By Heleayner Davies
Without a doubt, CBD is one of the most buzzed about words in the lifestyle and beauty industries at the moment. This science-backed, anti-inflammatory ingredient claims to soothe anxiety, reduce acne and even ease period cramps, something we explored in detail on our CBD Myth or Reality article. Sounds like heaven, right?
CBD has become incredibly popular in the world of wellness. From serums to cleansers and oral drops, there doesn’t seem to be an area of the industry that this rather alluring ingredient hasn’t infiltrated its way into.
But, there is a lot of confusion around CBD in skincare as it is still a relatively niche trend with many people not knowing how to use it, what to buy or how to make sure what you’re purchasing is actually, well, legit. That’s ok though, because we have taken a deeper-dive into the wondrous world of CBD to answer some of your most pressing questions. What is CBD? Is it sustainable? Why should I include it in my skincare routine? We’ve got you covered.
What is CBD?
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a derivative of the Cannabis Sativa plant or rather, marijuana. It is a naturally occurring chemical that is included in a variety of items such as coffee, sheet masks and even chocolate (that’s me sold).
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Will it get me high?’ The answer to that my friend, is no. Since it lacks the psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is completely legal and will not send you into a trance.
Although research is still very limited, studies have shown that CBD has the ability to interact with our bodies natural cannabinoid receptors that are part of our endocannabinoid system, which may help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and help induce great a night’s sleep (I’m into it).
If you suffer from chronic muscle pain, CBD may help you out here too. Research by the European Journal Of Pain showed that when applied to the skin CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation from arthritis. Convinced? Thought so.
What are the benefits of CBD in skincare?
In addition to its calming properties, CBD is also anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and high in antioxidants (that’s a lot of anti’s). In terms of it being high in antioxidants; this is where things get scientific, CBD provides the missing particle for a free radical (ageing skin cells) to bond with, preventing it from going on to cause further DNA damage and subsequently slow down the ageing process.
A study conducted by The Journal Of Clinical Investigation, found that CBD was a ‘promising therapeutic agent’ for acne, concluding that it actually has the ability to inhibit and prevent excess oil and sebum production. No wonder skincare brands have snapped it up.
What is the difference between CBD and hemp oil?
CBD and hemp oil are derived from the same plant, however they are incredibly different. CBD is made from the entire cannabis plant including the mature flowers, stalks and leaves whereas hemp oil is only derived from the seeds.
Hemp oil is often referred to as ‘hemp seed oil’ or ‘cannabis sativa seed’ and contains zero to very few cannabinoids. Therefore, it is simply used in skincare for its hydrating and nourishing properties as it is rich in omega fatty acids that help to repair and attract moisture to the skin.
Now, shopping for CBD infused skincare isn’t as easy as you may think. Due to a lack of regulation, navigating the world of CBD skincare can be a complicated process. Although many brands are creating effective and legitimate formulations, there are others who are…a bit suspicious shall we say.
What should I look out for when buying CBD skincare?
The first thing that you should do when buying CBD infused skin care is research the brand thoroughly. If they’re transparent about how they source their CBD as well as it’s potency, then you know they’re probably legit.
Anything from 100 milligrams or above seems to be the most common and effective amount, although there is currently no agreement on how much CBD the skin needs per application (scientists, help us out here will you)?
ALWAYS look at the ingredients list, as a lot of companies have been accused of ‘greenwashing’ and misleading consumers into thinking that their often, rather pricey products have CBD in them, when in actual fact they don’t contain a single drop (I feel betrayed).
Whilst there are currently no regulations on how these terms are used, many brands disclose their CBD as one of the following:
- CBD Isolate: Pure CBD that is separated from all other phytocannabinoids including THC.
- Full Spectrum CBD: Contains everything in the hemp plant including CBD and all naturally occurring cannabinoids, with trace amounts of other cannabinoids including THC and antioxidants.
- Broad Spectrum CBD: Contains terpenes, essential oils and other cannabinoids, however no THC is detectable.
Is CBD sustainable?
As you may have already gathered, CBD is cropping up (literally) in an abundance of beauty products, making it very high in demand. But, is it truly sustainable?
