CBD Skin Care Products: How Effective Are They?

CBD Skin Care Products: How Effective Are They

Consumers from all walks of life are embracing CBD as a safe and natural way to improve their general health and well-being. Available in a seemingly infinite number of forms— Lazarus oil, edibles, beverages, topicals, capsules, vape juice, etc.—CBD is a major phenomenon that is only going to get bigger.

A recent report from Grand View Research estimates that the global CBD market will hit $13.4 billion by 2028. That’s a lot of money, a sizable portion of which will be generated by the skin care sector. According to a separate report by the same group, the CBD skin care market is projected to reach $1.7 billion by 2025.

So what is all the fuss about? Why are so many companies adding CBD to their skin care products? Most importantly, does it work?

Let’s investigate.

Where does CBD come from?

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of hundreds of natural chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. Even if you have never used marijuana, you’re probably familiar with THC—the psychoactive marijuana ingredient that makes users high.

THC and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids in marijuana. They work together to produce weed’s therapeutic effects. This interaction, known as the “entourage effect,” can be achieved through smoking, vaping, or cooking. The entourage effect also includes terpenes, the aromatic compounds that give flowers and plants their unique scents (think lavender, tea tree, basil, eucalyptus, etc.).

The question many people have is: does CBD make you high on its own? The answer is no. CBD does not have the same psychoactive properties as THC. It will not cause you to feel “stoned”. Nor is it addictive.

It is, however, legal in all 50 states, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.

Said bill legalized industrial hemp, from which most of the CBD products in the US are made. This is significant because, while hemp is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, it contains 0.3% THC or less. That is not enough to have any psychoactive effect.

How does CBD benefit skin?

Research into CBD and its effects is in the early stages. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a pretty good idea about how it can benefit human health and why.

There’s solid scientific evidence illustrating that CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This evidence has been around for years. A 2009 study, for instance, found CBD to be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Further studies have shown similar results in recent years.


Many of us experience inflammation on our skin in the form of acne. In the United States, acne affects as many as 50 million people every year. While it is most commonly seen in teens and young adults, acne oftentimes persists into middle age. Anyone who has struggled with it knows how frustrating it can be.

Many factors can cause acne. One of the typical culprits is excessive sebum, a waxy, oil-like substance produced by small glands in our skin. Its purpose is to moisturize and protect, but too much of it can result in a breakout.

CBD can help, according to a 2014 article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The authors found that CBD works to regulate the amount of sebum produced by our skin and is therefore a “promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne.”


Acne, along with other skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis, tend to leave behind visible scars. The skin care market is awash with products purporting to erase these scars. Many of them now contain CBD, and there is some evidence to support this.

In 2019, a group of researchers studied the effect of CBD on scars left by chronic diseases of the skin. In the study, 20 patients applied a CBD-rich ointment to the affected area twice a day for three months.

Following treatment, their skin had noticeably improved. No side effects were reported.

The authors of the study asserted that CBD ointment (without any THC) is a safe and effective treatment for inflammatory skin conditions.

Other conditions

Additional research suggests that CBD could be effective in treating chronic dryness and itchiness, preventing wrinkles and other signs of aging, and fighting certain bacterial and fungal infections.

Types of CBD products to choose from

As we noted above, CBD comes in numerous forms. In the beauty and skin care realm, popular CBD products include lotions, moisturizers, creams, facial masks, shampoos, conditioners, bath bombs, and more. The amount of CBD will be clearly visible on the product’s label.

Another option is to apply CBD oil directly to your skin. Also known as tinctures, some of these oils can feature an impressive 5000mg of CBD per bottle. If you choose to go this route, keep in mind that a little bit goes a very long way. One or two drops are usually sufficient to get the desired effects.

Final considerations

While shopping for CBD, you may notice that some products are labeled “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum.” This means the CBD is accompanied by other hemp-derived ingredients such as terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids and very low levels of THC.

The idea behind full- and broad-spectrum products is that the additional compounds interact with and complement the CBD, boosting its effectiveness. This, again, is known as the entourage effect.

Bear in mind that CBD, while fully legal, is not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, there are a lot of subpar CBD products floating around out there. To avoid wasting your money, buy only from well-established brands that have good reputations.

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