What Does CBD in Skin Care Actually Do?
Chances are, you know someone who rubs their joints with CBD balm before bed or spritzes on CBD oil to ease anxiety.
Chances are you also know what CBD is, but just in case, here’s a quick refresher: A component found in cannabis that won’t get you high — the THC in marijuana is to thank for that — CBD, short for cannabidiol, has been gaining popularity as a treatment for everything from muscle relief to insomnia over the last few years. It’s also been popping up in high-end skin-care creams, gels, and serums promising to smooth wrinkles, prevent pimples, and alleviate dry skin.
According to Jeanette Jacknin, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in topical cannabinoids in skin care, studies have shown that “affecting the endocannabinoid system — with CBD — can help the skin look more radiant and youthful.
” Another study, she says, suggests that CBD could slow down the visible signs of aging in mice.
Tamás Bíró, professor and chair of the Department of Immunology at University of Debrecen in Hungary and the director of applied research at Phytecs, a company researching and developing drugs affecting the endocannabinoid system, says CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, which can be helpful for conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Bíró also conducted cell model research (as opposed to human testing, which has not yet been approved) that showed CBD inhibited sebum production and normalized overactive sebaceous gland cells — one of the main causes of acne.
While this is all promising, CBD in consumer skin care is still a bit the Wild West. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found widespread mislabeling of CBD products sold online. “The problem is that there’s no study that indicates the proper dose,” Bíró says.
Verena von Pfetten, co-founder of Gossamer — a magazine “for people who also smoke weed” — and a Strategist contributor, tells us that not only is the CBD industry unregulated, but because there are limited opportunities for federally funded studies we don’t actually know which compounds in marijuana do what.
She explains that while the most potent products are full-spectrum (meaning they contain CBD, THC, and a host of other cannabinoids), individual cannabinoids affect the skin differently and, as of right now, we don’t fully understand how each one works and in which percentages they’re effective.
“While one cannabinoid might be good for inflammation, another might increase oil production,” she says. “So if you have a full spectrum produced, which in theory makes the CBD more effective, you also have these other cannabinoids that could be undoing the exact results you’re trying to see.
” Von Pfetten still buys CBD skin care but, until the science advances, she looks for products that contain other, more well-studied active ingredients.
Beca Grimm, a writer, editor, and co-founder of the Dope Girls zine, admits that while she hasn’t seen revolutionary results from CBD skin care, she’s optimistic that the trend is part of a larger movement to change the public perception of marijuana, which has had an outsized impact on incarceration among people of color.
“It’s quite an ambitious connection that I’m hoping people make, but I hope that it happens,” she says. “I hope it makes people see [marijuana] for the harmless substance that it is.
” Similarly, von Pfetten discusses the disconnect between the booming CBD industry and those with marijuana-related criminal records who aren’t allowed to work for these businesses.
To sift through all of the CBD skin-care products on the market, we asked Jacknin, von Pfetten, Grimm, and four more experienced users what they think is worth buying.
Herbivore Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil
Anja Charbonneau, editor-in-chief and founder of Broccoli, a women-led magazine of cannabis culture, says that samples of this oil distributed at the magazine’s In Bloom festival last year “were hugely popular, even with the skeptics.
” She credits this to the non-comedogenic hemp seed oil that doesn’t clog pores, and the light scent that won’t irritate sensitive skin.
Grimm, who recently finished a bottle of the oil and plans on repurchasing, says “it does smell a little bit weed, but it’s not so much that you’ll roll up to the office and have people wondering what you were doing in the car ride over or anything.”
Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD
For something even more moisturizing, Grimm uses this serum. It blends CBD and argan oil, which contains vitamin E for hydrating the skin and protecting it from environmental damage. “It’s a little bit heavier and probably better in the wintertime,” says Grimm.
Kiskanu Hemp Face Oil
As founder of Kitchen Toke, a media company focused on the intersection of cooking and cannabis, Joline Rivera knew she wanted to be vigorous in vetting the CBD products for her online store.
She only works with brands that are lab tested, and she also outsources each product for third-party testing (certificates of analysis are available to view on the Kitchen Toke site). “I wouldn’t sell anything I wouldn’t use, eat or give to my family,” says Rivera.
Recently, she’s been using this oil to look well-rested, even though the stress of the pandemic has taken a toll on her sleep. “I to put it around my eyes, which moisturizes and gets rid of the puffiness,” she says.
“If I have a blemish, it’s good for healing and inflammation and has anti-bacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, all useful in fighting acne and other skin irritations.” Along with CBD, it’s rich in hydrating oils jojoba and argan.
