One thing we love about CBD is its broad application. Regardless of your age, gender, and health status, there is always something you can gain from it. Data gathered from scientific and clinical research has shown it to exhibit antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities, thus qualifying it as a potential “magical elixir.”
A lot has been said about CBD and how it acts to keep the body calm, how it maintains internal balance (homeostasis), checks chronic pain and inflammation, and more. Yet, one other area in which the use of CBD has recently found relevance is in the skin care market. From facial masks and daily toners to serums and bath bombs, the list of beauty and skincare products infused with CBD is endless.
According to a recent report by the financial services group Jefferries, the CBD beauty market could reach $25 billion worldwide in the next decade and make up 15% of the total skin care market. But is there really any benefit to using products with CBD for skin care, or is it all just hype? In this article, we shall focus on the potental benefits of CBD for skin care.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one of many potentially beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike the other well known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the primary intoxicating element in marijuana), CBD is not psychoactive. This means that CBD will not produce a “high” or change a person’s state of mind.
CBD is a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products such as oils and edibles to elicit a feeling of relaxation and calm. Further, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD can be used to help manage chronic pain.
The exact reasons as to the how and why CBD works in the body is still under study. However, what we do know is that CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a regulatory system made up of naturally occurring receptors and enyzmes that work to help maintain homeostasis, or stability, in the body,
RELATED: What is CBD? A Primer for Beginners
CBD and hemp seed oil
It is also important to differentiate CBD oil from hemp seed oil. The two are often marketed as the same product, however only CBD oil is richly concentrated with the active ingredient, cannabidiol. Hemp seed oil only contains trace amounts of cannabidiol, if any. If you look closely at the labels on a product advertised as CBD, you should be able to clearly read the presence and amount of cannabidiol it contains.
There is nothing wrong with hemp seed oil but it’s not the same thing as CBD. Hemp seed oil does offer some benefits as it contains vitamins and high amounts of fatty acids which help hydrate and soothe inflamed skin. However, only CBD is an active ingredient which has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, for the purposes of this article, we are only focusing on the skin care benefits of products which contain CBD.
Understanding the human skin
The human skin is the largest organ of the body weighing more than 20 pounds and consist of about 15% of your entire body weight. It has three distinct layers which are renewed every 28 to 30 days. The skin performs several functions ranging from temperature regulation, protection against harmful effects of the sun and radiation, provides mechanical support, prevents loss of essential body fluids, and penetration of toxic substances. Your skin is the first line of defense against invading pathogens and toxins; thus, adequate care should be taken to ensure it is healthy and kept in good shape.
It is tough and impermeable to substances. While it serves as a protective layer, it can be used to absorb nutrients such as oxygen Vitamins B and D, which are highly essential for skin health.
The existence of the ECS on the skin has been linked to major biological processes such as proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cytokine, mediator or hormone production of various cell types of the skin, and appendages such as hair follicles and sebaceous glands. It is highly speculated that the principal function of the ECS on the skin is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced growth, differentiation, survival, and competence of skin cells. A disruption in the balance may lead to the formation of diseases such as cancer, systemic sclerosis, hair growth disorders, allergic dermatitis, seborrhea, itch, and pain.
How does CBD help skincare?
The skin contains a network of nerves and receptor cells which play active roles in homeostasis and serve as the first line of defense against injury and infection. It is responsible for temperature regulation and keeps the body safe from harsh environmental conditions. The ECS receptors present on the skin has been identified to play critical roles in both healthy and diseased skins including;
Antioxidant and anti-aging effects
There are internal and external factors that contribute to skin aging. Almost 90% of skin damage is caused by the external environment such as the sun or pollution. Internal damage is caused by our internal collagen production system that works against us.
Scientists claim that the body produces less and less collagen as we age. The collagen production is estimated to decline by 1% every year after we hit our twenties. That means the aging process begins slowly from then. The collagen production is further decreased by free radicals being entered into our system. This leads to weak muscles, saggy skin, and loose connective tissues that creates the old and aging look.
Using CBD in skincare products may help to slow down the signs of aging such as black spots, skin dullness, skin tones, and wrinkles. Its antioxidant properties come in handy in neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals. Data gathered from research shows that CBD elicits an antioxidant which keeps your skin healthy and smooth.
Additionally, CBD is rich with Vitamin E which repairs our skin, removes fine lines and wrinkles, and deals with skin discoloration. With consistent application of a CBD product on your skin, you can help to improve your skin and its appearance.
Antimicrobial and protection against UV radiation
Including CBD in your skincare routine or products can confer immunity against microbial invasion. It forms a protective layer on the skin thus protecting it against microbe attack. UV radiation can also be very harmful to our skin. Exposure to UV rays can cause premature aging of the skin and signs of sun damage such as wrinkles and other more severe skin issues. There are many CBD sunscreens on the market to help soothe and reduce the inflammation and pain associated with sunburn.
CBD-based skincare products are high in essential fatty acids like omega 3, 6, and 9; thus, it prevents against moisture loss while keeping the skin well hydrated. Additionally, a 2014 study found that CBD also helps to promote oil production for managing dry skin .
Remedy for skin defects
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have been successfully studied in the control and management of skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, atopic dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. It has also served to reduce the formation of sebum in sebaceous cells and slows down cell proliferation on the skin.
The purpose of the sebum is to protect our skin from the external environment. However, it can be trapped inside a pore when mixed with dead skin, or dirt. The clogged pore becomes acne.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in humans, especially young girls going through puberty. Factors, such as stress, diet, hormone imbalances, or medications can also cause acne. A study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD reduced oil production and also had anti-inflammatory effects on oil-producing glands. CBD also has been demonstrated to prevent human cells known as sebocytes from creating too much of the oily sebum while triggering an anti-inflammatory reaction in the cells. This helps to reduce any future acne.
The ability of CBD to interact with the ECS receptors can elicit soothing effects on the brain by triggering the release of feel-good hormones. It has also been identified to control chronic pain, promotes wound healing, prevents muscle spasms, and many more.
It’s substantial calming and soothing effects can help the sensitive skin from redness, itchiness or allergies. Even if you think that your skin isn’t too sensitive, it can also help to relax your skin tissues after waxing, threading, or peeling.
Topical application of CBD in the form of facial cleanser, moisturizers, and serums can produce skin-normalizing effects, thus keeping you refreshed throughout the day.
Poor diet, sun exposure, and stress damage our health and skin more than we can imagine. CBD relaxes our body and mind, improves the quality of sleep to help give our body time to regenerate our damaged skin cells and remove toxins. The result is fair, young-looking, and fresh skin.
Will I get high using CBD on the skin?
Contrary to what you may have heard, CBD does not tamper with the brain’s ability nor elicit psychoactive effects. It does not create some buzzy effects associated with marijuana or THC when consumed, inhaled or used on the skin. Additionally, no adverse side effects have been reported from using CBD. According to the World Health Organization, or WHO, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.“
Are CBD skin care products legal?
The use of CBD skincare products is federally legal as long as the CBD is derived from hemp and does not contain more than 0.3% THC. There are some differences in the law for certain states, so it’s still a good idea to check your individual state laws for clarification.
CBD skin care products in the form of moisturizers, night creams, scrubs, and lotions have the potential to assist women in keeping their skin moisturized, protected against the harmful effects of UV radiation and pathogens. As a powerful antioxidant, CBD may reduce free radicals and protect collagen production. It can also limit the expression of chronic pain and inflammation and serve as a remedy for common skin conditions such as acne. If you are struggling with skin issues, consider using CBD as an effective skin care solution.