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Everything You Need To Know About CBD Skincare

Noma Nazish

Whether its chocolates, cocktails, candles or clothing, CBD is everywhere and in everything you can possibly think of. And now the buzzy ingredient is taking over the world of beauty and skincare.  From serums and sunscreen to chapsticks, creams and cleansers, there is an array of hemp-infused products popping up in beauty supply stores everywhere. 

According to a recent Market Watch report, the global CBD cosmetics market is estimated to be valued at over $580 million, with North America leading the way. And it's expected to hit $1.7 billion by 2025, predicts Grand View Research. Safe to say, the CBD trend isn't going to die down anytime soon. 

If you're considering hopping on the CBD bandwagon too, but are unsure about where to start, here's a primer on all things CBD skincare:

First of all, what is CBD?

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in cannabis plants (eg: marijuana and hemp). It's one of the two primary active ingredients of cannabis, the other one being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Unlike THC, pure CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it doesn't make you feel high. 

Research shows that CBD may be effective in alleviating anxiety, chronic inflammation and pain, insomnia and some rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Moreover, a long-term study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that CBD may help prevent cognitive decline. In addition, according to a review published in the Neurotherapeutics journal, CBD may also be effective in treating substance use disorder. 

Why is it good for your skin?

Known for its healing properties, "cannabidiol offers some serious antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which can be beneficial in treating skin concerns like inflammation, dryness and free radical damage," says Ildi Pekar, NYC-based aesthetician and founder of her own eponymous skincare line

CBD might also be effective in fighting acne as it helps reduce the production of sebum in the skin. Additionally, studies indicate that cannabidiol may be effective in treating eczema and psoriasis as well. 

While the research on CBD's benefits is fairly limited, it's generally considered safe to use topically. "There is likely no harm in continuing to use a CBD-infused product you like," tells Dr. Adarsh Mudgil, a double board-certified dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology. "If you happen to have a reaction from a CBD topical product, it's likely not from the CBD itself, but some other ingredient like a botanical," explains the skincare specialist.

How to choose the right CBD skincare product?

All cannabidiol-infused products are formulated using full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate. 

"Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the compounds found in hemp, including trace amounts of THC.  Broad-spectrum CBD oil, on the other hand, contains a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids derived from hemp, but no THC," explains Ed Donnelly, CBD expert and founder of AmourCBD

Meanwhile, "CBD isolate is the purest version of CBD. It doesn’t contain any other compounds that you find in a hemp plant," tells Pekar. "This form of CBD oil is best for facial skin as it's pure, doesn't clog pores and is packed with skin-rejuvenating antioxidants," adds the aesthetician.

Look for products that mention "cannabidiol", "hemp extract", "broad-spectrum CBD", "full-spectrum CBD" or "hemp CBD" on the label. Also, note that hemp seed oil or cannabis Sativa seed oil isn't the same thing as CBD oil. "CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. It's a finer and lighter oil as compared to hemp seed oil that tends to be greasier," explains Pekar.

Another essential step is to determine the amount of CBD in a product. "For instance, if you are looking for lotions and oils for pain relief or anxiety, the CBD percentage needs to be higher in order to be effective," says Pekar. 

 The most important factor to consider, however, is the quality of the product you're purchasing. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 60% of online CBD products are mislabeled. So, "make sure you trust the brand and have confidence that the product is safe and that it contains exactly what the label claims it contains," says Donnelly. "It's best to always opt for products that have been tested in a third-party lab," suggests Pekar. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when buying a CBD product.

Also, is it legal?

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp, containing less than 0.3% THC, are legal. 

"CBD is legal in all 50 states as a supplement, but infusing it into food and other products is an open question," says Donnelly.

 "The government’s position on CBD is confusing," notes Dr. Peter Grinspoon in a Harvard Health report

"While the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license," Dr. Grinspoon points out. 

The Best CBD-Infused Skincare Products To Try

And now, if you're ready to venture into the world of CBD skincare, here are some of the best CBD skincare picks money can buy:

Skin Dope's Argan Oil + 100 Mg CBD Oil ($78)

Enriched with organic argan oil and sustainably sourced CBD, Josie Maran's luxurious, lightweight oil packs a serious antioxidant punch. The fast-absorbing oil soothes redness, protects the skin from sun damage and improves its elasticity while locking in essential moisture. Plus, its fragrance-free formula makes it safe for even sensitive skin types. 

Cannuka's CBD Calming Eye Balm ($38)

This Manuka honey and CBD-infused eye balm does everything from plumping and brightening the delicate under-eye skin to shielding it from environmental stressors. It also contains Vitamin C-rich grapefruit extract to help even out skin tone and revitalize tired skin. 

Leef Organics' Nooks + Crannies CBD Soap ($22)

Packed with star skincare ingredients like olive oil, sunflower seed oil, kaolin and chamomile, Leef Organics' Nooks + Crannies soap gently exfoliates and nourishes the skin. While the skin-soothing hemp extract offers antioxidant benefits. Moreover, the soap comes in a nifty plantable packaging that's embedded with non-GMO tomato seeds so you can grow your own organic tomatoes in the backyard. Pretty cool, right?

Ildi Pekar's Tissue Repair Serum ($148)

Powered by skin-loving ingredients such as aloe vera juice, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and cucumber extract, this anti-aging serum works to brighten the complexion, refine skin texture, lighten dark spots and smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, the CBD oil helps soothe tired skin and accelerate its natural healing process.

Lord Jones' High CBD Formula Body Lotion ($60)

This raved-about body lotion from Lord Jones is enriched with shea butter and glycerin to replenish and bind moisture to the skin. While the broad-spectrum CBD soothes stressed-out skin and helps repair free radical damage. Plus, it features a delightfully refreshing scent that has hints of sage, mint and green citrus. There's also a fragrance-free option available for those who have sensitive skin. 

The CBD Skincare Co.'s CBD Infused Exfoliating Cleanser ($34)

Featuring a potent blend of glycolic acid, lactic acid and acne-zapping salicylic acid, this CBD-laced cleansing lotion washes away all traces of makeup, grime and other impurities, without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. And it features tiny jojoba beads that gently slough off dead skin cells, revealing fresher, smoother and brighter skin.

Kana's Lavender CBD Sleeping Mask ($55)

Formulated with broad-spectrum hemp, lavender oil and over 20 other skin-soothing botanicals, Kana's multitasking face mask delivers deep hydration, calms inflammation and brightens the complexion. It also contains hyaluronic acid and beta-glucan to plump up the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.  

Vertly's CBD Infused Lip Balm ($22)

Handcrafted with skin-nourishing ingredients like shea butter, cacao butter, jojoba oil and coconut oil, this intensely moisturizing lip balm will make chapped lips a thing of the past. Infused with 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD, the luscious lip balm is available in three delectable scents: cocoa, rose and peppermint. 

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I’ve been a digital journalist and writer for the past four years, primarily covering the world of lifestyle and wellness. After completing my postgraduation in

I’ve been a digital journalist and writer for the past four years, primarily covering the world of lifestyle and wellness. After completing my postgraduation in International Journalism, I worked as a Features Writer at Cosmopolitan India where I wrote extensively on pop culture, beauty and everything lifestyle. I've also contributed to The News Hub, Zee News, Business for People and Planet and OneWorld South Asia, among other publications. Other than that, I'm an avid reader and enjoyer of quality procedurals. When not penning articles or chasing deadlines, I like to bake, dabble in poetry, make DIY craft projects and coddle my tripod cat.