Cannuka CBD Skin Balm
Even though it contains a relatively low 50mg of CBD, von Pfetten says, “this balm is a wonder for anyone with dry skin,” calling it “one of those ‘no idea why it works but it does’ products.” She uses it as the last step in her nighttime routine, especially when her skin is feeling particularly dry.
Superflower The Everyday CBD Serum
Von Pfetten loves Superflower’s serum because of its “broad-spectrum CBD, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and a site that clearly outlines what’s in the product and why.” For best results, she says to top it off with a moisturizer and a few pats of oil.
Vertly founder Claudia Mata tells us that her brand’s partnership with the natural beauty store and spa Credo helps ensure the quality of its products as Credo has strict standards for everything they stock.
Vertly CBD is rigorously tested throughout production — first at the hemp farm, again once Vertly receives it, and finally when it’s formulated into the product.
Kate Miller, co-founder and CEO of the cannabis shop and online magazine Miss Grass, says she uses the brand’s lip butter “obsessively all day,” and calls it “satisfyingly smooth.”
Actually good deals, smart shopping advice, and exclusive discounts. By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.
“,”author”:null,”date_published”:”2020-05-15T19:30:00.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://pyxis.nymag.com/v1/imgs/b2a/fe6/a49e96e531f358e0c02463c0236e286647-cbd-face-lede.1x.rsocial.w1200.jpg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-cbd-skincare-products.html”,”domain”:”nymag.com”,”excerpt”:”It wonât get you high, but it might clear your acne.”,”word_count”:1237,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}
Everything You Need To Know About CBD Skincare
Whether its chocolates, cocktails, candles or clothing, CBD is everywhere and in everything you can possibly think of. And now the buzzy ingredient is taking over the world of beauty and skincare. From serums and sunscreen to chapsticks, creams and cleansers, there is an array of hemp-infused products popping up in beauty supply stores everywhere.
According to a recent Market Watch report, the global CBD cosmetics market is estimated to be valued at over $580 million, with North America leading the way. And it's expected to hit $1.7 billion by 2025, predicts Grand View Research. Safe to say, the CBD trend isn't going to die down anytime soon.
If you're considering hopping on the CBD bandwagon too, but are unsure about where to start, here's a primer on all things CBD skincare:
First of all, what is CBD?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in cannabis plants (eg: marijuana and hemp). It's one of the two primary active ingredients of cannabis, the other one being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Un THC, pure CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it doesn't make you feel high.
Research shows that CBD may be effective in alleviating anxiety, chronic inflammation and pain, insomnia and some rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
Moreover, a long-term study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that CBD may help prevent cognitive decline.
In addition, according to a review published in the Neurotherapeutics journal, CBD may also be effective in treating substance use disorder.
Why is it good for your skin?
Known for its healing properties, “cannabidiol offers some serious antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which can be beneficial in treating skin concerns inflammation, dryness and free radical damage,” says Ildi Pekar, NYC-based aesthetician and founder of her own eponymous skincare line.
CBD might also be effective in fighting acne as it helps reduce the production of sebum in the skin. Additionally, studies indicate that cannabidiol may be effective in treating eczema and psoriasis as well.
While the research on CBD's benefits is fairly limited, it's generally considered safe to use topically. “There is ly no harm in continuing to use a CBD-infused product you ,” tells Dr.
Adarsh Mudgil, a double board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology.
“If you happen to have a reaction from a CBD topical product, it's ly not from the CBD itself, but some other ingredient a botanical,” explains the skincare specialist.
How to choose the right CBD skincare product?
All cannabidiol-infused products are formulated using full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate.
“Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the compounds found in hemp, including trace amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, contains a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids derived from hemp, but no THC,” explains Ed Donnelly, CBD expert and founder of AmourCBD.
Meanwhile, “CBD isolate is the purest version of CBD. It doesn’t contain any other compounds that you find in a hemp plant,” tells Pekar. “This form of CBD oil is best for facial skin as it's pure, doesn't clog pores and is packed with skin-rejuvenating antioxidants,” adds the aesthetician.
Look for products that mention “cannabidiol”, “hemp extract”, “broad-spectrum CBD”, “full-spectrum CBD” or “hemp CBD” on the label.
Also, note that hemp seed oil or cannabis Sativa seed oil isn't the same thing as CBD oil. “CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant.
It's a finer and lighter oil as compared to hemp seed oil that tends to be greasier,” explains Pekar.
Another essential step is to determine the amount of CBD in a product. “For instance, if you are looking for lotions and oils for pain relief or anxiety, the CBD percentage needs to be higher in order to be effective,” says Pekar.
