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CBD is popping up in lots of our favourite products and topicals, could it really help skincare to work harder or is it just a gimmick?
It can feel like CBD in literally everything these days from toothpicks, topicals to sportswear. One industry that has been an early adopter of the power of cannabinoids in the beauty market. But, with the volume of skin care products such as CBD lotion, eye creams or even mascaras on display, it can start to feel a bit overwhelming.
We examine the benefits of CBD when added to different skincare, topicals or beauty products and how effective it could be
When it comes to shopping for a new moisturiser, pay attention to the label. Some products like lotions may use hemp seed oil and other skincare may contain CBD. However, this has led to a lot of confusion.
CBD is often added to moisturisers because it has hydrating properties. A study in the Clinical Therapeutics journal examined the effects of CBD cream or lotion on 20 patients with either eczema, psoriasis or scarring. Results showed that the cream could be an effective moisturiser and prevented water loss while boosting the elasticity of the skin. The researchers stated this may be because of the anti-inflammatory properties and fatty acids in the creams.
When looking for a CBD product, keep in mind that hemp seed oil has no CBD. A good product will also reveal the percentage of CBD in the product, it will be clearly labelled and the website should display lab testing or results.
The same fatty acids are why hemp seed oil is added to moisturisers.
Hemp seed oil works as a light moisturiser that doesn’t clog the pores which can lead to breakouts. The omega-6 fatty acids contained in the seeds acts as an anti-inflammatory which can help with skin growth and cell renewal. Hemp seed oil is produced by compressing the hemp seeds rather than using the leaves or flowers of the plant.
As well as the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, hemp seed oil also contains unsaturated fats such as linoleic acid, γ-linolenic acid, and α-linolenic acid. These three oils help the skin to retain the moisture it receives from the product.
Exfoliators work by speeding up the skin’s removal of dead skin cells. The lotions contain natural exfoliators such as crystals, or micro-fine granules that are rubbed into the skin to remove the cells and clean out pores.
However fine the particles in an exfoliator, can leave your skin feeling a bit irritated or red. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended that you exfoliate once or twice a week depending on your skin’s oil production. Oilier skin can cope with exfoliators better than drier skins which may struggle with irritation.
CBD may work well in an exfoliator as it can help to soothe irritated skin. If not in the actual product, then studies show it could help to apply directly to the skin afterwards.
A study on CBD involved 20 healthy male and female participants who had sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)-induced irritation (a substance used in studies to imitate the symptoms of contact dermatitis). The groups were given either a 0.1 per cent CBG serum or a placebo to apply topically over two weeks. The CBG serum revealed statistically significant improvements compared to the placebo group, especially for transepidermal water loss or redness.
The skin around our eyes is incredibly delicate which is why creams for this area tend to be lighter than moisturisers.
CBD could help to moisture the skin leaving it more supple and soft. However, it may help to combat ageing by smoothing out the skin.
When applying cream to the eye, make-up artists will often use their third finger to dot on the lotion then smooth out towards the temples of the face. Using the third finger regulates the amount of pressure applied to the skin so it doesn’t cause any damage. Smoothing out the moisturised skin towards the temple helps to drain the lymph nodes thereby reducing the puffy effect we can get from sleepless nights or screens.
An extra tip is to use eye massagers or smooth metal eye tools so that the coldness of the surface reduces puffiness further.
CBD oils may also help to reduce sleepless nights which can contribute to puffy or dark circles around the eyes.
A study from 2019 examined if CBD could improve sleep or reduce anxiety. It involved 72 patients with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep.
The participants were given a capsule containing 25 milligrams of CBD daily. In the first month, 79.2 per cent reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 per cent reported better sleep.
Topicals are one of the fastest-growing areas of the CBD market. They may also offer more than just moisturising or hydrating properties.
The CBD is absorbed through the skin on the hands and may help with painful conditions such as arthritis. Results from one study showed a reduction in pain caused by arthritis. Osteoarthritis was induced in male rats before they were given a dose of CBD. The results showed a potential difference in inflammation when CBD was applied topically.
Our skin can really be affected by the cold or changing weather. These conditions can lead to chapped lips which is why CBD may be able to help and is available in many skincare products including lip balm.
In a recent study, 11 participants applied a CBD and 0.2 per cent retinol topical to their entire face once a day for 42 days. Each of the participants had skin imperfections such as dehydration or roughness. All participants recorded an improvement, with 90 per cent willing to suggest the product to others. Those with visible pores and dehydration showed the greatest improvement.
Spot control topicals
Breakouts happen to the best of us but there is nothing worse when it is right before a big event.
Spot lotions work by drying out the area surrounding the spot while applying various ingredients to the location. The product should also tackle redness, inflammation and be anti-bacterial. This may mean that the product includes ingredients such as salicylic acid or Benzoyl Peroxide. While both ingredients are common in spot lotions, they can also be irritants to sensitive skins.
CBD could present an alternative to this due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that CBD may prevent sebum production in the skin while having an anti-inflammatory effect. So skincare such as lotions or creams containing CBD could help to control the level of natural oils, otherwise known as sebum to prevent further breakouts while calming the area where it has been applied.
There are unsurprisingly not that many studies on the effects of CBD in mascara products. While CBD may condition as any oil product would, our lashes are not the best location for absorption.
If you do decide to use mascara with CBD oil then it’s worth looking at what other ingredients are in your product. Coconut oil has been shown to protect hair against damage and is often used as a carrier for CBD products. However, this doesn’t mean applying your tincture or oil to your eyes as this may actually cause irritation.
Fatty acids such as lauric acid mean that the hair shaft can absorb coconut oil more easily. Although again, this is in studies on hair not eyelashes. When it comes to choosing the best product with CBD it may be better to stick to creams and lotion.
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