CBD nourishment for gorgeous skin
Anastasiia Myronenko is a Medical Physicist actively practicing in one of the leading cancer centers in Kyiv, Ukraine. She received her master’s degree in Medical Physics at Karazin Kharkiv National University and completed Biological Physics internship at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Germany. Anastasiia Myronenko specializes in radiation therapy and is a fellow of Ukrainian Association of Medical Physicists.
Skin is something that we take for granted. Because of our skin, we can frown when we are stuck in a traffic jam, feel goosebumps when someone special touches us, test the temperature of our cuppa when we cradle it in our hands, or get angry when a giant zit pops out right in the middle of our forehead. Our skin is much more than what we see in the mirror. It does a lot of big jobs for us - regulates the temperature of our body, helps to protect us against bacteria and viruses, and responds to stressful situations just like our mind does. However, our skin also requires protection and nourishment.
With recent trends in innovative and natural products, we are seeing a rapid rise in demand for CBD skin care products. Rising awareness about the potential benefits of CBD as a main ingredient in lotions and oils is boosting the market growth of CBD skin care. The global CBD skin care market is expected to grow by $1.64 billion during 2020 - 2024. This is not surprising as skin care products containing CBD may relieve many skin conditions while naturally restoring the skin’s balance. Before we see how CBD can benefit the health and beauty of your skin, let’s understand what CBD is.
What is CBD?
The various species of cannabis plant contain over a hundred molecules known as cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa and indica plants. Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not produce any psychoactive effects. Multiple studies show that CBD has many therapeutic properties, such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and balancing effects. CBD products include oils, tinctures, edibles, and topicals. There is also a wide range of CBD skin care products that may benefit your skin.
Meet your skin
Every inch of your skin consists of 19 million skin cells, 20 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,000 nerve endings, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). It is the body’s largest organ that acts as the first defensive barrier between you and the outside world. Here are the reasons why maintaining the health of your skin is so crucial:
- A protective layer. Our skin protects our body from wind, water, and UV sunlight. It also acts as a protective barrier against water loss. Many people think dry skin is a cosmetic issue. However, if this barrier becomes cracked and broken, an exit is created for infection bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- An immune organ. Immune cells that live in our skin can recognize invading substances and organisms. They recruit white blood cells to release messages and activate a fighter or allergic response.
- A personal thermostat. Our skin helps with the body’s thermoregulation. For example, sweating helps us to cool us down when we get too hot. Considering there are up to four million sweat glands in our skin, it can release as much as two pints of fluid every day. Our skin also helps to keep us warm by tightening the pores and narrowing blood vessels, which reduces the amount of heat lost from our body through our skin.
- A health indicator. Many conditions and infections cause a rash, itching, swelling, and redness. For example, eczema and contact dermatitis can indicate an allergic reaction. Acne in adults can occur due to a hormonal disorder. Skin disorders can be caused by various conditions, such as obesity and nutritional imbalance, heart and liver disease, diabetes, and many more.
- An organ of sensation. Thanks to an extensive network of nerve cells, it can spot and relay changes in the environment. The skin contains receptors for cold, heat, pain, and touch. Damage to these nerve cells can lead to a loss of sensation.
CBD for Skin Conditions
Our bodies have a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which influences various physiological processes within us, helping to maintain an inner balance. Parts of this system include endocannabinoids (eCBs), CB1 and CB2 receptors and enzymes which are all present in tissue throughout our body, including our skin. Although ECS functions are mostly associated with the central nervous and immune systems, studies have shown that cutaneous cannabinoid signaling helps to maintain skin balance, through protective barrier creation and regeneration. CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors can be found in our hair follicles and oil glands. The ECS contributes to the growth and survival of skin cells, and the proper immune system functions in the area. Therefore, many skin conditions, including acne, allergic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema, may be related to inflammation and imbalance in the ECS.
Research shows that both endogenous cannabinoids (naturally occurring in our bodies) and phytocannabinoids (from cannabis plants) may cause various biological effects in the skin due to cannabinoid signaling, which may benefit the skin’s balance. When ingested, CBD can help with stress, anxiety, sleeping disorders, swelling, and pain due to interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the skin. If applied topically, you might not feel the effects on stress or general pain as effectively as with edibles, as CBD oil can not penetrate deeply enough into the skin to reach the bloodstream. However, CBD can interact with the receptors in the area of application and help with skin conditions by:
- Fighting bacteria
- Reducing sebum viscosity
- Reducing inflammation
- Alleviating pain and itchiness
Therefore, taking cannabinoids, such as CBD, may benefit skin conditions by preventing the breakdown of endocannabinoids and restoring endocannabinoid levels. By interacting with the ECS system, CBD can improve skin-related issues, such as sebum production, pigmentation disorders, inflammation, and immune activity.
