If you’ve browsed the skin care section at your local drugstore or beauty retailer lately, you may have noticed a lot of new CBD-infused products on the shelves. Skin care products that contain CBD are currently being marketed as a way to treat everything from acne to psoriasis to wrinkles. But does using CBD oil to treat skin issues like acne actually work? According to the current research, CBD oil really may have incredible benefits for the skin, including some that could help those with skin issues like acne.
The Benefits of CBD Oil for Acne and Other Skin Issues
Studies suggest that cannabidiol, or CBD, may benefit the skin because it has powerful skin-soothing, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects and because it may help ease sleep issues. These effects are thought to be why CBD has shown promise as a treatment for acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, skin irritation, and more.
CBD Oil for Acne
Multiple things can trigger acne, but all acne conditions are inflammatory conditions. Anything that can reduce inflammation and soothe the skin can help to reduce acne breakouts and acne-related redness, which is why some people find success using CBD oil as an acne treatment.
Many studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. When consumed orally, CBD seems to reduce overall inflammation in the body. When used topically on the skin, CBD seems to reduce inflammation on the surface of the skin, as well as inflammation that’s slightly below the surface of the skin.
There haven’t been many studies done on how CBD affects acne, but the early studies on this topic suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD appear to ease acne skin conditions. Interestingly, one study on CBD and acne also found that CBD appears to decrease excess sebum (oil) production. Acne happens when sebum mixes with dead skin cells and clogs a hair follicle, creating a pimple, a blackhead, or a whitehead. Overly productive sebaceous glands that produce too much sebum can worsen acne skin conditions. So, the fact that CBD may reduce excessive sebum production could help it work as an acne treatment.
CBD Oil for Eczema and Psoriasis
Because CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, there’s a lot of scientific interest in CBD as a potential treatment for eczema and psoriasis. Eczema, an inflammatory condition, and psoriasis, an inflammatory disease, are both treated with anti-inflammatory agents. Most commonly, they’re treated with topical corticosteroids. While they’re generally effective, topical steroids can also come with unpleasant side effects. Some scientists are curious about whether or not anti-inflammatory CBD would be as effective, while also having fewer side effects.
As of right now, there have been a few studies that suggest CBD could be an effective treatment for eczema and psoriasis. These studies found that CBD helped treat eczema and psoriasis because of its anti-inflammatory properties. One study also found that CBD had an antibacterial effect, which seemed to help clear infected skin conditions.
CBD Oil, Sleep, and Your Overall Skin Health
There’s quite a bit of research that suggests CBD can help battle sleep disorders like insomnia. Some scientists think CBD can help people with sleep disorders get to sleep more easily because CBD eases anxiety and pain, while other scientists think it may work in a way we don’t yet understand. Either way, CBD appears to help those with sleep disorders get more rest, which could work wonders for their skin, since getting enough sleep is crucial for your overall skin health.
As you sleep, your body is hard at work, repairing cells, restoring energy, releasing vital molecules, and more. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t perform all the functions it needs to, which affects your skin. Your skin goes through most of its restorative process while you sleep, so getting less sleep can make your skin look dull, dry, pale, sunken, blotchy, and puffy. Because the body makes the skin-firming protein collagen while you sleep, getting less sleep can also speed up the appearance of wrinkles. On the other hand, getting enough sleep can help your skin look more even, smooth, radiant, hydrated, and refreshed. So, if CBD helps you get enough beauty sleep, it could make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your skin.
CBD Oil for Sensitive or Irritated Skin
Studies show that CBD oil is highly soothing to the skin. CBD oil can help calm and normalize the skin, easing issues like redness and hyperreactivity. These soothing properties make CBD oil a good natural treatment for people with sensitive skin that needs calming products. Because CBD oil has antioxidant properties while also being normalizing, it can also be a good option for anyone who wants to keep their skin balanced, as everyone’s skin can get irritated by environmental stressors like sun radiation and air pollution.
How to Use CBD Oil for the Skin
If you’re interested in trying CBD for acne, another skin issue, or your overall skin health, you have two main options: topicals or edibles. Many people prefer using topical products, like CBD lotions and CBD ointments, when treating the skin, since these topical products will work locally on the skin itself. Others say that they get good results from regularly using an edible CBD product, like a CBD oil or CBD tincture, as a daily supplement.
Whether a topical lotion or an edible oil would be right for you is ultimately very personal. But we will say that, whatever you go with, make sure you only use a CBD product that has been third-party lab tested. CBD products are fairly new and they are not regulated by the FDA or the USDA. So, there’s really no way of knowing what’s in a CBD product unless it’s been lab-tested by an outside party. You want to make sure that what you’re putting in your body or on your skin actually contains what the package says it contains, both in terms of CBD content and other carrier ingredients.
At Essence, we only carry CBD products that are lab tested, so this isn’t something you need to worry about when you shop at our dispensary. But if you decide to pick up a CBD product from somewhere else, make sure you look at its lab results before using it. A product’s lab test results will have information about its CBD content, its overall cannabinoid content (including information on THC content or lack of THC content), and whether or not any harmful things are detected in the product. If a CBD product hasn’t been lab-tested, consider that a red flag that lets you know it’s probably not a very high-quality product.
A Note on CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil
People are often confused about CBD oil vs. hemp oil. These names are sometimes used interchangeably and CBD is usually sourced from hemp, so this confusion is completely understandable. However, note that CBD oil and hemp oil are completely different products.
CBD oil contains a high concentration of CBD, while hemp oil contains little to no CBD. That’s because CBD oil will contain concentrated CBD that has been extracted from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of a hemp cannabis plant (or possibly from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of a marijuana plant, if you’re buying from a dispensary). On the other hand, hemp oil (also called hemp seed oil) is extracted from the seeds of hemp cannabis plants, which don’t contain CBD.
Hemp seed oil is actually wonderful for the skin since it’s rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins. But, again, it doesn’t contain CBD. So, if you want to try a CBD oil to get the benefits of CBD, make sure you pick a product with “CBD” in its name.