Skincare is about trust.
We make connections with brands and products that we believe in, that bring us confidence…that deliver a sense of hope. We take time to build a wardrobe of solutions for all the day-to-day challenges and changes to our skin. We know what works for us but embrace innovation, welcoming newness to our regimes.
So, if CBD has been one of the hottest beauty and wellness ingredients of the last couple of years, why has it remained for some, shrouded by a sense of caution?
I hope this article empowers you to navigate the growing swell of CBD / Hemp products to know where best to invest for maximum effect.
The most important thing to remember is, CBD and marijuana are NOT the same thing. Let’s look at the science behind CBD and why welcoming this three-letter ingredient into your beauty routine could be just what your skin needs.
CBD AND HEMP SEED OIL – SAME PLANT, BUT DIFFERENT
The Cannabis Sativa plant yields both Hemp Seed Oil and CBD.
The former is cold pressed oil from the seeds of the plant, rich in omega 3 and 6 oils, essential fatty acids that help nourish, repair, strengthen skin barrier and build resilience; plus antioxidants A, C, E that help protect the skin from environmental aggressors that accelerate the ageing process.
CBD extract is taken from the flowers and buds, the most delicate element of the plant. It has become renowned for helping calm stressed skin, soothe inflammation and return balance to the complexion.
They are complementary. They are not the same.
Well, I don’t know about miracle, but there is a growing weight of research to support the use of CBD in medical, therapeutic and topical application for its extraordinary balancing, anti-inflammatory action.
To understand this ingredient, we must look to the botanical origin.
The hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa) from which most CBD is harvested produces around 100 different cannabinoids – the active compound found within the cannabis plant.
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of these, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the other most well known. THC is the mind-altering, psychoactive cannabinoid that is illegal in most parts of the world. CBD is extracted without THC, it has no comparable psychoactive properties.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid, a plant origin cannabinoid that mimics the behaviours of endocannabinoids which are produced naturally within the human form. Our human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a network of receptors found throughout our bodies in our connective tissues, internal organs, glands, immune cells and skin it is known to help regulate and maintain internal balances; from mood to appetite, to immune response and skin health.
Our skin has natural receptors for cannabidiols like CBD as they are adaptogens, meaning they are recognised by the body, absorbed quickly and connect to the receptors that resolve pain and inflammation.
HOW CAN CBD HELP YOUR SKIN?
CBD has been digested orally for some time because of its renowned calmative properties, helping many with anxiety to maintain equilibrium, focus and ease chronic pain.
For topical application, it is well documented that inflammation is the source of most of our skincare miseries. Inflammation causes reactivity within the skin and that may manifest as breakout, pigmentation, sensitivity, redness, skin condition flare-ups like psoriasis and eczema. Inflammation can result from environmental exposure, lifestyle and diet choices, UV damage, health issues or stress.
Following on from our last piece on skin stress and how this manifests, if you are suffering from “lockdown skin” woes, if your skin feels imbalanced, hormonal fluctuations cause breakouts, stress is creating havoc with dehydration, redness and discomfort, dermatological conditions manifest in itchy, stressed skin and scalp…this may be a perfect time to try a new addition to your skincare wardrobe.
CBD is sebostatic which means it is efficient at balancing sebum production within the complexion, thereby minimising congestion and breakouts, it helps reinforce skin strength and resilience through improved hydration and barrier function and it helps minimise ageing damage caused by trauma and irritation.
HOW TO INCORPORATE CBD INTO YOUR SKINCARE REGIME
For optimal potency I would opt for an oil or serum. Look for mg dosage of CBD, this implies a company that is reputable in their use of the ingredient, if they suggest a particular number of drops to achieve optimal dosage – even better.
By choosing an oil or serum, the formulation is structured to deliver the greatest efficacy, they will also be an opportunity to layer into an existing routine.
Obviously application direction would vary depending on the formulation, however my suggestion would be that if you choose an oil, apply this as your last, restorative and relaxing step in your evening routine. After a thorough double cleanse, apply any lighter serums such as hyaluronic acid, then use your oil to massage for a minute. Work from the centre of the face with even, firm pressure along contours to help mobilise the cellular activity deep beneath the skin surface to help rejuvenate skin tone and aid the reparative process.
For a serum, the general rule of thumb is to apply serums in order of lightest to heaviest, giving each a little time to absorb. You would need to follow individual brand directions as to whether they suggest AM / PM or only once per day. Finish with a moisturiser to sit on the surface and lock in all that goodness, while fortifying the natural moisture barrier.
Depending on potency, you may wish to introduce this sparingly into your regime over a week or two. Giving skin a chance to adapt and accept the new potion!
The Insider’s Tip
Information is power.
There are products that would dupe you to believe that they are CBD products. Hemp Seed Oil or any other iteration of Hemp derived oil…is not CBD. Check the INCI (ingredient list), it should read cannabidiol to be truly CBD in the formulation and the higher up the INCI it comes, the higher the potency.