CBD for Acne: Skin Benefits and Research

By Melena Gurganus
Mmathilde Langevin, Unsplash

Most people have experienced acne at some point in their lives, and for some of us, it can take years to find a solution. Harsh ingredients, prescription medications, and expensive trips to the dermatologist can throw your skin out of balance, and cost you a lot of money in the long run. In search of a better treatment option, some people are starting to use CBD for acne.

What is CBD Oil for Acne?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis plants, although it is typically extracted from a specific strain known as hemp. CBD oil, sometimes also referred to as hemp oil, has many beneficial advantages when applied to the skin thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which suggests that CBD may treat acne and soothe the skin.

How Does It Work?

Our bodies are equipped with an endocannabinoid system, which helps us regulate hormones and maintain balance. This system is comprised of cannabinoid receptors all throughout the body (including on the surface of skin). CBD stimulates these receptors and can help balance sebum oil production in sebaceous glands, or hair follicles. This prevents excess oil and dead skin cells from clogging pores, which causes acne. The effects of CBD also reduce inflammation, swelling, and redness of irritated skin.

How to Use CBD for Acne

CBD oil on its own is too potent to be applied directly to skin since it contains many highly concentrated plant extracts that may overwhelm the skin, potentially causing minor irritation. Because of this, the best way to use CBD for acne is to find the best CBD cream or topical for the job.

Best CBD for Acne Products

Plant People Face Serum

Perfect for any skin type, this luxurious face serum contains 300mg of cannabinoids, like CBD and CBC, as well as other natural plant botanicals to even complexion and smooth fine lines. And for extra exfoliation to unclog pores, Plant People also offers a CBD-infused face mask to leave skin feeling extra smooth and refreshed.

Medterra CBD Manuka Honey Cream

Made with powerful manuka honey from New Zealand, this expertly blended cream features THC free CBD extract and 20 organic and all-natural botanical ingredients that help to soothe and nourish the skin. It’s available in two concentrations, either 125mg or 250mg of CBD per container.

CBD Medic Acne Treatment Cream

For any acne-related skin problem, this topical cream is specially formulated to target blackheads, whiteheads, and other blemishes with the help of CBD and other natural ingredients. For the ultimate acne treatment, you can pair this cream with the CBDMedic acne foaming facial cleanser for an enhanced two-step process.

In lieu of a CBD-infused topical, you can also choose to make your own acne treatment using a CBD oil and a carrier oil. This alternative option allows you to curate your own CBD acne treatment using some of the most popular carrier oils, like argan oil, jojoba oil, and hemp seed oil, which can benefit your skin in additional ways.

Tips for Using CBD Oil for Acne

Strong CBD oils can have many benefits when taken as a dietary supplement, but if your only intended use is for skin application, you can opt for a less potent tincture (less than 1,000mg of CBD).

When shopping for CBD oil, always look for independent third party lab test results. This will help ensure that you are getting a product that is free of any harmful chemicals and contains the posted amount of CBD content.

Overall Benefits of CBD Oil for Skin

Thanks to the thousands of cannabinoid receptors within our skin, CBD has many advantages when applied topically. Our skin absorbs CBD molecules to create benefits that extend beyond acne reduction to include:

  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles—Environmental pollutants and other stressors can lead to skin damage and premature aging, but the antioxidants in CBD oil are believed to have some anti-aging benefits to inhibit free radical production and protect skin cells.
  • Moisturize and nourish skin—Much like the ability of CBD oil to reduce acne by regulating oil production, it also offers healthy moisturization by stimulating sebum production when it is lacking, but without making skin oily.

The various benefits of CBD skin care have caused many people to introduce this cannabis extract into their beauty routine, but it’s important to first do your research and buy the high quality CBD oil products.

Is It Safe to Use CBD for Acne?

As a potential acne treatment, CBD has an impressive therapeutic index according to one study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, which showed various “anti-acne actions” within skin cells.

While more research on the efficacy of CBD oil for acne and other skin conditions needs to be conducted, the current scientific landscape suggests that there are little to no side effects associated with applying CBD products topically. However, you should always check the label to ensure that you aren’t allergic to any of the other ingredients within a product. We also suggest testing out any new product or CBD oil mixture on a patch of skin before applying it to your entire face.

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