Education Feb 18, 2020

Using CBD oil for acne in your natural skin care routine

by Taylor Hogan

CBD oil for acne

Your skin is a fragile organ that acts as your body's first line of defense by protecting you from the outside world. Examine it closely, and you'll notice tiny pores that allow sweat and oil to escape, cooling you off as toxins are removed from beneath the surface. If these pores frequently become blocked by oil, bacteria, dirt, or dead skin cells, you may develop acne.

Treating acne sometimes feels like a process of trial and error. What works for one person might not for another. If you prefer natural skin care products and struggle with acne, one solution you may want to try is cannabidiol, or CBD — a compound extracted from the hemp plant. As a natural alternative to traditional skin care products, CBD oil can provide acne-prone skin with the relief it deserves.

Below, we'll break this down in more detail so you know what causes acne and what CBD oil can do to help.

What is acne and what causes it?

Before we discuss the benefits of treating acne with CBD oil, let's take a closer look at this common skin condition.

Chances are you've encountered acne during your lifetime. According to the Mayo Clinic, acne typically develops on the face, back, shoulders, and chest, but it can form anywhere that hair follicles appear on your body.

If you look at acne closely, you'll notice that either blackheads or whiteheads form depending on whether or not they reach the surface of your skin. Blackheads open at the surface of your skin and appear darker due to contact with oxygen, whereas whiteheads form below the skin and appear white. These aren't the only forms of acne you may encounter, but they're by far the most common.

Though the causes of acne include everything from your diet to skin conditions, at its essence, acne is caused by a blocked pore. Each pore contains a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland that releases sebum which travels out of the pore and onto your skin. Sebum ensures your skin is lubricated and soft. Acne may occur if there's too much oil production or when dead skin cells and bacteria build up in the pore.

How CBD can help

Using CBD oil on acne has gained traction over the past several years. This is because CBD products may help manage the issues relating to acne.

A promising study published by The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD oil inhibited sebum production and that CBD oil had anti-inflammatory effects on oil-producing glands.

Many CBD skin care products also incorporate complementary ingredients, such as lavender, that may provide further benefits. Along with its pleasant smell, lavender has antibacterial properties that make it a natural skin cleanser free of harsh chemicals and additives. Additionally, research has shown that a lavender oil scent can improve sleep quality by increasing time spent in deep or slow-wave sleep.

When searching for a CBD skin care product, be sure to consider the added ingredients beyond CBD, as many of these can play a role in your everyday well-being.

Why does it work?

CBD oil for acne: Woman applies skin product to hand

CBD is a cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant that doesn't contain psychoactive properties, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. CBD interacts with your body via your endocannabinoid system, a cell-signaling system that determines where your body is injured or unwell. When an issue arises within your body, such as inflammation, receptors in your brain will accept cannabinoids like CBD that provide relief.

Think of this concept in terms of acne. Acne often leads to irritated skin that your body perceives and attempts to counteract. To help your body accomplish this task, we can consume high-quality CBD oil, especially if inflammation and excess oil production are issues of concern for your skin.

Can CBD oil be used for all forms of acne?

Though most of us are familiar with acne because it graced our faces once upon a time, in reality, it can form almost anywhere on your body, except the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet (no hair follicles there). Acne that forms on your body, whether whiteheads or blackheads, is the very same acne that forms on your face, so in general, it’s fine to use one product for any acne you might be dealing with.

There’s also some research supporting that CBD oil may help with skin scarred by acne. A study conducted by the University of Modena and the Reggio Emilia Medical School found that participants with acne-related scars noticed significant improvements after three months.

Can CBD oil help with other skin conditions?

Some people that suffer from itchy skin conditions have found relief when using moisturizers that contain CBD. In one study, 81% of participants with itchy skin noticed reduced symptoms after using a CBD-containing cream. A separate study found that cannabinoid receptors in the skin can manipulate other receptors that cause excess skin cell growth, a common problem among those with psoriasis.

Speak with your dermatologist if you suffer from a skin condition — even if it's not acne. CBD may be able to lend a helping hand.

How to use CBD oil for acne

According to Michele Green, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, CBD oil is safe for use on the skin as a means of treating acne — and it’s a natural antioxidant to boot. Topical CBD oil products aren’t associated with any side effects, but keep in mind that other ingredients contained within the oil may cause irritation.

As with any new skin care product, start by applying a small amount on your skin to see how you like it. Ideally, you’ll apply the CBD oil before sleep, after cleansing and moisturizing your skin. Using the tips of your fingers or a cotton swab, massage a few drops of oil into any area that is currently inflamed with acne or prone to acne. Try this for 30 days as part of your nightly skin care routine for best results.

CBD skin care products

Woman applies serum to her hand

The world of CBD skin care products is evolving rapidly, and not all CBD oil or CBD products are created equal. When you shop for your CBD product, look for terms such as "full spectrum," as these are products that contain all the natural cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, rather than just the cannabinoid CBD. Manufacturers that produce quality CBD products are the same ones willing to provide testimonials and lab results to back up the integrity of their CBD goods.

When Congress passed the Farm Bill in 2018, industrial hemp was legalized at the federal level. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), hemp products should contain less than 0.3% THC. Products that contain more than 0.3% THC are cannabis products, some of which may not be legalized depending on where you live. Be sure to read the fine print before buying any CBD products to ensure they're legal to own and understand the cannabis regulations where you live for more information.

CBD oil for acne-prone skin

Treating acne can be a struggle. It's unpleasant, time-consuming, and downright inconvenient when the expensive products you purchase simply don't rise to the challenge.

CBD oil is an all-natural topical solution. It's sebum-inhibiting and anti-inflammatory properties are a good match for fighting acne at the source. Should you choose to purchase CBD oil for your acne, be sure to do so through a reputable seller whose products are tested by third-party laboratories. Get ready to say adios to acne.

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