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CBD Skincare Benefits: Using CBD on the Skin

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The popularity of skincare has skyrocketed in the last decade, and it's proving to be more than a passing trend.

With an abundance of information readily available to people who are eager to achieve radiant skin, it seems as though it's more attainable now than ever before to have that glow once reserved for the rich and famous.

One of the most sought-after ingredients in the market today for skin is cannabidiol or CBD.

Extracted from hemp plants, CBD is widely known for its numerous health benefits, including reducing stress and inflammation and managing pain when taken internally — but what can it do for skin texture?

If you're thinking about adding CBD to your skincare routine but are unsure about where to start, we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about CBD skincare and how to build an individualized skin care routine based on your goals.

Key Takeaways:

  • CBD skincare features a high concentration of CBD (cannabidiol hemp extract) as an active ingredient to support a wide range of skincare goals.

  • Topical CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the skin to exert its effects to support the skin organ's functions.

  • CBD skin care products are available in many different formulations, so it's important that you find the formulations that are best suited to your skin concerns to see the benefits of your CBD product.

  • To make the most of CBD for your health, you can take it internally (oil, capsules, gummies) and externally (on the skin) to support the whole endocannabinoid system.

Benefits Of CBD Skin Care

The skin is a complex organ comprised of many different components that perform a wide range of functions, making it challenging to find the underlying cause of many skin concerns.

This is where CBD can come in to help.

CBD doesn't have targeted effects that address one specific concern. Instead, it strengthens a system vital in supporting the skin organ's optimal function, the endocannabinoid system.

In the skin, the ECS has been shown to regulate several processes, including [2]:

  1. Inflammation: The ECS is involved in the skin's immune response and inflammation, which can help to reduce redness and swelling associated with common skin conditions.

  2. Cell growth: The ECS also helps regulate cell growth and differentiation, which is important for maintaining healthy skin and preventing skin disorders.

  3. Oil production: The ECS may play a role in sebum production in the skin, which can impact skin oiliness and contribute to developing skin conditions such as acne.

  4. Sensory perception: The ECS is involved in the regulation of skin sensitivity, helping to control sensations such as pain and itch.

The effects of topical CBD products will depend on the overall formulation, but here are a few reasons why someone may reach for a CBD-infused product for their skincare routine:

  • Calm irritated or inflamed skin

  • Soothe and reduce breakouts due to excess sebum production

  • Combat free radical damage for a more youthful appearance

  • Add hydration back into the skin and strengthen the skin's natural moisture barrier

  • Provide comfort to sensitive skin

Tips For a CBD Skincare Routine

CBD oil for the skin is popularly used to address localized muscle and joint discomfort in muscle rubs and massage body oil — but we're now seeing CBD skin care on the rise with formulations that help to address aging skin, dryness, and skin barrier repair.

1. Know Your Skin Type

Recognizing our skin type is the first step in creating a routine that works for you. There are five main skin types:

  1. Oily: shiny complexion, especially in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), larger pores that tend to clog, leading to blackheads and is much more prone to breakouts.

  2. Dry: rough, flakey texture that is prone to itching and may appear dull and lacklustre. This skin type is much more prone to fine lines and wrinkles due to the lack of moisture in the skin and may have irritation and redness.

  3. Combination: have an oily T-zone with enlarged pores, but tend to have dry patches of skin with an uneven overall appearance.

  4. Sensitive: sensitive skin types look dry and red and are highly reactive to skincare products, which can lead to burning and itching sensations or breakouts. It can be difficult to pinpoint triggers for this skin type, so it's recommended that you see a healthcare professional to address your skin concerns with sensitive skin.

  5. Normal: normal skin types look hydrated, have a smooth texture, and generally have smaller pores and few imperfections.

It's also possible for your skin type to shift over time as you age, diet changes, hormones fluctuate, or experience changes in your environment and stress levels.

2. Keep It Simple

If you're seeing all the social media skincare trends, you might be under the impression that you need a 15-step skincare routine to get radiant skin — but if you're just getting started, simple is best.

Using too many new products can irritate your skin further and damage the skin barrier, making your skin more sensitive and prone to breakouts.

Choose a gentle cleanser on the skin that's tough enough on dirt and makeup without stripping your natural oils. Apply moisturizer in the mornings and evenings, whether you have oily or dry skin, to help regulate oil production. Always apply SPF before going outdoors to protect your skin from UV damage.

All of that adds up to three products, which is really all you need.