How can CBD help with skin issues?
Skin conditions, such as acne, pigmentation and psoriasis, can be painful and distressing. Besides looking unsightly, symptoms of these conditions, such as itchiness and inflammation can make you really uncomfortable. CBD has proven itself to be a natural way to help with some skin conditions and restore the skin’s balance. Let’s see which conditions CBD can help.
As the NHC website states, acne is widespread in teenagers and young adults. Up to 95% of people aged from 11 to 30 suffer from acne to some extent. Acne is mostly related to the change in hormone levels during puberty and can start at any age. However, genes, environment, and eating habits also contribute to abnormal sebum changes.
The overproduction of sebum can lead to clogged pores and the shedding of skin cells. Bacteria that live inside pores become out of control and infect the surrounding tissue, which leads to red, inflamed bumps commonly known as acne. This is why the primary treatment for acne includes antibacterial and anti-inflammatory products.
CBD can be beneficial for acne-prone skin due to its interaction with the sebaceous glands. These glands produce sebum which is necessary for the lubrication of the skin. Sebum helps to create a physicochemical barrier and control the growth of microbiota through acid and anti-microbial lipid content. Sebaceous glands also have endocrine and immune regulatory functions, and their disturbance may lead to dermatoses, such as acne and seborrhoea, and the development of dryness-induced diseases, including atopic dermatitis. As CB2 receptors are present in sebaceous glands, cannabinoids can contribute to their balance. CBD was found to cause an anti-acne effect by normalizing the functions of the glands, reducing sebum production and causing anti-inflammatory effects.
Although CBD can inhibit the antibiotic resistance in bacteria, it is not considered antibacterial on its own. Therefore, it is better to choose CBD topicals with antibacterial compounds. For more potent results, CBD topicals can be used alongside ingestible CBD oils or tinctures.
If you have ever experienced itchiness, a rash, and red skin, you might have suffered from dermatitis. Dermatitis covers a wide range of skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis (the most common type of eczema), allergic contact dermatitis, and irritant contact dermatitis. We don’t yet know the exact cause of the condition; however, it may happen due to allergy and poor venous return. This type of inflammation can show up in the form of small blisters, while long-term cases may lead to thickening of the skin and cover the entire body.
Studies show that both CBD topicals and CBD edibles can help with this type of inflammation as well as improve the severity of itch and as a result, manage sleep loss. Due to its anti-itch, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, cannabinoids prove to have potential for the relief of dermatitis.
Psoriasis is a noncontagious chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Affected areas of the skin are red, dry, itchy, and scaly, varying from small spots to full body coverage. Psoriasis can be accompanied by non-cutaneous symptoms, such as arthritis, and its origin is still not fully understood. There is no particular cure for psoriasis, but various treatments can help alleviate the symptoms. These treatments include vitamin D3, steroid cream, UV light, and immunosuppressive medications.
Various factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, specific diseases and medications can contribute towards abnormalities, such as changes in the skin’s microbiota, pH and inflammatory cytokines IL-17 signaling, along with a disturbance in the communication between epidermal keratinocytes and immune cells of the skin. This can lead to inflammation and disorders in the proliferation and differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. As these processes are controlled by endocannabinoid signaling, CBD can inhibit the proliferation of keratinocytes, reducing the progression of psoriasis. Therefore, the use of various cannabinoids shows promising potential in psoriasis treatment.
Viral infections, fungi, bacteria, and parasites can infect the skin, causing damage, pain and inflammation. The latest research has shown that a novel CBD-infused topical formation can effectively kill bacterial infections by inhibiting the antibiotic resistance in bacteria. CBD has proven to be active against Gram-positive bacteria, including those that cause serious skin infections, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. CBD can also help to destroy the biofilm around bacteria that often makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate. Additionally, lab studies have shown CBD is less likely to cause resistance than antibiotics.
Anti-ageing and wrinkles
Wrinkles are often called the map of your life. Unfortunately, these lines and creases can also be distressing. Wrinkles come with age when skin cells divide slower, and the middle layer of the skin becomes thinner. If your wrinkles bother you, or you'd like to prevent them, there are things that can support your skin and reduce the visible signs of ageing, ranging from natural remedies, such as the use of coconut oil, to glycolic acid peels and laser resurfacing. If you are enthusiastic about all-natural remedies, you can also use CBD-infused products.
