As awareness of the benefits that CBD can offer grows, it’s not unusual to see people openly vaping CBD or eating CBD snacks. CBD is not illegal in the UK, and it does not make you high, so let’s look at what it does and how it can benefit your skin.
CBD is the shortened name for cannabidiol, and it is one of over a hundred cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. It is found in varying amounts in different strains of the plant – for example, hemp contains high levels while marijuana contains much less. In contrast, the intoxicating cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is found in abundance in marijuana, while hemp contains hardly any. This is why CBD is extracted from hemp, and even high strength CBD will not make users stoned.
What it does
Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), whose job is to keep processes like sleep, digestion, inflammation, and mood in balance. The main receptors of the ECS are CB1 (found mostly in our brain) and CB2 (found in our immune system and on our skin). CBD products like vapes and snacks interact with our internal receptors, while CBD topicals interact with our external receptors, restoring harmony to the ECS.
How it affects the skin
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD on the ECS make it a powerful ingredient for skincare products.
Acne is one of the most common skin complaints that people suffer from, and until recently, most treatments focused on the use of antibacterial ingredients to clean the skin and remove the excess oil that clogs the pores. Research suggests, however, that CBD may be an effective preventative measure against acne. One study showed CBD had an anti-inflammatory effect on the sebaceous glands, reducing the amount of oil produced and thus reducing the onset of acne.
CBD-infused creams and serums may improve hydration levels and reduce dryness by moisturising the skin. A high concentration of the right ratio of omega-3 and 6 are found in CBD. These essential fatty acids nourish, soften, and smooth dry skin.
The calming nature of CBD helps to soothe reactive skin. By moisturising the skin and restoring hydration levels, CBD topicals reduce the inflammatory triggers of conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. As well as feeling better, the skin is left looking better too.
The skin-normalising effects of CBD minimise skin sensitivity by soothing redness and irritation. It keeps skin in check by restoring balance and fights off environmental stressors that affect the skin every day, like pollution and contaminants that enter the pores and get trapped in the skin layers beneath the surface.
The antioxidant properties of CBD help to reduce the visible signs of ageing by combatting damage caused by free radicals. Inflammation is calmed, and elasticity is improved, resulting in brighter, tighter skin.
Pigmentation can be seen on the skin as dark spots and patches. These are caused by exposure to UV radiation, hormones, inflammation, or pollutants. In response to oxidation, skin cells try to heal themselves by producing more melanin and resulting in marks on the damaged areas of the skin. CBD helps to prevent pigmentation through its antioxidant effects, keeping skin vibrant.
When our skin is damaged or injured, the area becomes inflamed, and the body releases white blood cells to stave off infection. Platelets form a blood clot, and collagen is produced to regenerate new skin. The resulting scar may be sore, raised, and itchy until the excess collagen proteins are broken down. According to a 2019 study published in the Molecules journal, CBD may help wounds heal faster and improve the appearance of scars by assisting cellular regeneration.
What to use
There is now a large range of CBD skincare products to choose from, including moisturisers, creams, oils, toners, masks, balms, and bath bombs. Generally, they can be applied in the same manner and order as regular skincare products. However, one thing to keep in mind is that you only need to apply a small amount, as using too much of a new product can cause the skin to flare up. You can then apply more later if you feel the need.
A CBD moisturiser is good for dry and sensitive skin and helps to lock in water. It can be used in the morning and at night after a cleanser and toner.
CBD face creams help to protect your skin from the elements. Anti-oxidants target the early signs of ageing and keep the skin hydrated. A thin layer can be applied in the morning to clean, toned skin.
CBD face oil
To keep skin soft and bright, use a CBD facial oil that restores your natural glow. As well as being rich in antioxidants, CBD face oil prevents water loss by forming a natural barrier. The oil can be gently patted onto the face after cleansing and toning and before moisturising.
A CBD toner can be used to support sensitive and irritated skin. Use the toner after cleansing to remove excess oil and dirt from the skin. Apply the toner to cotton wool, then wipe your face and neck.
CBD face mask
CBD face masks are great for providing yourself with some me time as they can be applied and left to do their magic while you soak in the bath or paint your nails. Sheet masks are mess-free and provide the skin with a boost of hydration. Use after cleansing and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Clay masks are good for all skin types and can be used to cleanse and smooth the skin while removing excess oil. They only need to be left on for 5-10 minutes and should be followed up with a moisturiser.
If you suffer from dry or irritated skin, CBD balms can be very versatile, offering targeted relief and deep moisturisation. Apply the balm to the affected area, day or night.
CBD bath bomb
CBD bath bombs are a relaxing way to restore hydration while calming the mind and soothing the body. They usually contain essential oils that provide an aromatherapy experience, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. A bath bomb can be dissolved in warm water and should be enjoyed for at least 20 minutes.
CBD is a natural compound sourced from hemp that can have positive effects on your skin. CBD skincare products restore balance to sensitive, oily, or combination skin by acting on the receptors of the ECS. There are many products available, and each provides unique benefits at every stage of a daily skincare regime.