The most important factor to consider, however, is the quality of the product you're purchasing. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 60% of online CBD products are mislabeled.
So, “make sure you trust the brand and have confidence that the product is safe and that it contains exactly what the label claims it contains,” says Donnelly. “It's best to always opt for products that have been tested in a third-party lab,” suggests Pekar.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when buying a CBD product.
Also, is it legal?
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp, containing less than 0.3% THC, are legal.
“CBD is legal in all 50 states as a supplement, but infusing it into food and other products is an open question,” says Donnelly.
“The government’s position on CBD is confusing,” notes Dr. Peter Grinspoon in a Harvard Health report.
“While the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license,” Dr. Grinspoon points out.
The Best CBD-Infused Skincare Products To Try
And now, if you're ready to venture into the world of CBD skincare, here are some of the best CBD skincare picks money can buy:
Skin Dope's Argan Oil + 100 Mg CBD Oil ($78)
Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 Mg CBD Oil
Enriched with organic argan oil and sustainably sourced CBD, Josie Maran's luxurious, lightweight oil packs a serious antioxidant punch. The fast-absorbing oil soothes redness, protects the skin from sun damage and improves its elasticity while locking in essential moisture. Plus, its fragrance-free formula makes it safe for even sensitive skin types.
Cannuka's CBD Calming Eye Balm ($38)
Cannuka CBD Calming Eye Balm
This Manuka honey and CBD-infused eye balm does everything from plumping and brightening the delicate under-eye skin to shielding it from environmental stressors. It also contains Vitamin C-rich grapefruit extract to help even out skin tone and revitalize tired skin.
Leef Organics' Nooks + Crannies CBD Soap ($22)
Leef Organics Nooks + Crannies CBD Soap
Packed with star skincare ingredients olive oil, sunflower seed oil, kaolin and chamomile, Leef Organics' Nooks + Crannies soap gently exfoliates and nourishes the skin.
While the skin-soothing hemp extract offers antioxidant benefits.
Moreover, the soap comes in a nifty plantable packaging that's embedded with non-GMO tomato seeds so you can grow your own organic tomatoes in the backyard. Pretty cool, right?
Ildi Pekar's Tissue Repair Serum ($148)
Ildi Pekar Tissue Repair Serum
Powered by skin-loving ingredients such as aloe vera juice, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and cucumber extract, this anti-aging serum works to brighten the complexion, refine skin texture, lighten dark spots and smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, the CBD oil helps soothe tired skin and accelerate its natural healing process.
Lord Jones' High CBD Formula Body Lotion ($60)
Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion
This raved-about body lotion from Lord Jones is enriched with shea butter and glycerin to replenish and bind moisture to the skin.
While the broad-spectrum CBD soothes stressed-out skin and helps repair free radical damage. Plus, it features a delightfully refreshing scent that has hints of sage, mint and green citrus.
There's also a fragrance-free option available for those who have sensitive skin.
The CBD Skincare Co.'s CBD Infused Exfoliating Cleanser ($34)
The CBD Skincare Co. CBD Infused Exfoliating Cleanser
The CBD Skincare Co.
Featuring a potent blend of glycolic acid, lactic acid and acne-zapping salicylic acid, this CBD-laced cleansing lotion washes away all traces of makeup, grime and other impurities, without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. And it features tiny jojoba beads that gently slough off dead skin cells, revealing fresher, smoother and brighter skin.
Kana's Lavender CBD Sleeping Mask ($55)
Kana Lavender CBD Sleeping Mask
Formulated with broad-spectrum hemp, lavender oil and over 20 other skin-soothing botanicals, Kana's multitasking face mask delivers deep hydration, calms inflammation and brightens the complexion. It also contains hyaluronic acid and beta-glucan to plump up the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Vertly's CBD Infused Lip Balm ($22)
Vertly CBD Infused Lip Balm
Handcrafted with skin-nourishing ingredients shea butter, cacao butter, jojoba oil and coconut oil, this intensely moisturizing lip balm will make chapped lips a thing of the past. Infused with 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD, the luscious lip balm is available in three delectable scents: cocoa, rose and peppermint.
Hemp Oil for Skin: Benefits and How to Use for Your Face
Hempseed oil is often referred to as “hemp oil,” and it’s harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil is often unrefined. It’s a clear green oil and can have a nutty flavor.
It’s different from cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is an extract of the cannabis plant and utilizes hemp flowers and leaves for its production.
Hempseed oil is made from the hemp seed itself and usually doesn’t contain any THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component, although this seems to be widely disputed. According to 2017 research, CBD oil may also have very low and insignificant levels of THC.
