If a product is all over Instagram or in all of your friends’ medicine cabinets should you be using it too? Welcome to “Do You Really Need…”, a new series where we discuss, with the help of some experts, how to determine whether or not a trendy or divisive product really belongs in YOUR skin care routine. Today we’re talking about CBD oil-infused skin care.
You can barely walk down a New York City block these days without seeing a street sign promoting CBD oil or products – like lattes, cocktails, and even pastries – infused with it. To say the plant extract is having a moment would be an understatement.
I have personally bought into the hype; I currently use CBD oil as a means of de-stressing from a long day and to get a more restful night’s sleep. It’s great! So when a CBD face oil from skin care brand June CBD came across my desk recently, I needed no convincing to test it out.
Read on to hear about my personal experience, plus all the info you need to determine whether or not CBD skin care products are worth trying for yourself.
How CBD Benefits Skin
Sylvia Wehrle, founder June CBD, told me that the ingredient “delivers powerful terpenes that help to encourage rejuvenation of the dermal layers. CBD, short for cannabidiol, also works to decrease inflammation and studies have also shown that it reduces sebum production thereby reducing the chance of breakouts.”
She also said it can be beneficial for those with skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
In order to be effective on the skin, CBD needs to be paired with a fat molecule to serve as a transporter. For June CBD, Sylvia’s choice was camellia japonica oil, harvested and cold-pressed in Japan. The formula also contains a blend of other botanical oils like almond seed oil, rose hip oil, and macadamia nut oil that are rich in vitamin C, E, and oleic acid, and offer additional brightening, hydrating, and calming benefits.
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What It Did For My Skin
The June CBD Daily Facial Serum ($80) arrived on my desk at the perfect time: right after the holidays when my skin was more dehydrated, congested, and inflamed than usual. I incorporated the oil into my morning and nighttime routine after my essence and before my moisturizer.
Like any face oil, it takes some time to absorb, but I find that my face feels less greasy and looks less shiny after application compared to other, non-CBD oils I’ve used. The scent is definitely earthy (the formula contains bergamot and neroli), but not in a “Hey, who’s smoking weed in here?” way.
One of my biggest skin concerns is redness and to neutralize it, I wear BB cream and a dusting of mineral foundation everyday. But since using the CBD serum over the past month, my complexion has looked more even and most days I can get away with the BB cream on its own which is a win in my book.
I’ve also noticed that I’ve barely had any pimples crop up during my testing period, and that even when temperatures have dropped to the single digits, my dry skin doesn’t get flaky or irritated.
But Wait…Will CBD Products Get You High?
Nope! THC is the compound in cannabis plants that has psychoactive properties when ingested. CBD, while similar in that it can be used to relieve issues like pain and anxiety, does not offer any mind-altering effects.
And if you’re wondering if CBD oil is legal, the answer is…pretty much. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, passed by Congress last year, CBD extracted from industrial hemp (meaning the plant contains less than .3% THC) is legal. CBD extracted from marijuana plants that contain more than .3% THC is not, unless you’re in a state that allows recreational or medicinal marijuana use.
Because not everyone follows the rules, Sylvia recommends always making sure a product’s source is industrial hemp and if in doubt, asking for third party lab reports. “Our CBD is always third party tested to insure the presence of no pesticides, processing chemicals and also to prove quantity of CBD in milligrams in the product,” she says.
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How Do You Know If You’re Getting a Product With Quality CBD?
“Ensure that it is extracted safely using CO2 extraction,” says Sylvia. “Some companies will use chemicals like butane to extract their CBD.”
She also suggests looking for full spectrum CBD. “The more cannabinoids present, the more powerful the effects the consumer will see from the CBD ingredient,” she says.
What Is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Cannabis Sativa Hemp Seed Oil?
Brands like Kiehl’s, Peter Thomas Roth, and Herbivore Botanicals are just some of the many major brands jumping on the cannabis craze by launching soothing product lines that contain cannabis sativa hemp seed oil. This ingredient can be helpful for skin, but does not offer the same level of benefits.
“Hemp seed lacks the cannabinoids that reduce inflammation and encourage healthy cell production and is sourced just from the seeds,” says Sylvia. “CBD oil is sourced from the full plant and does contain cannabinoids.”
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So Do You Need CBD Skin Care?
One of the reasons there’s so much excitement around CBD is that it can be used to target a wide variety of skin concerns. If you are in search of a solution for inflammation, redness or skin sensitivities, CBD oil is definitely an ingredient to consider. Since CBD can also help regulate sebum production and keep breakouts at bay, I’d also recommend it to someone with oily or combination skin who has resisted incorporating a facial oil into their routine for fear that it will make their skin feel greasy or clog their pores. It’s also said to have antioxidant properties that can help prevent and diminish signs of aging like fine lines.
There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done on the ingredient – both in general and in relation to skin – however, what has been done thus far looks promising. “We’ve learned a great deal about the dermatologic applications of cannabis over the past several years, and we’re continually learning more,” said Dr. Jeanette Jacknin, a board-certified dermatologist in a 2018 report from the American Academy of Dermatology.