4 Reasons To Use CBD in Your Skincare Regimen, According to an Esthetician
Updated: May 5
It's even more useful than we thought.
Esthetician and nutritionist Hannah Hatcher recently wrote a guest post on the effect of CBD on the skin for the Colorado-based company, Infinite CBD. The article comprehensively describes the biological mechanisms behind CBD's wondrous effects on the complexion, helping with everything from aging to acne. After getting schooled on the role of CBD in skincare, it makes sense why these products are both so popular and effective.
Here are 4 reasons why you should be using CBD in your skincare regimen, according to an esthetician. Then peruse some products to shop below.
1. CBD is a potent antioxidant that protects against free radical damage.
The incorporation of an antioxidant serum or product is one of the fundamental steps that dermatologists recommend in an anti-aging skincare regimen. This is because antioxidants help mitigate free radical damage, which is essentially the aging process of the skin cell. As Hatcher reveals, CBD is an even more potent antioxidant than vitamins A, C, and E. This makes it an excellent source of protection against free radical damage.
She writes that free radicals are unstable particles whose effect on skin cells can be likened to a "bull in a china shop." They are caused by oxidative stress, which, she reveals, is basically caused by everything we do to varying degrees. Some of the major sources of oxidative stress include environmental aggressors (i.e. harsh weather, UV-exposure, and pollution), while our behaviors (i.e. smoking cigarettes, eating fried foods) contribute, too.
She notes that our skin cells possess intrinsic sources of antioxidants that can protect against some of the damage, including the synergistically-functioning duo: vitamins C and E. However, we still have to supplement our bodily sources of antioxidants to prevent cell damage and promote repair. Without doing so, we ultimately risk damaging our cell DNA, which can lead to mutation and serious illness.
Thus, CBD is an incredible source of protection against one of the fundamental causes of cell aging: free radical damage.
2. CBD reduces inflammation in the skin which slows down cellular aging.
Hemp-sourced CBD contains a high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids and GLA, which both play a role in decreasing inflammation via our hormones. The body typically produces an inflammatory response in reaction to infection, but chronic, systemic inflammation is the source of serious health problems — including autoimmune illness. Essentially, the longer your skin is exposed to inflammation, the worse off it will be.
On the skin, inflammatory responses and reactions range from rashes, to hives, to acne, to eczema. But these pesky reactions are much than an uncomfortable nuisance; they actually accelerate the aging process of the skin. Hatcher writes that inflammation releases enzymes that break down its collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid — three structural components that prevent wrinkles, sagging, and plumpness, respectively.
"Remember, if we can calm the inflammation, we can stop the free radical damage which, in turn, will stop the breakdown of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid," Hatcher explains. "CBD can help us protect these valuable structural elements, thus being an integral anti-aging ingredient."
3. CBD helps prevent acne by balancing oil production.
CBD is also great for treating acne because of the balancing effect it has on our complexions. Hatcher shares the findings of a 2014 study that revealed that CBD suppresses the production of oil in our sebocytes, or the oil-producing skin cells in the sebaceous gland.
Hatcher also explains some of the underlying conditions that lead to breakouts. It begins with retention hyperkeratosis, a term that refers to the accumulation of excess skin cells — potentially from accelerated cell turnover and/or insufficient exfoliation. When these cells come into contact with sebum, or oil, they form a sticky substance that plugs up the pore.
Once the clog is formed, oxygen becomes unable to reach the follicle. A lack of oxygen causes Propionium ("P. acnes") bacterium to thrive, resulting in swelling, redness, and inflammation.
We already know how CBD helps reduce redness and inflammation. But creating less oil — which can be caused by an oily skin type, over-exfoliation, or if you have dehydrated skin — has a balancing effect on the overall complexion.
All in all, less oil leads to fewer clogs, leading to less congestion and pimples.
4. CBD balances your hormones when applied topically.
"CBD can help maintain hormonal balance," Hatcher writes. How? "[B]y interacting with the neurotransmitters directly linked to hormone regulation and production." This is truly groundbreaking news to anyone that suffers from hormonal acne or thyroid problems. In fact, this is probably the most exciting and unexpected effect of CBD yet.
Spikes in both estrogen and testosterone are linked to an over-production of oil leading to clogs and breakouts. Hatcher explains that surges of estrogen associated with PMS can lead to thick, sticky oil secretions — particularly in the chin region. These skin eruptions occur in sync with our menstrual cycles, and can mar complexions that are otherwise clear throughout other weeks of the month.
Furthermore, acneic skin types feature higher levels of testosterone, even in women. Testosterone is converted to DHT on the skin, which leads to too much oil production, clogs, and breakouts. This cause of acne can be a bane to treat, for which dermatologists prescribe the diuretic medication, Spironolactone.
As Hatcher explains, the omega-6 fatty acids and GLA stimulate a class of hormones that slow the production of another, pro-inflammatory class of hormones. Thus, it indirectly cues a hormonal process that stops a cause of inflammation in the body.
If you want to try CBD in your skincare regimen, the creme-de-la-creme are featured below.
Lueur CBD Face Serum, $80
Oil blends are like potent, filler-free nutrients for your face, and this skin-nourishing concoction also features CBD. The selected oils help with acne scars, inflammation, dryness, and more — and will leave your skin feeling incredibly soft by the morning.
If you aren't into oils, this is a serum that I loved using after Clear + Brilliant laser treatments. The company creates each batch in sync with the moon cycles and consider it "vibrationally alive" skincare.
This is an incredible overnight mask. It is extremely gentle because of the 422 mg CBD it contains, and it contains anti-acne salicylic acid that dissolves away dead skin cells. Plus, the antioxidant vitamin A accelerates cell turnover naturally, fading scars and smoothing fine lines.
Oil cleansers are fantastic for removing makeup, oil, and excess grime from the face without stripping the skin barrier. It works best to remove it using a warm wash cloth.
Whether you use this on its own, like a topical spot treatment for blemishes, or add a drop or two to your moisturizer at night, this potent formulation features the highest dose of CBD.
The bonus? Nanotized CBD absorbs quickly.
This is a beauty editor-beloved, clean beauty brand containing 500 mg full-spectrum CBD. It's an award-winner and the founder is wonderful.
If you suffer from dry, chapped lips, give this balm a try. Or, try it on your cuticles!
This is a worthwhile choice for acne-sufferers because it contains multiple exfoliating acids, while the 100 mg CBD makes the formula gentler.
If you're looking for an affordable way to give CBD skincare a try, add this to any product you already own.
The makers of one of the OG CBD lip balm just launched their first facial serum with 300 mg CBD.
If you want to try a serum and moisturizer together, this indie company from Philly offers a great deal for the combo featuring Colorado-sourced hemp CBD.
The LA-made, clean beauty brand's solution for chapped lips also boasts incredible branding.
Some of these items contain affiliate links which means I might receive a small commission. Emphasis on small.