Cbd lotion with hemp leaf.

Key Takeaways

  • Research suggests that CBD may be used to regulate several skin conditions by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ESC).

  • CBD may be effective in maintaining healthy barrier function by working against oxidative stress, combating eczema and skin infections, facilitating wound healing, reducing acne by combating inflammation and regulating the production of sebum, and has anti-aging properties.

  • Depending on your needs and personal preferences, you can apply topical CBD skincare products for targeted effects or take CBD edibles to improve your overall health, including complexion.

CBD products are the talk of the town nowadays and for a good reason. These products may offer many benefits, from easing discomfort to alleviating symptoms of anxiety.

CBD may also benefit the overall health of your skin.

Read on to find out how CBD may be an excellent addition to your skincare.

How Cannabinoids Interact With the Skin

Graphics showing the layers of the skin.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is responsible for our body’s homeostasis. It contains multiple components that we can classify into three categories:

  • Signaling molecules called the endocannabinoids
  • Specific receptors (CB1 and CB2)  
  • Enzymes that synthesize, breakdown and transport endocannabinoids

The ECS is most well-known for regulating the central nervous and immune systems.

However, recent research suggests that the ECS also plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis of the skin and healthy barrier function.

Dysregulation of the ECS may cause several skin disorders. These include acne, eczema, itching, abnormal hair growth, hair loss, hyperpigmentation, and hypopigmentation.  

Among other areas in the human body, CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in numerous skin structures. These include epidermal keratinocytes, cutaneous nerve fibers, dermal cells, melanocytes, sweat glands, and hair follicles. 

Endocannabinoids interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors and another type of receptor called the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) receptor.

These are also present in several types of skin cells and are involved in various functions like forming and maintaining the skin barrier, cell growth, immunological and inflammatory processes, and cell differentiation.

Because we obtain cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, they can bind with the same receptors that endocannabinoids interact with.

Therefore, CDB may be used to regulate several skin functions.

Benefits of CBD to Skin Health

Woman peeling off cbd facemask from her face and showing off her healthy skin.

Since the ECS plays a vital role in regulating the functions of the skin, CBD and other cannabinoids may be effective in keeping the skin healthy in general.

Healthy Barrier Function

Your skin is your first defense line, constantly protecting you from harmful environmental factors.

Unfortunately, these stressors produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause your skin oxidative stress.  

Oxidative stress can result in cell damage and chronic inflammation if not treated soon. It can also lead to several skin disorders and is one of the leading causes of skin aging.

The cells that are especially sensitive to environmental stressors are Keratinocytes, which adhere the skin cells to each other and form the skin’s protective barrier.

Typically, healthy skin responds to ROS by producing an enzyme called Hemeoxygenase1 (HMOX1). This enzyme has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help fight against oxidative stress.

CBD may work against oxidative stress by inducing the expression of this enzyme, all with other ROS defense mechanisms, thereby promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Combating Eczema

Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis (AD), is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Studies report that one in ten people develop this condition in their lifetime.

Multiple factors cause eczema, including compromised skin barrier, microbiome imbalance, genetics, immune response, and environmental triggers.

In a recent study, CBD exhibited anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting it may be an effective treatment for this skin disorder.

Microbiome imbalance of the skin, mainly due to the colonization and biofilm formation of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), is also a significant factor contributing to the severity of dermatitis. 

The essential oil extracted from hemp may have the antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties needed to fight against S. aureus.

Wound Healing

Wound healing is a delicate process that involves three overlapping phases–inflammation, proliferation, and tissue remodeling.

The ECS may play a role in wound healing by regulating cutaneous inflammation, functions of fibroblasts, and the multiplication and differentiation of epidermal cells.

A study reported increased wound healing, less blistering, and reduced pain in three patients treated with topical use of CBD.

These patients suffered from pain and blistering because of a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis bullosa.

Although CBD may be an effective treatment in wound healing, more research is to be done in this area.

Acne-Fighting Properties

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting up to 50 million Americans per year. Overproduction of sebum, overproliferation of sebocytes (sebum-producing cells), and inflammation are the three main factors that cause dermatitis. 

The ECS plays a vital role in the homeostasis of the skin and the synthesis of fatty acids responsible for producing sebum.

This piece of information means that CBD may combat inflammation and regulate the production of sebum and sebocytes, thereby reducing acne.   

In addition to the three factors mentioned above, another major cause of acne is the imbalance of the skin microbiome.

The overgrowth of the bacteria Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) has been linked to acne for over a hundred years.

Because CBD may have antimicrobial properties, so it may be an effective treatment against C. acnes and acne.      

Anti-aging Properties

Several agents are responsible for causing wrinkles: genetics, UV rays, smoking, and environmental stressors.

Although you can’t do much about your genetics, you can control the other factors.

Oxidative stress caused by environmental factors is one major cause of aging. 

Prolonged oxidative stress results in the loss of collagen and elastin fibers, leading to skin sagging and wrinkles.

CBD may have the antioxidant properties you need to fight this oxidative stress and prevent those fine lines from forming.

Furthermore, CBD may reduce wrinkles by:

  • Fighting inflammation: This substance may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

  • Regulating sebum: CBD may help promote the optimum levels of sebum, which may benefit the overall health of your skin and reduce wrinkles.

  • Providing hydration: CBD may have hydrating properties, which can help combat dryness and keep wrinkles at bay.

Despite CBD’s anti-aging properties, your skincare products won’t be able to do their job without the help of a good sunscreen.

Protection is the best cure, so don’t forget to lather some on during the day.

Fight Skin Infections 

CBD has been reported to be effective against various Gram-positive bacteria due to its antimicrobial properties.

Furthermore, CBD may be combined with Bacitracin (BAC), a skin antibiotic, to combat Gram-negative bacteria. 

How to Use CBD for Your Skin

A picture of a woman applying cbd cream on her hand.

From CBD gummies to CBD oil, there are various methods available to help you incorporate CBD into your day-to-day skincare routine.

However, it depends on which way you find most comfortable.

Topical Care

Whichever CBD skincare product you purchase, remember, it still is just a skincare product. This means you need to apply it in the correct step of your skincare regimen.

Otherwise, you won’t receive the full benefits.

Apply your products from the thinnest to the thickest as a rule of thumb. If you can’t figure out the consistency, reading the directions on the label is always a good idea. 

Wondering how many CBD skincare products are too many CBD products? Although it’s okay if several of your skincare products contain CBD, too much of anything can be harmful.

So it’s always best to start small and work your way up.

Be it a lotion, oil or serum, or all three, always do a patch test before using the product. And don’t forget, a little bit goes a long way!


Although the products you apply to your skin play a significant role in your skin health, your diet is just as essential to keep you glowing.

There are many CBD edibles for you to choose from; gummies and soft gels are just two options. Edibles can offer the same skin benefits you would get if you apply CBD topically.  

Since CBD is still undergoing research, there are no specific guidelines on how much you’re supposed to use. It’s best to start low and gradually increase the dose till you see the results you’re hoping for.

Final Words

The skin is your largest organ and deserves as much love and attention as the rest of your body, if not more. Investing in a good CBD skincare product may help you achieve your desired results.

However, keep in mind that your skin is different, and not every skincare product suits everyone. 

Therefore, do your research before purchasing CBD for your skin. You should also look into what kind of CBD product you want (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate).

Always do a patch test before using the product. Don’t be shy to speak to your dermatologist if you’re unclear on something.

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