Did you know that your skin is your body’s biggest organ? Seriously. And let’s face it, everyone wants to have nice skin.
I guess that explains why CBD skin care has become such a major player in the beauty industry over the last few years. From anti-aging creams to lip balms, massage oils to hand creams, companies are seeing the rising popularity and jumping on the bandwagon.
But is this all just marketing hype? Can topical CBD lotions and serums actually help when it comes to different skin conditions? Can it help brighten up your complexion or help reduce the inflammation behind those painful or irritating skin issues?
It appears so.
CBD Skin Care: The Endocannabinoid Link
Before we jump into the conditions that CBD can help with, it’s best to explain how it works.
Your skin has several different layers, sort of like an onion:
- Epidermis – the top layer
- Derma – the layer below the surface. Home to nerves, sweat glands, hair bulbs, arteries, and veins
- Hypodermis – the third layer. Home to adipose tissue, a specialized connective tissue made up of of lipid-rich cells called adipocytes.
- Subcutaneous layer
Now, the Endocannabinoid System (ES) is a system that runs throughout your entire body. This includes the skin and all its different layers. Researchers have identified several functions of the ES, two of the most important being to “control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells.” This is a delicate balance, and science tells us that if things get out of whack, that’s when diseases of the skin start to develop.
CBD works within the ES, interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the layers of the skin, to help reestablish balance.
So, what does it help with?
CBD Skin Care: The Research
There are numerous studies on CBD regarding all kinds of skin conditions. Here are just a few.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized, in part, by keratinocyte hyper-proliferation. That means that someone with psoriasis has an abnormally high rate of proliferation of cells by rapid division. People with psoriasis see their skin cells come off and change once every two weeks, compared to once a month in those without the condition. Psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system that sends signals that the cells are infected. This causes the excessive growth of skin cells.
When someone has psoriasis, it often results in red or pink patches, and flaking or scaly looking skin as the skin cells come off. The elbows, the knees, and hairline are the most common areas.
For psoriasis specifically, research shows us that CBD inhibits the overproduction of keratinocytes, thereby reducing the rate at which the skin comes off. Also, because it’s an anti-inflammatory, CBD cannabinoid can help soothe the inflammation, brining about significant relief.
Acne is a very common inflammatory condition of the skin. In fact, it’s actually the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting up to 50 million people per year.
Various factors can trigger acne, including genetics, diet, hormones, and excess sebum production.
Since CBD works as an anti-inflammatory, and acne is an inflammatory condition, CBD can calm and soothe irritated skin.
Secondly, research shows us that CBD can decrease excessive sebum production. So, when that sebum gets to be too much, CBD can help bring the levels back to normal.
Additionally, CBD has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, so it may help reduce infections from dirt and other pollutants on the skin.
Note: Because of its antioxidant properties, CBD can help reduce the impact of free radicals on the skin, which can be behind acne and even wrinkles!
Dermatitis an umbrella term that refers conditions that typically involve itchy, dry skin, a rash, or reddened, irritated skin. It can cause blistering, sores, crusting, and flaking of the skin.
There are several types of dermatitis, but two of the most common are atopic (eczema) and seborrheic.
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema) – doctors aren’t sure exactly what causes eczema, but it’s characterized by dry, flaky skin often accompanied by redness and an intense itch. Again, this is an inflammatory issue, so CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties is believed to be of significant benefit.
- Seborrheic dermatitis – this is caused by the overproduction of sebum in the sebaceous glands, which results in red, scaly looking skin usually on the face and around the hairline. Because CBD can reduce sebum secretion, which is most often the cause of this type of dermatitis, it has serious potential helping to reduce the symptoms!
Final Thoughts on CBD Skin Care
The CBD skin care market is estimated to reach $959 million by 2024. That’s massive. And sure, some of those products will be of little value as far as the direct benefits of CBD. Others though, even just basic full spectrum CBD oil or CBD salve, definitely have potential for some very common skin conditions.
If you’re looking for something natural to fight a skin issue, research proves that CBD is undeniably worth a try!