CBD Skincare: Does It Really Work?

30.12.2019 | Blog

With the legalization of CBD in several regions across the world, products containing this ingredient have been popping up everywhere. There are numerous edibles available that offer a wide variety of benefits, like treating anxiety and helping you get a better night’s sleep.

CBD is also gaining momentum as an essential component of beauty products, especially those focused on improving skin health. In this article we unveil how CBD can help you treat some common skin conditions and rapidly improve its appearance.

Wait… What’s CBD again?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the compounds in a cannabis plant. Though sometimes associated with another cannabis compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, it doesn’t really fit in the same category.

Simply put, THC is what gets you high, while CBD has no such effects. In fact, the CBD sold needs to contain 0.3% THC or less to retain its legal status, so these two shouldn’t be associated once they leave the cannabis plant unless combined on purpose.

Though CBD research is still in its early stages, there are a few things scientists are already sure of. The most important discovery is how CBD works in the body. We have a network of receptors inside us called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system maintains the balance in our bodies and regulates how it works, including areas like sleeping, appetite, stress, pain, and immune functions.

Because our bodies naturally produce those endocannabinoids, and CBD is a phytocannabinoid, it seems as though our bodies are made to not only support the use of CBD but thrive on it. The CBD unlocks certain receptors, which causes a series of beneficial reactions. That’s precisely why using CBD reduces anxiety, inflammation, promotes better sleep routine, and so much more.

What research tells us about CBD skincare?

There are a lot of products out there that can help you when ingested but not so much when applied topically. So, is CBD one of those or can it help your skin when applied directly to it? Some studies suggest that it can, although research studies are still in early stages and remain limited to lab and animal tests at this time.

For instance, there are a few studies that showed that using transdermal CBD on rats could help reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. This isn’t technically skincare, though, since the issues are actually related to the muscles and joints beneath the skin.

A 2007 study was published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, in which researchers isolated several cannabinoids from cannabis, including CBD. When they applied those cannabinoids to human skin, they discovered that every one of them prevented the overproduction of keratinocytes. Since producing too many of these skin cells is what causes psoriasis, inhibiting them may help treat this skin condition.

However, researchers also developed some lab-made compounds that also inhibited the activation of select CB1 or CB2 receptors. These are the receptors that are usually associated with cannabinoids. There wasn’t a large effect for this test, which could suggest that cannabinoids, including CBD, could help treat psoriasis, but not in the expected way.

There is also some evidence that CBD can also affect the TRPV-1 and GPR55 receptors, which are found in your skin and associated with pain and inflammation signaling. The full effects of CBD on these areas still need some more research, especially when used in small doses you’d find in any of the skincare serums on the market today.


Benefits of Cannabis Skincare

Despite the limited research on CBD, there are still lots of beauty products that include it in their ingredients to help benefit your skin. Here some of the key benefits of CBD for skincare:


CBD contains a wide variety of healthy vitamins that your skin needs to look its best. Vitamin A, C, D, and E work together to increase elasticity and collagen production and hydrate your skin. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are also needed for healthy skin since they can reduce rough patches and issues like dermatitis. Though all of these can be acquired from food, you can apply it directly with CBD oils and creams to specific problem areas for faster results.


Your body’s endocannabinoid system can create cannabinoids on its own. This system keeps your basal cells, which make up the inner layer of your epidermis, to replenish regularly. In layman’s terms, this means the new skin cells are produced, replacing the old, dead ones that are sloughed off throughout the day.

If your ECS isn’t working as it’s supposed to, CBD oil can help keep this process running smoothly. It reacts with the receptors, producing those natural cannabinoids to keep your skin healthy and glowing.


Free radicals can cause damage to your body, inside and out. The antioxidants in CBD oil help your body fight those free-radicals, reducing carcinogens and dangerous pathogens. They also prevent disease and maintain a healthy body. 


Everything affects your skin, including an unhealthy diet, dehydration, and pollution. Those antioxidants found in CBD oil can reduce the signs of aging that those unhealthy factors add. CBD can remove the toxins in your body and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, puffiness, and dullness, so you’ll have a clear, smooth complexion. 


Teenagers aren’t the only ones dealing with acne. It can plague us well into middle age. Acne can be the result of excessive oil production, hormonal imbalances, an unhealthy diet, or harmful bacteria. Regardless of what’s causing those pimples, CBD can be of help. Not only will it reduce inflammation, but CBD can also get rid of redness, plus it can help balance out your sebum production for fewer breakouts. 

Skin Diseases

Inflammation isn’t only associated with acne. It can also be a side effect of skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. This inflammation can be caused by an imbalance in your immune system or your hormones. CBD treats these issues by triggering an anti-inflammatory response in your endocannabinoid receptors. As well as reducing inflammation, CBD also treats the itching associated with these skin conditions.

How to Find the Best CBD Skincare

To find the best CBD skincare products on the market, you need to look at the label. Some contain hemp seed oil, which contains some vitamins and Omega fatty acids, but isn’t CBD. CBD is extracted from flowers, leaves, and stalks of the cannabis plant.

Check the label for “full-spectrum CBD” or “whole-plant CBD” to get the benefits that you’re looking for. You can also try out pure CBD oil extract instead of finding a product that has CBD as one of many ingredients. The results will be immediate and more direct.

There is no doubt the market is filled with plenty of cannabis skincare products. So… how do you choose one that will actually deliver the expected results? When shopping for CBD skin care products, make sure you’re only buying high-quality brands from respected retailers. 

So… Is it a good idea to try CBD products on my skin?

Most experts agree that CBD is a relatively safe product to use on your skin, with few if any negative reactions to speak of. This doesn’t necessarily make it the best product out there, though. Some moisturizers of cleansers can give you similar results.

Of course, if you’ve tried CBD oil on its own or in another skincare product and find that the benefits are meeting your expectations, there is no harm in continuing with it.