It’s touted as a miracle ingredient capable of helping everything from poor sleeping patterns to anxiety. But one area in which CBD’s plethora of purported benefits is only just starting to be appreciated is its potential for turbo-charging your beauty regime.
In today’s article, we’re going to be delving into the world of CBD for skincare, looking at how it fits into a wider trend towards plant-based beauty and even getting into the nitty gritty of the science behind the super-ingredient. Keep reading and you’ll also find plenty of information on how CBD can fit into your own skincare routine, whether you’re trying to tame problem skin or you just want to achieve the flawless complexion you’ve always dreamed of.
The move towards plant-based skincare
As we noted in our 2020 wellness trend predictions, women are increasingly waking up to the idea of scrutinising what’s in their cosmetics, and wanting to know more about the brands who make them. The idea of ‘clean beauty’ is fuelling the growing demand for plant-based skincare and cosmetics, because - as we’ve always believed - what you put on your skin should be taken just as seriously as what you put in your body. With all manner of chemicals being put into beauty products thanks to regulatory oversights State-side, more and more of us seek the relative simplicity of plant-based products, which use natural botanical ingredients to help us look and feel our best.
If you’ve ever used dock leaves to soothe the pain of a brush with stinging nettles, or calmed sunburnt skin with cooling aloe vera gel, you’ll already know that the best remedies come straight from Mother Nature. Because the fact is, everything we need can be found in the botanical world around us, and the best bit is that our bodies already know how to process natural ingredients. We don’t actually need artificial chemicals to achieve smooth, radiant skin; in fact, those harsh chemicals may well be doing us all more harm than good.
When you consider the fact that people are turning to a vegan diet in their droves, it’s little wonder that we’re seeing a corresponding move towards plant-based skincare and clean beauty. It makes total sense that, in the context of a wider move towards clean eating and towards clean living in general, we should be seeing plant-based skincare and cosmetics coming to the fore. And one of the natural ingredients du jour comes from a surprising source: cannabis. But don’t worry, we’re not talking about drug use...
What is CBD?
It would be impossible to discuss the growing interest in plant-based skincare without talking about one of the movement’s hottest super-ingredients: CBD. It’s cropping up everywhere, from CBD lattes to CBD bath bombs. CBD has gone down a storm in wellness circles because it’s believed to offer all sorts of seemingly miraculous benefits. Among other things, it’s being used to help get a better night’s sleep, to ease stress, to find relief from chronic pain and, when applied topically, to enhance skincare routines.
But there are some big differences between the two. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, so taking CBD in any format won’t get you high like you would if you just smoked or ingested cannabis. It’s not addictive, either, so you won’t get hooked on it.
Crucially, CBD is also completely legal, so you won’t get into trouble for using it. According to the law, CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC - a negligible amount that won’t have a psychoactive effect.
We’ll come onto CBD’s strengths in the skincare department shortly, but first let’s answer the big question: what is CBD, and is it basically the same thing as cannabis? Well, it’s true that CBD - short for cannabidiol - comes from the cannabis plant. It’s a compound that occurs naturally in cannabis, just like another more notorious compound: THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol).
You can read up on the differences in more detail in our article on CBD versus THC.
Hemp versus CBD
It’s also important to note that CBD isn’t the same thing as hemp, hemp seed oil or cannabis sativa seed oil, which can be confusing because this is also an ingredient widely used in skincare products (you can read more about the differences between hemp, marijuana and cannabis here).
CBD comes from hemp; it’s extracted using a special process that results in CBD taking on a powder format, which is often mixed with oil to make it easier to use. But while pure hemp will offer some skincare benefits on its own, you won’t get the same anti-inflammatory effects with pure hemp as you would with a product that contains CBD. That’s what makes it such an effective addition to your skincare regime, and we’ll now take a closer look at why.
Can CBD help with skin issues?
CBD fits naturally into your skincare routine because it’s suitable for all skin types, and it’s full of fatty acids, such as omega 3 and 6. These are essential for keeping your skin hydrated, tackling dryness, maintaining its elasticity and ensuring it stays youthfully supple.
