CBD oil might be old news to the savviest of consumers out there, but it continues to pique peoples’ interest, with more than 60 million Americans having tried it. And while sleep, pain, and anxiety are the most common reasons people seek out CBD oil, soon enough, we’ll be adding fine lines, acne, skin tone (and yes, thinning hair!) to that list.
CBD oil is definitely en vogue, with the infused beauty industry blowing up and a variety of brands, including VEGAMOUR, offering CBD-infused products. But what do we know about CBD for beauty applications? How does CBD impact our skin care? Are premium prices worth it? Here's how CBD beauty products might benefit you.
CBD, the Endocannabinoid System and Your Skin
In case you’re new to CBD, and even if you aren’t, let’s start with the big WHY behind CBD’s ability to help with everything from troubled sleep to troubled skin: the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
“CBD has therapeutic benefits because it interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The ECS helps balance many bodily functions,” said Evelyn Wang of Papa & Barkley, a cannabis and hemp wellness company based in California.
Sure, there are many bodily factors at play when we talk about beauty, but let’s dial into one of the biggest players in the game. If you guessed skin, you’re right! You likely know that your skin is the biggest organ you have, but did you know it contains lots of cannabinoid receptors? These receptors sit atop cells, ready and willing to pick up CBD and other compounds in the hemp and cannabis plant. This means that CBD might become your new best friend when it comes to skin conditions because of its anti-inflammatory benefits.
“Your endocannabinoid system has receptors in the skin, where it works to regulate and maintain healthy function, said Dr. Andrew Kerklaan, founder of Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics. "CBD binds to the receptors in your skin to support normal function. If your skin is irritated, CBD can calm and soothe. If your skin is inflamed, CBD can act as a natural anti-inflammatory."
The sheer number of receptors in the skin and how CBD may impact skin health means we at VEGAMOUR are all kinds of excited about the future of CBD for beauty and personal care!
Can CBD Be Used as a Beauty Product?
With all that said, we are still in the early days of understanding how to best harness CBD for beauty and skin care applications. “More controlled [human] studies are needed, but for the time being we are seeing some consistent success in using CBD with skin care regimens,” said Chris Adlahka, PharmD, a compounding pharmacist who specializes in CBD at Elevated Wellness.
To date, most studies have been done on cell cultures and animals, meaning we need to see how these promising results pan out in human skin care. The efficacy of all beauty actives comes down to pure science, and researchers will need to discover optimal concentrations, formulations, delivery methods and even how to help CBD products best penetrate the skin.
“Absorbing CBD through the skin requires quite a bit of science. CBD molecules aren’t particularly large, but their ratio of lipids and water creates a challenge when it comes to skin absorption,” said Sky Kurz, with hemp CBD wellness company Fifth & Root.
That is precisely why at VEGAMOUR, we use microencapsulated CBD in products, like our CBD hair serum, to improve absorption of our proprietary blend of phyto-actives by delivering a controlled amount of the compound to your skin.
But what happens when the ECS function in our skin is out of whack? “Endocannabinoid deficiency and dysregulation are thought to cause a wide array of diseases, and not just in the skin,” said Dr. Jenelle Kim, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, nationally board-certified Master Herbalist and founder of JBK Wellness Labs. “Trouble with the skin’s cannabinoid tone likely contributes to the development of skin issues like inflammation, troubled and dry skin."
Here are the health properties CBD oil potentially offers and how they might help you up your skin care game!
5 Promising CBD Beauty Benefits
When it comes to beauty, cannabidiol (aka CBD’s full legal name) is thought to have some big-picture benefits that could make it a star in the beauty sphere. You can think of CBD’s role in beauty as kind of like that conscientious friend who is always telling you to take up yoga: CBD is there to help keep things in balance. Doctors call this balance homeostasis.
Here are five ways CBD might help give the beauty industry a glow-up (or should we say a green-up?).
CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits are well-established at this point, and its soothing properties are a huge part of CBD’s overall therapeutic and medicinal benefits. These benefits are good for our bodies both inside AND out.
“These anti-inflammatory properties are the main mechanisms of action that are responsible for the beneficial effects of CBD on the skin,” said Winston Peki of Herbonaut.