If you're going to use a serum to target specific concerns (acne, dark spots, fine lines), don't over do it. Choose one product and stick with it for a few weeks before adding or changing anything to your routine.

3. Hydrate Your Skin

Hydrate your skin from within by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and moisturize twice daily as part of your morning and evening skincare routine.

In our opinion, the best CBD skincare products are creams and lotions.

Lighter cream formulations are better suited for daytime use because they absorb quickly into the skin and provide a lighter layer of hydration that doesn't feel heavy or greasy. This allows your skin to breathe and provides a good base for makeup application.

At night, however, our skin is in repair mode, and it's a good idea to use a more nourishing, richer formula to help hydrate and repair the skin while we sleep.

4. Protect Your Skin From The Sun

The sun's UV rays are incredibly damaging to the skin as some lightwaves can go deep into the layers of skin and cause damage to the DNA in the cells, causing dark spots, premature ageing, and increasing the risk of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer).

Because the skin on our faces is much thinner and more sensitive than the rest of the body, you must adequately protect yourself by limiting direct sun exposure, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, or wearing a cap if you can't avoid the sun.

5. Make Your Skincare Routine Fun

If you struggle to maintain a regular skincare routine, it may help if you find ways to make your skincare routine exciting or relaxing so that you look forward to it.

This can include creating a calming and peaceful environment by playing music, lighting candles, and dimming the lights.

Establishing a routine that feels like a special ritual can encourage you to take your time so you're not rushing through the steps. This little ritual could give you more time for yourself as a beautiful and relaxing way to practice self-care and mindfulness.

6. Choose A High Potency CBD Skincare Product

A big no-no we see far too often in the world of CBD skincare is products with a very low CBD potency.

A high-potency CBD product is key because the concentration directly affects its effectiveness, especially when applied to the skin for targeted relief. This principle extends to skincare products like CBD creams for back pain as well. The localized application helps tackle inflammation directly at the source, providing relief not only for superficial skin conditions but also for deeper back pain issues.

CBD skincare with low concentrations may not be able to reach the endocannabinoid receptors on the skin to deliver any noticeable results — which means you could be overpaying for your CBD skincare products.

Always look to third-party lab tests to verify the CBD concentration and that its free from harmful contaminants that may cause further irritation to the skin.

6 Best CBD Skincare Products to Use

  1. CBD Balms
  2. CBD Creams
  3. CBD Lotions
  4. CBD Serums
  5. CBD Sunscreen
  6. CBD Cleaners
The Different Forms Of CBD Skincare Products

Because of the many potential benefits of CBD in skincare on the endocannabinoid system, it's become a practical ingredient in creams & lotions. When shopping for CBD beauty products, you'll come across many different formulations, ranging from serums, oils, masks, balms, and lotions.

Each form offers unique benefits and can be used in different skincare routines to target specific concerns.

CBD Balms

CBD balms are great for specific skin concerns such as extremely dry skin, rough elbows and knees, dry cuticles, and chapped lips.

Unlike lotions, CBD salve and creams, balms are thicker and more concentrated topicals made with oils and waxes to create a protective barrier on the skin. Rather than adding moisture, balms help to prevent further water loss and protect sensitive areas from the environment.

CBD Creams & Lotions

Skincare creams and lotions are designed to hydrate and nourish the skin — and they're a staple in all skin care routines whether you have dry or oily skin. Creams and lotions typically combine moisturizing agents such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid that help to hydrate and retain moisture within the skin barrier.

The difference between the two is that creams are much thicker than lotions with a higher oil content than water, making them more appropriate for certain skin concerns.

Creams are an excellent format for CBD skincare. This is because it allows for efficient absorption into the skin (as long it has a high enough potency), where it can interact with the endocannabinoid system to provide its various lotion benefits. The best CBD creams for pain have high potency of CBD that is needed to potentially provide targeted relief and soothe discomfort.

CBD Serums

Serums are lightweight, fast-absorbing products with a high concentration of active ingredients that are designed to be applied after cleansing and toning but before your moisturizer.

The lightweight texture is intended to help the active ingredients penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin to target specific skin concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and dullness.

When choosing a serum, look for a high concentration of CBD (upwards of 1000 mg/ oz).

CBD Sunscreen

Sun protection is a must in building any skincare routine. A good sunscreen will protect your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause premature ageing and cellular damage, increasing skin cancer risk.