Hemp oil has numerous health benefits, including those that improve skin health. It’s so beneficial for skin health thanks to its nourishing vitamins and moisturizing qualities.
There are a number of skin care benefits that you can get from using hempseed oil, either topically or by consuming it.
Moderates oil production
Hemp oil is perfect for most skin types as it can moisturize without clogging your pores. It can even help to balance out oily skin, hydrating it and regulating the skin’s oil production.
Dryness can also cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can stimulate acne. Hemp oil can prevent dry skin without clogging pores. This helps reduce acne that’s caused by excess oil.
Moisturizes and soothes inflammation
One of the omega-6 fatty acids that hemp oil contains is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory while simultaneously encouraging skin growth and new cell generation.
This can help to calm inflammation and irritation on the skin, including acne and some conditions psoriasis, while keeping the skin nourished and moisturized.
Treats atopic dermatitis
Part of what makes hempseed oil so beneficial to the skin is that it’s rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming these nutrients can help to treat skin conditions atopic dermatitis.
One randomized, single-blind crossover study found evidence that dietary hempseed oil reduced the symptoms and appearance of clinical atopic dermatitis after 20 weeks.
Has anti-aging properties
In addition to moisturizing and soothing the skin, hemp oil has anti-aging properties. Hemp oil can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent signs of aging from developing.
The linoleic acid and oleic acids found in hemp oil can’t be produced by the body but can play a crucial role in skin health and anti-aging, so they’re important nutrients to add to the diet.
Ready to get started? Buy hemp oil now.
There are several methods you can use to get the skin benefits from hemp oil.
Topical use of hemp oil
The first method is to apply the hemp oil directly to your skin. This can work if you have immediate irritation or dry patches of skin that you want to soothe quickly.
Before using the oil, try a patch test to make sure you won’t get an unwanted reaction:
- Wash and dry a small area of your upper arm (such as the crook of your elbow).
- Apply a small amount of the pure hemp oil. (If using the hemp and essential oil mixture described below, test in a separate spot from the pure oil and at a different time.)
- Cover the spot with a bandage and leave it in place for 24 hours, being careful not to get the bandage wet.
- If any redness, burning, itching, or other irritation occurs, you can assume you’re sensitive to the oil and shouldn’t use it. If you have a reaction, remove the bandage immediately and wash the spot with soap and water.
- If you don’t see or feel any reaction, then the oil is probably safe to use.
If you’re using the hemp oil to treat acne and want to apply it topically, apply the oil directly to clean skin and leave it on for one to two minutes before washing it away with warm water.
Hemp oil and essential oil mixture. You can also combine hemp oil and other anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients with a recipe the following, which can be applied directly to the skin:
- 1/4 cup hemp oil
- 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (can be melted in the microwave; place desired amount in a microwaveable container and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted)
- 4 to 5 drops skin-boosting essential oil, lavender or rosemary oil
Note: Essential oils, lavender or rosemary oil, should only be used topically and in a diluted mixture. Do not take essential oils internally. Many are toxic.
Oral use of hemp oil
The second method is to ingest hemp oil, which can provide the same skin benefits and additional overall health benefits as using the oil topically. If you take hemp oil orally, there’s less risk of any skin irritation or break outs, although it may cause some temporary digestive upset.
Talk to your doctor before taking hemp oil orally.
If you do take it orally, you can have 1 to 2 teaspoons daily — either all at one time or divided into two doses.
If you don’t the taste or consuming the hemp oil straight, you can also use it in different recipes. One option is to mix it into foods, smoothies, salad dressings, or soup. Or you can use it for cooking.
Some recipes using hemp oil include:
- Garlic Hemp Oil Salad Dressing
- Hemp Oil Salsa
- Hemp Oil Pesto sauce
Hempseed oil is safe for most people to use and usually doesn’t contain any THC or psychoactive properties, although this has been widely disputed.
Using it topically, some people may experience mild irritation, so apply it to a small test patch of skin first (whether you’re using pure hemp oil or hemp oil diluted with essential oils).
Consuming hempseed oil may cause some negative side effects in some people:
- The most common side effect is loosened stools or digestive upset, which can occur as a result of the oily, fatty nature of the oil. To prevent this, start by taking a small amount of hemp oil daily and working your way up.
- Hemp seeds can interact with blood thinners by potentially inhibiting platelets, so before taking hempseed oil regularly, talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.
Whether applied topically or ingested orally, hempseed oil offers numerous benefits for skin health, and many people can take advantage of those benefits.
Hemp oil is considered safe for most people to use, and it can help moisturize the skin from the inside out.
Start with just 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of hemp oil a day before working up to more.