CBD has shown to regulate sebum production, so that the skin’s oil glands produce the necessary amount. The appropriate amount of sebum helps skin to stay more supple and prevents wrinkles. CBD acts as an antioxidant, slowing the signs of skin ageing. The latest research has shown that CBD, just as other antioxidants, can interrupt free radical chain reactions, seizing free radicals or making them less active. CBD is believed to cause the most potent antioxidant activity through activation, antagonization or inhibition of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. CBD can also support the activity of antioxidant enzymes by preventing a decrease in the levels of valuable microelements that may be lowered in some health conditions. The good thing is that besides using CBD topically, you can also ingest CBD to fight off free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
Hyperpigmentation is a common condition that looks like dark patches on the skin. This condition happens due to a number of reasons, the most common being sun exposure and ageing. Dark spots can also form due to liver disorders and hormonal changes. Pregnancy and birth control medications sometimes cause the skin to darken. Acne can also be a reason for a form of hyperpigmentation, leaving dark spots where the acne has been. Typical treatments include sun avoidance, using sunscreen and specific topicals which contain corticosteroids, retinol and vitamin C, or cosmetic procedures, such as laser therapy.
As CBD can help prevent and reduce inflammation, it can help reduce acne, psoriasis and eczema, which in turn makes hyperpigmentation less likely to occur. The potential of CBD to fight harmful bacteria helps to prevent infection that can lead to hyperpigmentation. The calming and hydrating effects of CBD helps to keep the skin more elastic and firm, which also helps to prevent pigmentation. Recent research has shown that dysregulation of ECS elements may contribute to the development of vitiligo, a skin disease associated with localized or generalized de-pigmentation. Therefore, CBD also has the potential to reduce the risk of pigmentation disorders.
Hair growth disorders
Hair follicles are unique tunnel-shaped structures in the outer layer of the skin. They act as a cradle since hair grows at the bottom of a hair follicle. Hair follicles are characterized by hair life phases known as the hair cycle. Termination or prolongation of any step of this cycle can lead to hair growth disorders, such as hair loss (alopecia) or unwanted hair growth.
Just like sebaceous glands, hair follicles can be influenced by cannabinoids as cannabinoid-responsive channels are present in human hair follicles and their disorder may contribute to the development of alopecia. Some experimental and pilot clinical data suggest that topically applied CBD might also cause beneficial effects in alopecia due to its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. However, further studies, as well as well-controlled clinical trials, are needed. CBD may also help your body to support conditions for hair growth, such as stress reduction, inflammation alleviation, and sleep support. Further, CBD has shown to increase cerebral blood flow, which helps to bring more nutrients to hair follicles and remove toxins, allowing new growth and supporting hair strength.
Scrapes, burns, and wounds are inevitable in daily life and each can be treated in different ways. As long as the injured area has dried up or scabbed over, then CBD topicals are a natural way to treat skin injuries. In the future, antibacterial CBD ointment could become a natural topical for all skin healing, however, it is important to note that, at the moment, applying topical CBD products to open wounds should be avoided, as it can increase the risk of infection and cause more pain. For now, the CBD within products may be able to reduce inflammation and boost healing by offering support on the cellular level. Additionally, the moisturizing components in CBD creams can relieve burns and dry areas of skin, speeding up recovery. CBD can support collagen production, which prevents scar tissue and helps to reduce the appearance of existing scars due to improvement in hydration and elasticity. Wounds are often accompanied by pain and swelling which CBD topicals and ingestibles can alleviate due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
What CBD products should I use?
There are many types of CBD skin care products on the market — from eye patches and face creams to formulations for more severe conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis. If you are ready to dive into the world of CBD skin care products then here are some of the most common CBD skin care products to try.
CBD oils contain CBD and as well as other beneficial oils, such as coconut, shea butter lavender or peppermint. CBD oils can benefit your skin and hair while reducing the appearance of redness and irritation. Rich formulations help to hydrate, soothe and calm your scalp and skin and protect it from environmental damage. There are also special formulations with antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties that are good for healing and inflammation and may benefit acne-prone skin and alleviate skin irritations.
CBD face creams, balms, and body lotions have a light-weight, creamy consistency, designed for quick absorption. They combine CBD with other soothing ingredients, such as aloe vera and vitamins to restore and hydrate your skin.
CBD serums have a super-concentrated but light texture to give your skin a substantial moisture boost. The combination of CBD and other beneficial oils, such as hemp seed oil, helps to regulate your natural oil production, restore balance, and hydrate the skin. Serums will also help reduce inflammation and are suitable for use on problematic skin. There are also serums for specific needs, such as CBD serums that nourish the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and undereye puffiness.
CBD body washes
CBD-enriched body washes are perfect for a refreshing and revitalising effect. Shower gels and soaps will boost your energy in the morning, hydrate and soothe your skin. CBD face and body cleansers are specifically created to clean clogged pores and leave you feeling fresh.
To ensure a good night’s sleep, take a relaxing soak in the bath with a CBD bath bomb in the evening and allow the oil to seep into your skin. The CBD will penetrate the upper layers of your skin and get to work on your localized cannabinoid receptors. Not only will a bath bomb soothe your senses and prepare you for slumber, but the oil and terpenes provide anxiety and pain relief as well as the potential to increase blood circulation.