Why? Because inflammation is involved with so many skin complaints — from rashes to bug bites to sunburn to acne, and even more serious inflammatory skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema. It can also contribute to hair loss in a number of ways. Keeping inflammation in check is an important part of overall skin health, and soothing inflammation when it flares up could be CBD’s beauty superpower.
VEGAMOUR offers a full product line of CBD-infused products, like GRO+ Advanced Scalp Detoxifying Serum, which can soothe and calm your scalp while gently ridding it of pore-clogging buildup to help boost hair health.
The anti-inflammatory effect of CBD certainly offers protection for the skin, but it doesn’t stop there.
“We’re particularly intrigued by recent research illustrating how important the ECS is when it comes to maintaining the regeneration and barrier functions of the skin,” said Kurz. And this is important, because regeneration and healthy barrier function are among the skin’s first lines of defense.
In addition to that, CBD is an antibacterial and an antibiotic agent, meaning it might be useful in preventing or treating serious skin infections or diseases, but it might also help more common bacteria-related skin concerns like acne (more on that coming up!) and some forms of hair loss.
What contributes to skin aging? You probably know you should be wearing SPF every single day (sun or not), opting for zero-proof cocktails, trying new and inventive ways to put on mascara and keeping your skin well hydrated by moisturizing daily. But how does CBD fit into the skin care picture? Antioxidants! Or perhaps more accurately, free radicals.
“Free radical damage is particularly bad because they [free radicals] break down collagen, and this leads to early signs of aging," said Kurz. "Antioxidants like CBD, however, help the skin protect itself from free radicals."
Free radicals are just plain old bad news for our bodies and our beauty, and the remedy for these trouble-making compounds is antioxidants. According to experts applying antioxidants topically to skin is the next best thing you can do (behind sunscreen) to help prevent the oxidative stress that causes premature aging.
Still waiting for the punchline? CBD is a powerful antioxidant. This means CBD might just be able to help smooth the skin, improve skin texture and help slow the visible signs of aging.
Balance is the name of the ECS’s game. Remember homeostasis? That’s just another word for our body’s physiological balance, and you don’t need to be a Libra to appreciate how important balance is when it comes to skin health, especially sensitive skin.
CBD has been shown to impact the sebaceous glands in the skin, and since the overproduction of sebum (oil) can clog pores and cause breakouts this means CBD is showing promise to help treat acne-prone skin. Another important factor at play with acne? It's one of those inflammatory skin conditions. CBD for the win!
“Research has established that many skin issues, like acne, are an inflammatory response that naturally occurs within the skin," said Adlahka. "There are many other underlying factors to skin issues like acne, but anything you can apply to your skin that will effectively soothe and reduce inflammation can likely reduce visible breakouts, irritation and even redness."
Balance has been a common theme here, and since we were just talking about balancing oily skin you may not be surprised to learn that CBD may have balancing effects in the opposite direction by helping folks with dry skin. Clinical data has also shown promise in relieving the dry, flaky and irritated skin caused by inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
Keeping skin (including your scalp) properly hydrated is essential for its basic functioning, let alone achieving a healthy glow or a full and luxurious mane! To help, consider using GRO+ Advanced Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner, which boast a full-spectrum CBD hemp extract and are free of moisture-stripping chemicals like sulfates. (Bonus: These formulas have been clinically proven in some subjects to increase the appearance of hair density by up to 52% and reduce signs of shedding by up to 76% after four months of use. )
CBD & Beauty Are Here to Stay
Science is starting to shed some light on how the power of CBD can be harnessed for beauty applications like serums, creams, face masks and makeup. CBD’s global health benefits for fighting inflammation, balancing skin function, fighting free radicals and offering up hydration are providing lots of avenues to continue research and development in the beauty sphere.
In the meantime, equip yourself with a basic understanding of how CBD skin care might support your beauty goals. “When choosing CBD-infused skin care products, it’s important to remember that the products are just as clean and effective as all the supporting ingredients," said Wang. "Look for plant-based primary active ingredients that are responsibly formulated without chemicals and make sure they’re the right ingredients to deliver the CBD to your skin cells."
So if you’re looking to support your scalp and want to encourage healthier, fuller-looking hair, consider the benefits of CBD and products that include it, including our all-natural, full-spectrum CBD-infused beauty product lines for the ultimate in promoting hair wellness!
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