Most of us have experienced acne before. The blemishes on the face and body that can occur with acne are particularly concerning for adults, who often associate this skin condition with their teenage years. Although most cases of acne eventually fade with time, trying multiple over-the-counter products without success can be costly and frustrating.

The growing trend of CBD beauty products has led many people to considering using CBD oil as part of their skincare routine to fight acne. Here’s what we know about CBD and acne at this point.

Endocannabinoid System

CBD, along with other cannabinoids, interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. The endocannabinoid system also plays a role in skin health by producing lipids that hydrate the skin. However, these lipids also produce sebum, a fatty oil that is the root of acne.

Research Studies

There are limited studies on CBD use as an effective acne treatment. Although more clinical trials are needed, the initial signs could be promising.

A 2014 study from the University of Debrecen in Hungary found that CBD inhibited lipid and sebum production. Researchers also found that CBD demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties and prevented cytokines, a primary cause of acne, from activating.

The journal Dermatology published a research project last year which recommended topical CBD use as an adjunct treatment for acne.

What To Keep In Mind

We recommend speaking with a doctor or physician before incorporating CBD into your daily skincare routine. Many dermatologists have also advised keeping expectations low when using CBD to treat acne.

“There is a big difference between activity in the lab and real world effectiveness of a drug,” said dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, to Refinery29. “A topical product needs to be formulated in a way that allows the active drug to be stable and to penetrate through the skin to reach its target.”

Dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, said to the same outlet that “not enough studies have been done to fully support the use of topical CBD as a monotherapy (or single therapy) in treating acne…Oral versions of CBD may potentially interact with other oral medications and should be taken with caution, and only after clearance from your physician.”

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