.
We’ll dive into some of these effects below, but to name a few, CBD has been shown to help with inflammation, excess oil production, and scarring.
What Studies Support Using CBD For skin?
It’s worth noting that CBD is a relatively new phenomenon when it comes to scientific study. That means that the information we have, and the studies we point to, are necessarily in the earlier stages of research.
The fact that so much research is taking place right now speaks to the potential that CBD represents for many conditions. But until large, clinical trials have taken place we simply won’t have definitive answers about CBD’s benefits (or, frankly, the lack thereof) for some conditions.
The studies we reference below, however, point to some of the more promising skincare-related areas that CBD products may be able to target.
Inflammation is either the underlying cause or a major symptom of many skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits are well documented (5) and this 2020 review of the research to date highlights evidence of CBD’s benefits on inflammatory skin conditions.
According to the research, pre-clinical studies have shown CBD to be effective at suppressing the inflammatory reaction of both acne and allergic contact dermatitis (which we usually refer to as eczema). The authors also cite a study that showed CBD to help reduce Psoriasis lesions.
We noted above that inflammation is a major cause of acne. But it is a complex condition, and there’s obviously more than just inflammation going on for those with severe acne. A 2014 lab study honed in on another key aspect of acne – excess oil (or sebum) production.
The study involved treating cultured human sebocytes and a human skin organ culture with CBD (so it didn’t involve any actual humans). Researchers found that CBD inhibited the production of sebum and suggested that this benefit, combined with its anti-inflammatory effects, could make CBD a “promising” therapeutic treatment for acne.
We’re all susceptible to skin damage – whether it be from the sun, pollution, or skin disorders. This 2019 study involved 20 patients with scarring due to skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. Study participants were asked to apply topical CBD ointment to damaged skin twice a day for three months and then return for evaluation.
The topical treatment “significantly improved” the skin with no irritant or allergic reactions, and the results led the researchers to recommend CBD ointment as a treatment.
Types Of CBD for Skin
So let’s get down to the fun part. What kind of CBD skincare products are available?
Serums, creams, and lotions are probably the first things you think of when you hear the word “skincare,” and the CBD industry won’t let you down here. Many companies offer CBD for skincare, including Lazarus Naturals, which has a line of CBD lotions. Palmetto Harmony also offers an Anti-Wrinkle Cream, a Lavender Night Cream, and a Hydrating Lotion.
Okay, so lotions are sort of the standby skincare product, but there’s just something about a CBD facemask. Whether you prefer a sheet mask, clay mask, or gel mask, these are just a great way to treat multiple skin issues. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, Moon Mother is a fantastic company that has created a Hemp and Manuka Honey mask you may want to try out.
Facial serums are another way to deliver a high concentration of cannabinoids to your skincare. We love Frigg’s Attuning Facial Potion, which combines CBD with botanical oils and is rich in antioxidants. (You can read about the company here).
How To Find Good CBD Skincare Products
The media is awash with stories of “CBD products” that have no CBD in them. So what’s a consumer to do? How can you know if you’re buying a product that contains what the label says?
Because there’s no federal regulation of CBD products, the CBD industry itself has had to create voluntary quality and transparency standards. Not all companies comply with these standards, but here are some things to look for in a CBD company:
Third-party lab reports are the gold standard of transparency. If a company is unwilling to verify that their products contain the CBD they say they do, there’s no way to know if those labels are accurate.
There are tons of “CBD products” on the market that may indeed contain trace amounts of CBD, but not enough to make much of a difference. Look for products that include a decent amount of CBD.
Look for CBD extracted from organically grown hemp. Hemp literally sucks the impurities out of the soil, so anything nasty (like heavy metals or microbials) in the dirt, will end up on your skin.
Companies should be willing to share information like where they source their CBD from and what kind of extraction technologies they use.
CBD For Skin: Precautions
CBD has a good safety profile, and topically applied CBD is unlikely to cause even mild side effects. That’s because, unless you’re using a transdermal patch, the CBD will never enter your bloodstream. That means that the effects are truly localized, rather than systemic.
However, it’s always worth remembering that any time you try a new product for your skin it is an experiment. So if you find that a CBD product causes skin irritation of any kind (or you find your symptoms worsening in any way) you should discontinue use immediately.
If you have very sensitive skin, it may be worth trying out a skin patch test. Try applying a tiny amount of product on a small area of skin to see if there is any reaction – before applying over a larger area.
So is CBD beneficial for the skin? Up-and-coming clinical trials could give definitive answers, but at this point, research indicates that it has some real potential as a treatment for multiple conditions. Just keep in mind that all CBD products are not created equal, and look for companies that take their mission seriously.
Mother Moon Hemp CBD Glow Skin Serum
Mother Moon Hemp's premium CBD skin serum contains a synergistic mix of ingredients including full spectrum hemp extracts, herbs and essential oils. This product is appropriate for all skin types and is designed to nourish your skin with all the nutrients it needs to glow!
Amy Davis manages the content at Bloom & Oil, she is an ‘expert in the field’, and her passion for this work stems from her agriculture degrees and cannabis oil research. Her education and horticultural therapy training have allowed her to share her love of plants through teaching at Dalhousie University, senior facilities, and most recently, a federal women’s prison. Amy believes in the restorative power of people-plant interactions and serves on the board of the Horticulture for Health Network (NSHHN). If Amy is not working or tending to her live-in jungle, she is probably off spoiling her little dogs Chester & Murphy.
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