Well, the founder of EcoGen Laboratories, Joseph Nunez thinks so. The hemp plant only needs roughly ‘25 to 30 inches of rainwater to survive.’ This is a significant amount less than most commercially farmed crops such as cotton, making it an incredibly fast-growing plant that can adapt to any climate and does not require the use of toxic fertilisers and pesticides (hallelujah).
What’s more, the hemp plant is essentially zero waste and very versatile as the entire plant is used to not only make CBD, but other materials such as paper, fabric and even energy.
The future of CBD and skincare
It is obvious that CBD has quickly become one of the most disruptive ingredients in the beauty industry, particularly in skincare. In fact, cannabis market intelligence firm, Prohibition Partners, revealed that the CBD skincare market is predicted to increase from €644.4 million (2018 figures) to €870.5 million by 2024 – representing 10% of the total global skincare market.
At present, the smaller and independent beauty brands have largely dominated developments and innovation in the CBD beauty sector, with brands such as Holland & Barrett launching their own CBD beauty range.
According to Alexandra Curley, head of insights at Prohibition Partners, large multinational companies such as Estee Lauder, Clinique and L’Oreal ‘were hesitant to enter an industry that is fraught with so many regulatory hurdles,’ adding that this could ‘potentially block future growth potential.’
However, it is possible that these larger mainstream brands could become involved in the CBD market, with many investors already making agreements with beauty brands to launch CBD cosmetics, says Prohibition Partners.
So, now you’re schooled in skincare’s hottest ingredient, check out our top picks of some our favourite CBD skin care products.
1. Bybi CBD skin booster
A day-to-night booster that contains 100mg of CBD in hemp oil, for blemish-prone and stressed skin in need of some calm. Described as ‘supplements for your skin’, Bybi’s boosters can be used by mixing a couple of drops into your favourite serums, masks or moisturisers.
You can also apply directly to the skin as it works as a great smoothing and glow-giving base for foundation. Also, note the budget-friendly price tag. The perfect introduction for anyone trying CBD for the first time.
Recharge your skin while you sleep with these award-winning (and beauty editor approved) night drops from Votary. Perfect for those with dry, redness-prone and sensitive skin (AKA, me) these 100% natural drops contain 2% pure CBD along with Rosemary leaf extract and Strawberry seed oil to boost your skin’s overnight recovery, so you wake up to super soothed and glowing skin. Every girl’s dream.
3. Ohana CBD all-in-one wonder balm
Founded by a woman named Jasmin Thomas, who discovered the pain-relieving properties of CBD when she was diagnosed with MS in 2015. Since then, Ohana have developed 4 products, each one made from natural ingredients and containing only the purest CBD.
Their All-In One Wonder Balm promises to soothe any dry, rough and flaky skin patches. It contains a whopping 250mg of CBD isolate along with Arnica Oil, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter and Coconut Oil to leave the skin feeling soothed, comforted and sweetly scented.
4. Nay Skincare
Recently founded by best friends Nicole and Sophie, after they discovered the powerful healing and soothing benefits of CBD, while treating acne and stretch marks they encountered during their pregnancies.
They combined this research with their passion for skincare and low and behold, Nay was born. The collection currently consists of four skin-calming and antioxidant-rich products infused with CBD and other natural ingredients including rosehip, orange blossom and pomegranate oil:
Wanderlust Face Serum
Moonlight Massage Candle
Orange Blossom Body Oil
Velvet Sky Lip Balm
5. Ho Karan l’antidote CBD and pro-collagen oil
Wave goodbye to dehydration, redness and dullness with this serum by french CBD experts Ho Karan. This 2 in 1 product contains 1000mg of CBD along with vegan marine microalgae extract to help stimulate collagen production and improve elasticity.
Use topically at night to deeply hydrate and moisturise the skin, or apply a few drops under the tongue to fight anxiety and promote a restful night’s sleep whilst nourishing the skin from the inside out. Glowing skin and a calm mind? Sign me up!
So, if you’re suffering from sensitive, acne-prone skin or simply want to introduce some calm into your life (don’t we all), then why not give CBD a try?
If you’re already a fan of CBD skincare, let us know your favourite products in the comments below!