Whether its chocolates, cocktails, candles or clothing, CBD is everywhere and in everything you can possibly think of. And now the buzzy ingredient is taking over the world of beauty and skincare. From serums and sunscreen to chapsticks, creams and cleansers, there is an array of hemp-infused products popping up in beauty supply stores everywhere.
According to a recent Market Watch report, the global CBD cosmetics market is estimated to be valued at over $580 million, with North America leading the way. And it’s expected to hit $1.7 billion by 2025, predicts Grand View Research. Safe to say, the CBD trend isn’t going to die down anytime soon.
If you’re considering hopping on the CBD bandwagon too, but are unsure about where to start, here’s a primer on all things CBD skincare:
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in cannabis plants (eg: marijuana and hemp). It’s one of the two primary active ingredients of cannabis, the other one being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Unlike THC, pure CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it doesn’t make you feel high.
Research shows that CBD may be effective in alleviating anxiety, chronic inflammation and pain, insomnia and some rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Moreover, a long-term study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that CBD may help prevent cognitive decline. In addition, according to a review published in the Neurotherapeutics journal, CBD may also be effective in treating substance use disorder.
Why is it good for your skin?
Known for its healing properties, “cannabidiol offers some serious antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which can be beneficial in treating skin concerns like inflammation, dryness and free radical damage,” says Ildi Pekar, NYC-based aesthetician and founder of her own eponymous skincare line.
CBD might also be effective in fighting acne as it helps reduce the production of sebum in the skin. Additionally, studies indicate that cannabidiol may be effective in treating eczema and psoriasis as well.
While the research on CBD’s benefits is fairly limited, it’s generally considered safe to use topically. “There is likely no harm in continuing to use a CBD-infused product you like,” tells Dr. Adarsh Mudgil, a double board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology. “If you happen to have a reaction from a CBD topical product, it’s likely not from the CBD itself, but some other ingredient like a botanical,” explains the skincare specialist.
How to choose the right CBD skincare product?
All cannabidiol-infused products are formulated using full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate.
“Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the compounds found in hemp, including trace amounts of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, contains a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids derived from hemp, but no THC,” explains Ed Donnelly, CBD expert and founder of AmourCBD.
Meanwhile, “CBD isolate is the purest version of CBD. It doesn’t contain any other compounds that you find in a hemp plant,” tells Pekar. “This form of CBD oil is best for facial skin as it’s pure, doesn’t clog pores and is packed with skin-rejuvenating antioxidants,” adds the aesthetician.
Look for products that mention “cannabidiol”, “hemp extract”, “broad-spectrum CBD”, “full-spectrum CBD” or “hemp CBD” on the label. Also, note that hemp seed oil or cannabis Sativa seed oil isn’t the same thing as CBD oil. “CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. It’s a finer and lighter oil as compared to hemp seed oil that tends to be greasier,” explains Pekar.
Another essential step is to determine the amount of CBD in a product. “For instance, if you are looking for lotions and oils for pain relief or anxiety, the CBD percentage needs to be higher in order to be effective,” says Pekar.
The most important factor to consider, however, is the quality of the product you’re purchasing. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 60% of online CBD products are mislabeled. So, “make sure you trust the brand and have confidence that the product is safe and that it contains exactly what the label claims it contains,” says Donnelly. “It’s best to always opt for products that have been tested in a third-party lab,” suggests Pekar. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when buying a CBD product.