Everything You Should Know About CBD Skincare

Your complexion can tell you a lot about your overall health. As the body's largest organ tasked with protecting us from our environment and regulating our body temperature and hormones, many things can go wrong, leading to undesirable skin conditions that can affect your sense of self-confidence.

The skincare industry is massive—and it's the first to jump on up-and-coming active ingredients that have any inkling of potential towards a bright, clear, and youthful complexion.

While the research surrounding CBD for skin health is still fairly new, evidence supports that CBD could make for a powerful ingredient worth adding to your beauty routine.

In this post, we break down everything you need to know about CBD skincare.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the numerous phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

These plant-based cannabinoids closely resemble neurotransmitters in a system that exists in all animals (except for insects), the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system's job is to keep the body in homeostasis (balance) by relaying messages throughout the body that govern our metabolism, memory and concentration, hormones, sleep, stress, and much more.

Is CBD Good for Your Skin?

There are endocannabinoid receptors in the skin cells, which means applying CBD-infused products to the skin can help support skin health [3].

Most people that use CBD for cosmetic reasons experience no harmful effects.

But if you have a skin-related medical condition, it’s recommended that you talk to your doctor or a skin specialist before using CBD.

Benefits of CBD Skin Care

There isn't much research surrounding CBD and its benefits towards skincare specifically, but it does show a lot of potential, and we can see why skincare junkies are welcoming it into their beauty routines.

1. CBD May Help With Hormonal Acne

Acne is a common hormone condition in teenagers and young adults. During these years, the surge of androgen hormones leads to an excess of sebum production, combined with surface bacteria, which can clog pores, resulting in whiteheads and pimples.

CBD has been investigated for supporting acne reduction. Researchers believe that CBD reinforces the ECS's job in regulating sebum production. Moreover, CBD may help keep up a healthy inflammatory response, which can reduce irritation on the skin [4].

2. CBD May Soothe Skin Sensitivity

People with sensitive skin are prone to dryness, redness, and flaking.

Many CBD skincare brands are including the compound for sensitive skin-type products for CBD's potential anti-inflammatory properties, which help with irritation and redness.

3. CBD May Keep Skin Looking Fresh

Most people would opt for youthful skin for as long as they can.

The skin on our faces is much thinner than the rest of our body, and it's more exposed to the sun's harmful UV rays that damage skin cell DNA, leading to premature aging.

Its been suggested through clinical research that CBD has antioxidant properties, helping it fight free-radical damage, slowing down the aging process [5].

Is CBD Approved for Managing Skin Disorders?

Most of the positive effects associated with CBD are identified mostly through anecdotal experiences.

Research into CBD benefits is not conclusive, but it looks more and more promising.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved CBD products for skin concerns. If you have a pre-existing medical problem, you should visit your doctor for advice.

If you encounter CBD products claiming to cure, mitigate, or treat skin conditions—steer clear. CBD is by no means an elixir of youth.

The skin is an organ that's prone to change with internal and external factors. To maintain good skin health, it's important you take care of your diet, manage stress levels, drink water, and protect your skin from the sun.

How to Choose CBD Skincare Products Based On Your Concerns

There seems to be new CBD-infused skincare popping up every day. We're here to give you some insight on how to shop for CBD beauty products based on your skin concerns.

  • Read the ingredients
  • Look for the hemp source
  • Choose the right CBD potency
  • Choose a hemp extract to suit your needs

1. Read The Ingredient List

A one-size-fits-all beauty routine doesn't exist because everyone's genetic makeup and lifestyles are so different, which means you should pay attention to the other ingredients to make sure it suits your skin concerns.

For dry skin that can't get enough moisture, look for a formula with hyaluronic acid—it's a popular skincare ingredient for its humectant properties, which means it helps trap water into the skin for deep moisture. This ingredient can help with dry, sensitive skin types and aging skin.

Vitamin C is another popular ingredient, but it's a finicky one because it degrades quickly. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant compound and helps with brightening skin appearance and fading acne scars.

While it might seem counterintuitive to add oil to oily skin types, some oils can help regulate sebum production, like argan oil, hemp seed oil, and jojoba oil.

2. Find Out Where The Hemp Comes From

CBD products are priced with a premium price tag—but not all are worth the money. The hemp source is an important factor in determining the quality of the CBD extract.

Look for brands that are transparent about their hemp sourcing. Hemp is sensitive to its growing environment, which means if it's grown with pesticides or contaminated soil, those compounds can end up in the product.

3. Consider The CBD Potency

You don't want to pay top dollar for a CBD cream with a speckle of CBD in it.

The company should provide a Certificate of Analysis by an accredited third-party lab to show the CBD content. To get your money's worth for noticeable effects, it should contain at least 5 mg of CBD per mL in your serum, cream, or lotion.

4. What Type Of Hemp Extract

Hemp is rich in over a hundred cannabinoids and terpenes that may offer wellness benefits. CBD happens to be the most abundant compound.

Full-spectrum CBD extracts are the least processed form of hemp extract. It maintains most naturally occurring compounds and is believed to produce stronger and balanced effects when used internally and applied topically [2].

Next up, we have broad-spectrum CBD extracts, which undergoes an extra processing step from full-spectrum to isolate and remove all traces of THC. While you don't have to worry about getting high from your CBD skincare products, some states have stricter laws on THC content.

Broad-spectrum extracts can still boost the overall effects of CBD, thanks to the diverse cannabinoid and terpene profile.

CBD isolate or distillate is CBD in its purest form. While it still provides the benefits of CBD, it isn't going to be as potent as the other two extract types listed since there are no other hemp compounds to back up its effects.

CBD for Skincare: The Takeaway

Everyone wants to put their best face forward.

With the beauty industry's interest in CBD as an active ingredient to boost sales, it can be difficult to read between the marketing jargon to understand what CBD can do and how to use it effectively.

The research surrounding CBD's benefits towards skin health is still fairly new, but it looks promising. It's still important to understand that it's not a miracle compound, and the best way to care for your skin is to ensure you're getting the right nutrition, managing your stress, and blocking out those harmful UV rays.

There are a lot of great CBD skincare products out there, but they may not be appropriate for every skin type—Look at the whole ingredient list for other active ingredients, check that it has an effective CBD content, and read reviews about the company on third-party websites to see how other people enjoy the shopping experience and products.


  • 1. Brand, E. J., & Zhao, Z. (2017). Cannabis in Chinese medicine: are some traditional indications referenced in ancient literature related to cannabinoids?. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 108.
  • 2. Ferber, S. G., Namdar, D., Hen-Shoval, D., Eger, G., Koltai, H., Shoval, G., ... & Weller, A. (2020). The “entourage effect”: terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Current neuropharmacology, 18(2), 87-96.
  • 3. Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 927.
  • 4. Oláh, A., Tóth, B. I., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A. G., Czifra, G., ... & Bíró, T. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. The Journal of clinical investigation, 124(9), 3713-3724.
  • 5. Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2020). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1), 21.



The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made regarding these products. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant to substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.

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