Not only that, but CBD has natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it effective at tackling problem skin, such as acne or psoriasis. That’s because it tackles ‘oxidative stress’ caused by free radicals, which are unstable atoms that roam about doing damage to your cells (they’re what cause the signs of ageing). That means that CBD has anti-ageing properties, too. Is there anything it can’t do?
Scientists are still trying to understand the underlying science behind CBD, and there’s only been limited research into its benefits so far, but what we know so far is interesting. It’s thought that CBD is so effective because it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate a huge range of bodily systems, from your core temperature to your appetite.
The endocannabinoid system features ‘CB1’ and ‘CB2’ cell receptors that interact not only with naturally occurring endocannabinoids in your body, but with CBD. In other words, the body already has a built-in system for processing CBD, making it highly receptive to its benefits.
When it comes to skincare, CBD is generally applied topically to the affected area of your skin, or to the parts of your skin that you’d like to improve. That means you can put CBD oil on your face, either in its oil format or in balms or other kinds of lotions. While some CBD delivery formats - such as vaping or putting drops under your tongue - give you almost instant results, topical application works more slowly because it’s absorbed through the skin. This means it takes its time to enter the bloodstream, so it’ll take a bit longer to feel its effects than other methods.
How to use CBD in your skincare routine
You’ve heard the hype, and now you’ve read the science. So what could CBD do for your skin, and how do you get in on the CBD skincare act? Well, it all depends on what you’re hoping to achieve. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can use CBD to combat a range of skin problems - or just to achieve that coveted flawless skin.
CBD for acne and problem skin
Fed up of angry, painful spots, or red blotches caused by rosacea acne? Plagued by hard-to-shift eczema or psoriasis? Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can help, because these skin problems are caused in part by inflammation. Studies have shown that CBD can significantly improve the skin of those suffering with chronic conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, improving their quality of life in the process.
As far as acne is concerned, the research is even more compelling, seemingly showing that CBD can affect how the body produces sebum, the naturally occurring oil in your skin. Excess amounts of this oil are what cause problems, combining with dead skin cells to block pores and cause spots to erupt. In a 2014 study, researchers found that CBD prevented sebocyte cells from creating too much sebum, as well as prompting an anti-inflammatory reaction in these cells. Though there’s still more research needed to understand how it works, this could hint at why many people already swear by CBD as a way to calm acne-prone skin.
Anti-ageing with CBD
Can CBD reduce wrinkles? Those free radicals we mentioned earlier are responsible for age-related skin damage, so yes, applying an antioxidant like CBD helps to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles that appear as a result. If your complexion has become more ruddy with age, or your skin is duller than it used to be, CBD may also prove helpful in achieving a more radiant skin tone.
Soothing sensitive skin with CBD
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, CBD could also be effective for soothing sensitive skin, reducing the appearance of redness and other skin irritation. However, if you do decide to experiment with CBD for your sensitive skin, it’s worth paying close attention to the other ingredients in any products you buy. While the CBD itself may soothe your skin, it’s often combined with other things that may not have such a calming effect, and may even cause your skin to flare up. Just as you would with a non-CBD product, it’s best to opt for a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free product - such as Dr Kerklaan Therapeutics’ Natural CBD Skin Cream - to make sure you don’t cause further irritation.
Tips for using CBD to achieve flawless skin
Even if you’re lucky enough not to suffer from regular breakouts, dry skin or the onset of fine lines and wrinkles, there’s very much still a place for CBD in your skincare routine. Whatever your desired outcome, we’d like to end with some top tips for incorporating CBD effectively into your daily beauty regime.
So, where to get started? To begin your CBD skincare journey, we’d recommend having a browse of our CBD beauty store and having a read through some of the different products we offer here at The Chillery. Each one has been specially formulated to address different skincare needs, so whether you’re looking for an anti-ageing skin cream or something to help you reduce the appearance of stubborn spots, you’ll find something that should help. We’ve carefully selected our beauty collection from the finest manufacturers to ensure you’re getting a top-quality CBD product that you can work into your beauty ritual with confidence.
*The Chillery and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The information and products presented on this site are not intended for medical use nor do they make any medical claims. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.