The skin is our largest organ, both protecting our internal bodies from all external pathogens and constantly renewing itself, recreating our image as we walk through the world. How we treat ourselves often shows up on our skin, and the glowing complexions we all seek speak to us of true health and wellness. Of course, beauty treatments and skin care products promising a flawless face abound; the beauty business is a billion dollar industry and shopping center aisles are filled with creams, washes, toners and lotions, many of which contain harmful carcinogens (cancer causing agents) and feature ingredient lists full of unpronounceable harsh chemicals. Unlike food products, the FDA does not strictly regulate all cosmetics, and the amount of dangerous chemicals that compose our everyday face washes, make-ups and acne treatments can be a horrifying cocktail of petroleum based substances and artificial and drying toxins.
The skin breathes, and absorbs everything we put on it, making natural skincare doubly important, as it affects both our outer and inner well-being. A newcomer to the mainstream world of
natural beauty, CBD and cannabis based skin products have had a quick rise to prominence, with features in the LA Times, Fashionista and Elle Magazine among others touting these products as the “latest and greatest beauty trend”. But CBD as a skin treatment is actually nothing new: whole plant hemp oil has been a base of folkloric skin treatment for generations, with alternative practitioners suggesting it to treat everything from eczema to acne. And science has backed up these age old claims- showing CBD to be a proven and extremely effect treatment for our delicate epidermis. From hydration to regulating oil production, cannabis’ cannabidiol compound (CBD) is just as good for you to rub on topically as it is to ingest.
One of CBD’s biggest claims to fame is its extremely high content of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are able to not only aid in cellular regeneration, but fill in cracks in between skin cells, creating a more even and healthy barrier. They also add to CBD’s nourishing and soothing properties, which help calm inflammation. This anti-inflammatory property of CBD oil has made it a popular choice for controlling pain, but it also has huge benefits for skin. Dry skin or irritated rashes such as eczema can be calmed quickly by an application of this omega rich oil, and blisters, chapped or cracked skin is especially responsive to CBD’s anti-inflammatory power.
A 2014 study found that cannabidiol also reduced oil production from sebaceous oil glands. This is behind the compound’s success in treating acne, which has been one of the most sought after effects of CBD skincare. Naturally reducing oil production, and therefore blemishes and clogged pores, without over drying the skin is a rare and highly desirable combination for a skin treatment. Traditional acne products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide often dry the skin out to a degree that actually prompts an increase in oil production, which can leave acne sufferers in a vicious cycle. CBD is so naturally moisturizing that it can actually be a treatment for chronically dry skin, and pairing this property with its ability to actually effect processes in oil glands makes it a relieving, gentle way to care for eruption prone skin. The anti-inflammatory nature of CBD can come in handy in acne treatment too as it reduces the chances of scarring.
CBD’s other superpower, its antioxidant properties, make it a wonderful serum for keeping cells young and healthy, providing natural protection against aging, sun damage and wrinkles. Oxidation is the leading cause of skin damage, especially on parts of the body that are exposed most of the time like the face, and CBD oil provides ongoing protection, with its antioxidant content actively fighting against cell damage.
And though it may sound like a cheesy marketing ploy, CBD skincare actually works for everyone, especially when it’s made from whole plant oil that includes a healthy amount of phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids, the cannabinoids that occur naturally in plants like cannabis, have the ability to affect skin differentiation genes, working with the body’s natural Endocannabinoid System and balancing the regulation of skin on a cellular level. This means that, much like how other adaptogenic herbs function (read more about this here), the phytocannabinoids will return skin to a healthy balance, reducing oil production on overly oily skin or increasing moisture retention on naturally dry skin.
Ultimately, health is beauty, and nourishing the body inside and out is the best way to truly glow.