While you’ve probably heard of people using CBD for things like managing stress, anxiety and mood support, you may be new to the world of CBD skincare. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and is one of your first forms of defence from the environment. It takes on the daily strain of protecting you from the elements, regulating your temperature and also serves to release a few toxins as well as pheromones. It’s also a big indicator of how well your body is performing on the inside too.
Things that are a part of your daily lifestyle like too little sleep or too much stress factor into your skin’s health. Other factors that you can’t control so easily like hormonal imbalances and environmental damage will also influence the appearance of your skin. Whether you experience things like dark circles, irritation, dryness or dullness, your body can benefit from CBD physically as much as it can mentally.
Things that affect your skin:
Skin damage from outside factors
Aside from sleep and diet, there are a few factors you can’t easily control - one of them is your environment. Your skin is porous, meaning it acts like a sponge to whatever you put on it. Whether you live in a city or the country, your skin will absorb some of what’s in the air too. Things like sunlight and air pollution contain free radicals which are unstable molecules that interact with the fatty cells in your epidermis⁽¹⁾. When this happens, it can affect collagen and cell structure. Physical effects of this are decreased elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles, irritation and dullness. To negate this, applying topical antioxidants can help neutralise some of the damage and protect your skin.
Cortisol, stress and how your insides affect your outsides
Your skin looking and feeling great largely comes down to moisture levels and collagen. Collagen is a protein that can be broken down not only by free radicals but some of the body’s other hormones, one of the main ones being cortisol. If you have a stressful lifestyle it’s quite possible your cortisol levels are consistently higher than your body needs them to be. By using CBD to balance the stress hormone levels⁽³⁾ in your body and treating things like dryness and fine lines topically, you can double down on the benefits CBD can have on your skin.
How CBD works with your skin:
CBD interacts with a system in your body called the endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of two kinds of receptors that are spread throughout your body, with each kind performing slightly different functions. CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the brain and nervous system, they regulate things like mood, stress levels and memory function. CB2 receptors are spread throughout your immune system particularly on your white blood cells but are also found in your spleen and intestine. They support your immunity and regulate inflammation in the body⁽²⁾.
Your body naturally produces its own cannabinoids, one of which is anandamide. If you’re low in this cannabinoid you can supplement with an external source like CBD. When your endocannabinoid system is supported your body will be able to perform normal functions like healing and reducing inflammation more easily. Your skin has both CB1 and CB2 receptors⁽⁴⁾ meaning you can target skin conditions at their source.
Why people are using CBD for their skin
- Eczema, redness, pain and irritation. CBD is naturally calming and anti-inflammatory, making it a natural solution to more harsh steroid creams that can gradually thin the skin over time. For things like eczema CBD is a gentle way of alleviating some of the pain and discomfort that can come from dry, red and cracked skin. Look for products containing CBD and other hydrating ingredients like shea butter. Our pick would be the Honest Hemp CBD Balm.
- Fine lines and premature skin aging. CBD is an antioxidant, meaning it helps reduce free radical damage from things like the sun and environmental pollution. In turn this supports your skin’s collagen levels, meaning it can slow the onset of things like fine lines and wrinkles. Using a product with hydrating ingredients, peptides and CBD is an ideal option for those looking to slow the signs of aging. We’d recommend the MGC Derma Hyaluronic and Peptides Day Cream.
- Acne. Due to its naturally antibacterial properties, skincare with CBD can help reduce acne causing bacteria as well as reducing redness and irritation. It also helps regulate sebum production so skin is more balanced⁽⁵⁾. Some skin care products can contain natural plant extracts which may be too active for more sensitive skin, or more harsh ingredients that may not be as well suited to combination skin types. CBD is suitable for skin that’s oily, dry and sensitive skin too. For the symptoms of acne, we’d recommend a product with hyaluronic acid and CBD for its hydrating and skin balancing properties like the Somnio Acne Serum.
How you can use CBD for skin conditions
If things are particularly bad, you may want to combine CBD products for a more compounded effect with things like drops and topicals. When you have a poor diet that’s lacking in veggies, drinking enough water and is too high in processed sugar, it shows up in your skin. In the same way topical applications can help support normal skin function at the source, you can also support your skin from within.
CBD is naturally anti-inflammatory and by combining both topical and oral administration, you can reach more of your cannabinoid receptors supplement your system in two ways. While your skin absorbs and breaks down around 4% - 10% of what you put on it, oral drops have a much higher absorption rate of 30% - 40%. For more severe skin conditions and complaints combined dosage can be more effective.
- Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Distribution of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) on sensory nerve fibers and adnexal structures in human skin - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The World of Hemp website contains general information about diet, health, wellbeing and nutrition. This is general information and should be considered as is and not as specific medical advice to treat specific conditions. World of Hemp makes no representations or warranties in relation to the health information on this website and as such you should not rely on this information as an alternative to advice given by a doctor or specialist medical practitioner. Read disclaimer in full.