With the introduction of CBD cosmetics into the beauty and skincare markets, we want to ensure the products are not only effective but also non-toxic and safe.
As a supplement, CBD extracts and oils can work wonders for the body. Now, we're starting to see indie beauty brands incorporate this hyped ingredient in cosmetics.
You can use CBD as an oil, capsule, and even gummy vitamins. There’s anecdotal evidence showing the many benefits of CBD to the human body. It helps with anxiety, stress, sleep, pain, inflammation, and more.
Before you ask—no, CBD is not psychoactive and you will not get high. Sorry if that’s what you were looking for.
Instead of recreational purposes, CBD is used mainly for medicinal purposes. It’s seen as an alternative to traditional Western medicine for some health ailments.
In skincare, CBD is gaining traction for its seriously potent anti-inflammatory effects. What does this mean for you? If you have inflamed skin—redness, sensitivity, irritation, acne, etc.—CBD oil can help alleviate some of your symptoms and calm your skin.
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It comes from the cannabis plant family. There are many different types of cannabis, including marijuana, which is the most common type of cannabis.
CBD, however, is not the same as marijuana. Not even close. What makes CBD different from marijuana is something called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). TCH is the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana that causes users to get high. CBD does not contain TCH, making it non-psychoactive.
CBD oil is one of the most common types of CBD products now that medical cannabis is becoming legal in certain states. CBD oil can be taken orally or topically, like in skincare products.
Hemp is also part of the cannabis family, and most CBD products are derived from the hemp plant. Consuming hemp seeds and using products with hemp oil are both great for the skin. Is CBD oil just as beneficial?
Research on CBD is limited, and many studies conclude that more research is needed. However, the existing research shows that CBD is safe for human use and may have medicinal benefits.
The strongest evidence of CBD’s health benefits is for childhood epilepsy. Some children who have rare forms of epilepsy don’t typically respond to anti-seizure medicine, but they respond very well to CBD.   The evidence is so strong that the FDA has approved the first-ever medicine derived from cannabis to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy. 
There is also evidence that suggests CBD benefits patients with:
That last one, inflammation, is especially relevant to CBD’s potential benefits in various skin conditions. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Current research on CBD shows that it’s safe, but more research needs to be done. Some studies on CBD have had mixed results while others have had overwhelmingly promising results. It appears that CBD is safe and, in some cases, effective.
If you’re thinking about incorporating CBD products into your wellness routine, do so by adding CBD, not replacing your existing medications and supplements with CBD.
The beauty industry is quick to take notice of exotic ingredients and superfoods. CBD extract is a perfect example.
Indie beauty brands have already started formulating products with this hot new ingredient. From soaps to lotions, you can shop various CBD skincare products that promise to naturally heal, soothe pain, nourish skin, combat inflammation, fight acne, and more.
How much of these claims are based on scientific evidence?
Claims that CBD helps with pain, inflammation, and certain skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc. may be justified.
Other claims, like hydration, nourishment, and anti-aging, may be a bit of a stretch.
Since we know CBD cosmetics are generally safe and we’re starting to see indie products containing CBD oil everywhere, let’s discuss the benefits you may experience:
Inflamed skin isn’t fun. It’s painful and likely appears red and irritated. All skin types can experience inflammation, and it can vary from acute to chronic.
Like the body, CBD may help with skin inflammation. CBD alleviates inflammation in the skin by downregulating pro-inflammatory cytokine production.  Cytokines are a group of proteins that interact with the immune system and regulate inflammation. 
Pro-inflammatory cytokines are also associated with producing pain, so regulating cytokines with CBD may alleviate both inflamed and painful skin.
Similar to its anti-inflammatory effects, CBD may have anti-acne effects. 
A Hungarian researcher suggests that CBD may be more effective than Accutane as a treatment for acne.  This is good news to the many women experiencing acne in adulthood.
There is a lot of research suggesting that CBD may alleviate symptoms like dryness, itchiness, burning, and more. Therefore, CBD may bring relief to people with the following skin conditions:
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While the effects of CBD on inflammation, acne, and other skin conditions seem promising, there is a lack of scientific studies on CBD that involve topical application. There isn’t strong enough evidence that suggests that CBD in serums, creams, and other cosmetics products will yield the same results as other forms of CBD or other cosmetic ingredients.
There is ample research, however, validating the effectiveness of other, well-researched cosmetics ingredients.
For example, we know that Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, and Retinol yield the hydrating, antioxidant, and anti-aging benefits, respectively, that they claim on the packaging. The abundance of scientific evidence testing these ingredients topically confirms their safety and effectiveness.
CBD in cosmetics is definitely up-and-coming, as is the research. Until there is ample evidence of scientific studies using CBD topically, we suggest you use CBD in addition to other skincare products, not in place of them.
CBD is just one of many good anti-inflammatory ingredients. It’s hyped for good reasons, but you shouldn’t run out and replace all of your skincare products with those containing CBD.
While we personally think that there is a slight lack of research, it’s clear that CBD is not harmful. What isn’t clear is whether it’s significantly more effective than similar ingredients. It also remains to be seen if the anti-inflammatory effects can be understood as anti-aging effects, such as those of Vitamin C.
So, for now, you are safe to use CBD skincare products as long as the rest of the formula is safe and as long as you don't expect anti-aging miracles.
Got your eye on a CBD skincare product? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can take a look and help you decide.
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