Why CBD Should Be An Integral Part of Your Skincare Regime?

The skincare industry is booming, with many looking for ways to harness the goodness of the earth to slow down the aging process, treat skin complaints and to generally keep the body’s most exposed organ in tip-top condition.

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become very popular across America, as unlike cannabis-derived CBD, it’s legal in all 50 states. It’s also great for the skin and hair, thanks to the presence of CBD, essential oils and other beneficial compounds.

Topical application of CBD brings out much different effects than we see from other intake methods, such as inhalation, oral consumption (i.e. edibles) and sublingual absorption.

Instead of travelling around the body, topically-applied CBD interacts mostly with the cannabinoid receptors found in the skin.

For skin complaints and localized pain, this is a much more efficient way of medicating as other methods result in CBD getting absorbed into the bloodstream.  

Furthermore, since CBD products are naturally-based, they hold much more appeal than skincare products that are made with synthetic compounds, which could potentially damage the skin long-term.

CBD creams and lotions are common types of topicals, however, the market extends to salves, gels and even lip balms. Transdermal patches have also become more popular of late.

Let’s investigating how CBD can help with aging and skin conditions, and how it promotes good skin health.

How CBD slows aging

The anti-aging industry is now big business, and expected to reach more than $60 billion by 2023, as people seek out remedies to keep them looking younger for longer.

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has given researchers new targets in the fight against aging, and we now know that it’s imperative for the health of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology published a study in 2010 which showed the ECS keeps the skin healthy by regulating basal cells – these make up 90 percent of epidermis cells.

CBD is a potent antioxidant, something that hasn’t been lost by the US federal government, who acquired a patent on cannabinoids for this use in 2003.

CBD defends the skin from invasive free radicals, which are found in pollution, UV rays, cigarette smoke and more.

Left untreated, these free radicals harm the skin over time, leaving it looking wrinkly. But antioxidants such as CBD and omega-3 can protect from this.

Furthermore, it appears that CB1 receptors in the ECS may have a role in protecting the elasticity of the skin.

This was deduced from 2012 research on mice – the group without CB1 receptors aged more quickly than those with them due to the lack of skin elasticity.

How CBD treats skin complaints

Evidence shows that CBD can be an efficacious treatment for frustrating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, which can often lead to mental health problems due to the negative effects they have on appearance.

Research into cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) featured in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that these compounds can regulate cell proliferation and differentiation, which suggests CBD could help treat allergic reactions.

Some have argued that CBD could calm outbreaks of human papillomavirus (HPV) by stopping the over-production of cells, although the research on this is, for now, less conclusive. 

Anecdotal and scientific reports point toward CBD as a treatment for eczema, although since our understanding of the condition is limited, we aren’t sure to why.

It is thought that eczema is caused by an allergic reaction which then leads to inflammation. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which perhaps explains how it works. 

CBD can also help patients with psoriasis, another peculiar skin disorder. The anti-inflammatory effects are expected to play a role here, while CBD’s regulatory effect on the immune system may also be beneficial.

Acne is a condition that leaves the skin looking and feeling oily due to the overproduction of sebum. Acne can be aggravated by hormonal changes (teenagers are particularly affected), stress levels and more.

While the body needs the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands to warn off bacteria and keep the skin lubricated, too much leads to dirty, clogged pores that causes blemishes.

However, cannabinoid receptors have been found in sebaceous glands and hair follicles, indicating that cannabinoids can help to regulate sebum production.

This can be harnessed to treat acne by reducing sebum levels and treat eczema and similar dry skin complaints by increasing sebum levels.

Moreover, as acne causes inflammation in the skin where zits have formed, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are beneficial here, too.

CBD’s antibacterial effects can help cleanse skin that has become infected.

Overall skin health

It’s worth remembering that hemp oil doesn’t just contain CBD, but plenty of other ingredients which hold significant nutritional value for the skin. For example, vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the skin and hair from both UV rays and free radicals.

Antioxidants in general serve to defend collagen, a protein, and elastin, a tissue, from free radical damage – these are necessary to keep the skin looking tight as we age.

Vitamin A and D deficiencies have been linked to dry skin, which indicates the two are crucial for healthy skin. Vitamin A also contributes to skin cell production, while stifling sebum production.

Society is so negative towards fat, that we often forget the importance of essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 for the skin and hair.

A 2014 study in Nutritional Journal found that US adults are not getting the required amount of omega-3 in their diet.

Since this fatty acid helps to keep the epidermis youthful and smooth, omega-3 deficiency could be the root cause of many people’s skin complaints. 

Final thought

As medical cannabis moves further into the mainstream, expect to hear much more about the potential of hemp and cannabis-derived extracts for skincare.

The endocannabinoid system was a biological unknown until the 1990s, and considering our lack of knowledge on several skin complaints, there’s still plenty of progress to be made.