CBD lip balms
Lip balms enriched with CBD extract smoothes, softens, and replenishes dry lips, giving them a hydrating CBD boost. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can help to soothe chapped lips while the antibacterial and antiviral properties help to protect from infection - this is particularly helpful if you have a tendency to suffer from cold sores.
CBD body butters
CBD body butter is designed to provide the best moisturising experience. Enriched with other beneficial components, such as shea and cocoa butter, CBD body butters help to replenish and rehydrate the skin intensively while reducing irritation.
CBD-infused eye patches are designed to be applied below the eye and enjoyed for approximately 20 minutes of pamper time. These hydrate and brighten the skin beneath the eye, wakening the cells and reducing puffiness. Other transdermal patches can be applied to venous areas of the body, such as the inner wrist or the ankle and worn for 24 hours. These patches provide a slow release of controlled amounts of CBD into your bloodstream through the skin. Continuous relief day and night, targets the source of pain and enables long-term treatment without the need to remember to keep taking doses.
Ingestible CBD products
As long as you do not exceed 70mg of CBD a day, you can complement your CBD bodycare with CBD oils, tinctures, and edibles for a total body, balancing and relieving effect. Sublingual oils that are designed to be placed beneath the tongue are particularly effective in offering high bioavailability as they get straight into the bloodstream. They can also be added to food and drinks but the strength and effectiveness of the CBD will be lessened during the digestion process. Drinks like CBD spritzers and snacks, like CBD cookies and gummies offer on-the-go relief throughout the day.
There are lots of skin care sets and bundles that combine various products from CBD creams to CBD-infused eye patches so that you can enjoy a holistic CBD experience and try out a few different products while you find which ones work best for you.
How do I choose the best CBD skin care?
With so many CBD skin care products available on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start but that’s where we can help with some tips to help you focus your attention while shopping.
All CBD-infused products are created with the use of full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, with no other cannabinoids or naturally occurring compounds, such as flavonoids or terpenes. This form of CBD oil is good for facial skin as it is pure and does not clog pores. On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD oil contains all hemp compounds, including trace amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oil includes all cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids from hemp, but no THC. These two types provide an entourage effect where the compounds work together to enhance the effects of one another.
Look out for the words broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, cannabidiol, hemp CBD or hemp extract on the label or in the online description. Hemp seed oil or Cannabis sativa oil are rich in Vitamin A, D and E as well as other essential fatty acids, which may benefit mature and irritated skin. Although these products contain CBD, they have it in a significantly lower concentration than you get if you use CBD isolate. CBD oil taken from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant is a lighter oil in comparison to greasier hemp seed oil. On the other hand, hemp oil contains more essential fatty acids than CBD oil.
The next step is to check other ingredients that are used in the product. For example, CBD oil is usually blended with a carrier oil, such as hemp or coconut oil. Coconut oil may not be the best choice for people with acne-prone skin, as it can clog the pores and trigger breakouts.
The most important factor to consider is the quality of the product. According to a 2017 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 60 per cent of CBD products purchased online are mislabeled. Although many of these products are properly formulated and contain high concentrations of various cannabinoids, many of them do not have enough CBD to deliver the effect advertised on the bottle. The best way to ensure that you are getting what you paid for is to ask for the Certificate of Analysis (COA). These certificates detail the tests which have been carried out on the product (usually by a third-party) and will confirm the CBD profile. This way, you can be sure that the product is safe and contains the exact amount of CBD claimed on the label.
Should I expect any side effects from using CBD skin care products?
CBD is generally well-tolerated; however, when ingested in large quantities, it may cause minor side effects which include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and fatigue. However, CBD skin care products have not been shown to cause significant side effects since topical CBD products only penetrate the first layers of the skin and do not go through the digestive system.
However, CBD skin care products may contain additional ingredients, such as artificial colourings, that may cause irritation or redness. If you do experience an allergic reaction, irritation, or rash, from using a CBD skin care product, consult a dermatologist for advice.
CBD skin care can easily complement your daily skin care routine. Since there are so many different products, you can always find a CBD product that works for you. CBD skin care will not make you high or cause any psychoactive effects like THC does.
To start your joyful CBD journey, follow these tips:
- Consult with your doctor or dermatologist before applying any CBD products;
- Make sure you get CBD skin care from a reputable brand;
- Check third-party lab tests to make sure products contain the claimed amount of CBD and no harmful chemicals;
- Check the list of ingredients to ensure there are no ingredients you may be allergic or sensitive to;
- Start with one product or with a lower CBD percentage and increase it gradually.
Pamper, hydrate and nourish your skin with the best CBD skin care and apply whenever your skin is in need of a little LTC. Take care and be well.