But even as a self-professed fan of CBD, I admit I’m getting a little exhausted. CBD beauty and skin-care products are available in Ulta, Sephora, and seemingly every corner of the internet. Brands like Herbivore, Kiehl’s, Peter Thomas Roth, Milk, Josie Maran, Saint Jane, and now even NYX all have CBD products.
CBD is one of many cannabinoids present in cannabis, SELF explained previously. The other major cannabinoid you may have heard of is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But unlike THC, CBD does not produce a high when consumed.
Wait, remind me what CBD is again?
The major purported benefits of CBD in skin care seem to be related to an anti-inflammatory effect. But like many of the studies looking at CBD for anxiety or pain management, the research is mainly limited to lab and animal studies, Mary L. Stevenson, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF.
So is there any reason to think CBD is doing anything helpful in skin-care and beauty products? We talked to experts to find out.
When THC isn’t involved—when we’re just talking about CBD—much less is known about the potential effects.
Typically, CBD oil is used in skincare products. You can find CBD serums, creams, masks, and body and face oils. That said, hemp seed oil—which has been a common ingredient in skincare products for a long time—is not the same thing as CBD. There’s nothing wrong with hemp seed oil, but it’s not an active ingredient, nor does it have any particularly notable anti-inflammatory benefits.
CBD is the Cady Heron of the skincare world right now—buzzy, intriguing, and full of secrets (though not as much as Gretchen Weiners’ hair). The ingredient has officially crossed over from being a wellness supplement to a beauty buzzword, but it’s not as simple as looking for “CBD” on your ingredients label and calling it a day. There’s a lot of murky marketing out there and more than a few false claims. For example, we’ve seen some major brands hop on the CBD bandwagon and blast it across their marketing channels, when in reality, their products don’t contain any actual CBD at all. We’ve enlisted Dendy Engelman, MD, board-certified dermatologist of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery; Ava Shamban, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Five in LA and co-host of The GIST; Charlotte Palermino, co-founder of cannabis education website Nice Paper, and Ashley Lewis and Meredith Schroeder, co-founders of new online CBD retailer Fleur Marché. Your skin deserves CBD—just make sure you’re buying a product that actually contains it.
Benefits of CBD for Skin
Palermino also swears by this soothing sleeping mask from Kana. “Even though it’s lower on the CBD dosing scale, it’s one of the nicer lightweight sleeping masks I’ve tried,” she says.
Engelman explains that more studies need to be done to verify the efficiency of CBD oil benefits for skin. That said, CBD has no known side effects.
Palermino mentions supermodel facialist Ildi Pekar’s CBD line as containing high amounts of CBD. This luxe face oil in particular contains 250mg of CBD oil, along with soothing aloe juice, brightening vitamin c, hyaluronic acid, and more.