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CBD Skincare: Is It Legit? [Infographic]

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’re well caught up with the rise in popularity of CBD, especially in the beauty scene. It’s everywhere you look – on the shelves at your favorite drugstore, as a treatment at all the fancy spas, and in facial oils, lip balms, body lotions, and everything in between. The beauty scene has never seen such a huge demand – even coconut oil and green tea didn’t have a buzz like this.

Both men and women are eager to give CBD skincare a try. A report from Eaze, a cannabis delivery platform, shows that women now make up to 38% of cannabis consumers, outpacing men for growth in this industry.

Not to mention, women are 67% more likely to try cannabis for personal care than men are. Maybe it’s the pretty packaging or the hype of celebrities and influencers tagging CBD skincare products all over. Perhaps it’s the fact that beauty lovers are merely looking for ways to “clean up” their routines with naturally-derived products.

But, CBD seems to be answering all these questions, positioning itself to thrive in the billion-dollar beauty marketplace.

But why are CBD products suddenly everywhere? Seriously, who knew our lashes needed CBD-infused mascara? After all, the science behind these CBD-loaded beauty products is still in its early stages. Not to mention, the legality around these type of products remains complicated. How can consumers know they’re buying safe-to-use products to be used on their skin?

As if that wasn’t complicated enough, the beauty industry is very familiar with different hemp-derived ingredients that have been living in our beauty products for decades. In other words, the CBD skincare world remains a confusing space filled with as many questions as product options available.

It’s essential for CBD consumers to educate themselves about the products they’re buying, the companies behind them, and everything CBD can do for their skin.

GR8NESS took the time to investigate a little deeper to find answers to the most frequently asked questions when it comes to CBD skincare. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about CBD and how it interacts with your favorite beauty products.

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A brochure highlighting the rise of CBD skincare products

What Does CBD Do for Skin?

At the moment, there are tons of claims out there about what CBD can do for your skin. With our skin being the largest organ in our bodies, it also has the highest amounts and concentrations of cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are part of our endocannabinoid system, which regulates critical bodily functions, including our response to stress, pain, and inflammation.

When CBD, which has those same receptors, is used on our skin, it works by stimulating these cannabinoid receptors to better regulate inflammation, pain, lipid production, and bacteria. As you might know, these can all lead to acne when left uncontrolled. Also, CBD helps control the release of histamine and cell proliferation, which are known to cause psoriasis.

CBD is also known for being a potent antioxidant. Some studies have noticed CBD seems to help calm irritated skin and reduce redness, which helps lessen the visible signs of aging we all know too well.

These antioxidant properties also provide a missing particle that a free radical can bond with, stopping it from causing DNA damage, which results in even more signs of aging – ahem, wrinkles. While researchers still need more studies to prove these effects, the research done so far seems promising.

Are All CBD Skincare Products the Same?

We’d be lying if we said CBD skincare products are a straight science. Not all CBD beauty products are created equally. There are many differences in the type of CBD being used, and understanding the differences should be a significant deciding factor when choosing a product.

Just as with any other CBD product, manufacturers can turn to either full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD. Here’s a breakdown of what these mean.

Full Spectrum: This is your cannabis extract with all cannabinoids, including traces of THC. Full-spectrum believers say this is the most effective product because it combines the benefits of multiple cannabinoids.

Don’t be alarmed, though. You can’t get “high” from full-spectrum CBD. You will, however, experience the scent that comes with it. So, if you’re not looking for that hemp scent, this is not for you.

Broad Spectrum: This is your cannabis extract with all cannabinoids, minus the THC trace. In this extraction process, the THC is removed. This is the most common type of CBD you’ll find in most beauty products as it’s the one that abides by most state laws regarding CBD products.

Isolate: This is your pure CBD extract. It doesn’t contain any other cannabinoids or plant materials. You could say this is the “cleanest” type of CBD. For all-natural beauty lovers, Isolate CBD means no contaminants, no waxes, no taste or smell, and no other compounds. However, being the cleanest doesn’t equal to being the most efficient or potent.

In the end, it’s the consumer’s choice. Since more research is still needed for the various types of CBD, no one can declare one better than the other for specific skincare concerns.