When choosing a sunscreen, look for broad-spectrum protection from UVA/UVB with at least 30 SPF or higher protection. Some brands offer CBD-infused sunblock that is said to provide antioxidant benefits and protect against environmental pollutants.

CBD Cleansers

Cleansers or facewashes remove impurities from the skin like oil and dirt without stripping the skin from its natural oils and prepare the application of other skincare products.

CBD cleansers come in various formulations, from oil cleansers, gel cleansers, and foaming cleansers. However, we're skeptical about the true effectiveness and practicality of CBD cleansers.

Skincare Ingredients in CBD Creams

  • Antioxidants: such as CBD, green tea extract, resveratol, and vitamin E help to protect the skin from environmental damage and combat the effects of oxidative stress.

  • Vitamin C: vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that's used to fight oxidative stress, but it's also a promising ingredient for brightening the complexion and reducing the appearance of scarring.

  • Hyaluronic acid: is a humectant which helps to attract moisture from the air and retain it in the skin. It's beneficial for dry and mature skintypes to add moisture deep within the skin for a more youthful appearance.

  • Niacinamide: is a form of vitamin B3 that's been observed to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the skin barrier.

  • Peptides: are small chains of amino acids that may help to stimulate collagen production within the skin that addresses fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Retinoids: are derived from vitamin A and are a skin superhero in their ability to encourage skin cell turnover (how fast new and healthy skin cells appear on the skin surface). This is a popular ingredient because it has acne-fighting benefits and has been touted for its anti-aging properties.

Using CBD Oil for Skincare

Using CBD oil in skincare has become increasingly popular due to its natural benefits for the skin. CBD oil is known for its hydrating properties, which can be particularly beneficial for dry and flaky skin. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory qualities can help reduce redness and swelling, offering relief for skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. The antioxidant properties of CBD oil also contribute to protecting the skin from environmental stressors and can aid in reducing signs of aging. Furthermore, its calming effects can soothe irritated skin, making it a versatile addition to skincare routines.

However, it's important to note that while CBD oil is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience mild side effects. These can include skin sensitivity or allergic reactions in rare cases. There's also a potential for interaction with other skincare ingredients, so integrating CBD oil into your routine should be done with care.

Given these considerations, it's often best to opt for specially formulated CBD creams and lotions.

Takeaway: Benefits of CBD on Skin

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found widespread mislabeling of CBD products being sold online. So beware, not all CBD skin care is created equally. While it's true that CBD can indeed have incredible skin benefits, if you don't have a high dosage of CBD in the product, then it's probably not as effective as you’d think.|

When selecting CBD skincare, look for products with clear, verifiable CBD content and opt for reputable brands that provide third-party lab results. With the right product, you can enjoy the myriad benefits of CBD for your skin, including hydration, reduced inflammation, and a calming effect, leading to a healthier, more radiant complexion. Remember, informed choices are key to maximizing the skin-nourishing potential of CBD skincare.


1. Does CBD Skin Care work for acne?

CBD skincare can be effective for acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce redness and swelling associated with acne breakouts. Additionally, CBD's potential to regulate oil production can also aid in preventing acne.

2. What does CBD Cream do for your Face?

CBD cream, when applied to the face, can offer hydration and may reduce inflammation, making it beneficial for issues like dry skin, redness, and irritation. Its antioxidant properties also help protect the skin from environmental stressors.

3. Is CBD good for your skin?

Yes, CBD is generally good for the skin as it offers moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties. These qualities can help address a variety of skin concerns, contributing to overall skin health.

4. Does CBD Oil work for hyperpigmentation?

Regarding hyperpigmentation, there's limited research specifically on CBD oil's effect. However, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties might contribute to reducing skin discoloration and promoting an even skin tone, though more targeted treatments may be required for significant hyperpigmentation issues.

5. Does CBD cream work for pain?

Some CBD cream formulations show promise for addressing pain—but it's also worth mentioning that the effectiveness of a CBD cream for pain relief can vary on the individual, the severity of pain, and the quality of the CBD cream formulation.


  1. Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 927-942.

  2. Del Río, C., Millán, E., García, V., Appendino, G., DeMesa, J., & Muñoz, E. (2018). The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders. Biochemical pharmacology, 157, 122-133.

Jan Brandrup

M.Eng Electrical & Mechanical Jan Brandrup is a Denmark born leader who has actualized multiple of his entrepreneurial businesses to success. Committed to excellent standards of functional craftsmanship, his work spans globally from Scandinavia to South Africa, Turkey, Russia, the Middle Eas...

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