In this episode, we're setting the record straight on one of the most polarizing ingredients out there. Learn what to search for when buying a CBD-infused product. (Runtime: 5 minutes)
However, when compared to skin-care pillar ingredients like retinols and vitamin C, the research behind CBD's efficacy in skin care (especially beyond the realms of being a temporary topical pain reliever) is still relatively in its infancy. "There is limited data to suggest that CBD may decrease oil production when applied topically," says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital, who explains that unlike marijuana, which contains psychoactive THC, hemp seed oil is a common source of naturally anti-inflammatory cannabinoids — which is what ends up in all of those lotions and potions. "Hemp seed oil also acts as an emollient to smooth rough cells on the skin's surface and offers moisturizing benefits," he adds.
Unless you've been tuned out to the beauty world these last few months, odds are you've heard of an ingredient called CBD (short for cannabidiol). The buzzy ingredient, which, no, won't get you high, even if ingested as an oral tincture or supplement, has now evolved into a bonafide skin-care trend, with brands offering a luxe spin on what used to be a highly niche category. "With an impressive and evergrowing number of studies finding CBD to be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory among many other properties, it is now being used to treat pain, anxiety, spasms, and much more," New York City-based aesthetician Jeannel Astarita tells Allure.
So whether you love to slather your skin in serums or treat yourself to a 20-minute mask session, this trendy ingredient has found its way into virtually every step of our beauty regimens. Here, we present 17 CBD-infused skin-care products to add a hit of calm to your daily routine.
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The Best CBD-Infused Skincare Products To Try
“The government’s position on CBD is confusing,” notes Dr. Peter Grinspoon in a Harvard Health report.
Unlike THC, pure CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it doesn’t make you feel high.
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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.
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.
And now, if you’re ready to venture into the world of CBD skincare, here are some of the best CBD skincare picks money can buy:
This Manuka honey and CBD-infused eye balm does everything from plumping and brightening the delicate under-eye skin to shielding it from environmental stressors. It also contains Vitamin C-rich grapefruit extract to help even out skin tone and revitalize tired skin.
There are also a fair amount of topical CBD oils out there, though keep in mind that these fall into a bit of a different category than other topical CBD products out there when it comes to their effects. “Oils are great at softening and moisturizing, but they tend to sit on top, rather than sink into the skin,” explains Charlotte Palermino, co-founder of the cannabis education website Nice Paper. And this means they’re not necessarily going to be the best delivery system for active ingredients, CBD included, she points out. The upshot of this? If you’re just dipping your toe into the CBD pool, using a topical oil can be one way to ensure you’re getting not quite as much of the ingredient. And, on the flip side, if you do really want to reap the benefits, you can simply choose products with a higher concentration of CBD.
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“Your endocannabinoid system—the receptors that are impacted by CBD—is deeper in your skin, so until we see a clinical trial on how oils penetrate and at which dose, look for higher milligrams of CBD in your oils if you want to see an effect,” advises Palermino. (While there are no exact dosing guidelines, you can consider 100 milligrams in a one-ounce dropper bottle a low dose, she adds.) At the end of the day, with any kind of CBD product, it’s important to be a savvy and somewhat skeptical shopper, given that the industry is self-regulated and lacks any clear cut rules or guidelines.
These days, CBD is just about as well-known as the ABCs. CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a plant-based compound (a cannabinoid) found in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. The jury is still somewhat out when it comes to hard-hitting scientific evidence about the benefits of CBD; most experts agree that more research is needed. But the anecdotal evidence is there and CBD proponents—as well as many users—claim that it can calm anxiety to improve sleep, knock out period cramps, reduce redness and inflammation in the skin, and way more.
But if you’re not sure where to start, try any of these best CBD oils that are worth the hype.