The Other Side of CBD Skincare

CBD-advocates claim the green oil can help with eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, aging signs, and even acne thanks to its anti-inflammatory superpowers. However, not everyone is on board with this trend. Some dermatologists are looking at CBD and skin at a more chemical level.

Most people’s skin has a pH of 5.5, while some people’s skin is even less than that. CBD oil has a pH between 6 and 7. Therefore, they can’t have an impact on our dermal layers – where collagen and elastin are stored to help us stay looking young.

While there’s potential CBD will help reduce inflammation in the outer epidermal layers, it won’t be a miracle worker. Again, more research still needs to happen before these claims can be 100% accurate.

On the other side, CBD skincare is battling another front – mis-marketing.

So many skincare brands are promoting their new CBD product launches when in reality they contain hemp seed oil (cannabis sativa seed oil) instead: an ingredient that has been used in the beauty markets for decades.

So, How Is CBD Different from Hemp?

Hemp is the primary source of CBD, but CBD is not present in the hemp seed’s oil portion. Most of the CBD’s concentration is actually in the leaves, flowers, and the stems of the hemp plant. So, before you start bragging about your latest CBD beauty purchase, take a closer look at the ingredients list.

However, don’t discount those hemp seed oil products just yet. It turns out, the hemp seed oil is high in omega content and many moisturizing properties making it a favorite among dry and sensitive skin types. It’s also non-comedogenic, so those with oily skin types don’t have to worry about breakouts and clogged pores.

If you’re still confused, keep this in mind: if the packaging doesn’t say CBD or cannabidiol, there isn’t probably CBD in the product. Maybe you’ll want to reach out to a dermatologist to see if your skin will do better with CBD or hemp oil before you take the plunge.

How About CBD Skincare Supplements?

One thing is topical skincare products containing CBD. Now, how about taking skincare supplements with CBD? Will that have a positive impact on your skin as well?

When you ingest CBD, 100% of it will reach your bloodstream, whether you take a pill, a CBD gummy, or use CBD drops under your tongue. When you apply CBD topically, it won’t necessarily hit your bloodstream, but it can get absorbed by the receptors in your skin and still act quickly.

According to experts, ingesting CBD might have some benefits for your skin, but you’re even more likely to see results when applying the product topically. This is primarily because when ingesting a supplement, its bioavailability reduces, meaning the rate at which it’s absorbed into the bloodstream and the degree also lower.

However, there hasn’t been enough research comparing the differences to endorse one method over another. In the meantime, one could say CBD skincare gummies are no different than taking a collagen supplement versus a moisturizer with collagen. Both could undoubtedly be working, but one will likely take longer to see results than the other.

Can You Experience the CBD Effects with Skincare CBD?

A common question among beauty lovers looking to try CBD products revolved around whether or not they’ll experience the same relaxing effects they would if ingesting CBD. First of all, people can’t get “high” on CBD alone.

The hallucinogenic properties of THC don’t reach high enough levels in CBD products to create a “high” sensation. To top this off, the topical application would result in minimal active ingredients being absorbed into the bloodstream. None of your CBD creams or serums will give you the anti-anxiety or anti-stress benefits tied to cannabinoids.

However, if you’re looking at pain relief as a form of relaxation, then you’ll experience the effects of CBD. Topical CBD products can provide some localized relief to period cramps, and the skin absorbs sore muscles as the cream. But, don’t expect an overall feeling of calmness just by rubbing CBD cream on your neck.

A Word from GR8NESS

Quality and effective CBD skincare products will feature either full- or broad-spectrum CBD, hopefully, harvested organically so you won’t have to worry about pesticides and herbicides. Look for products that are third-party lab tested. And finally, keep an eye out for the actual ingredients.

Some products being marketed as CBD-infused are formulated with hemp seed oil, and while the latter also boasts some benefits, you want to make sure you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin.

Last but not least, do your research before buying any CBD beauty product. Reach out to a skincare specialist or a dermatologist to know you’re making the right decision for your skin.

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Geraldine
GR8NESS Writer
Geraldine is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about self care, clean makeup and beauty, mental health, and relationships – as well as natural remedies and fitness. She’s a coffee enthusiast with Venezuelan roots, a former ballerina, and the sunscreen patrol. Most of the time, you can find her working on her skincare routine or trying a new dance workout.
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