Can I Use CBD Oil For Sensitive Skin?
Read Time: 7 minutes
Skincare is one of the trickiest aspects of health and wellness to nail down. It often takes a lot of trial and error to really get dialed in—with sensitive skin, it can be discouraging when those trials seem to delay the results you’re looking for. Finding the most effective products for your skin type isn’t necessarily easy—especially if your skin is sensitive. Fortunately, some evidence suggests that CBD might be helpful for your journey. Read on to learn more about CBD oil for sensitive skin, how it works, and which products might suit you best.
What Exactly is Sensitive Skin?
The skin is your body's first and strongest defense barrier from any outside chemicals or pathogens that could make you sick.¹ Additionally, it helps protect us from the sun’s harmful UV rays and plays a role in helping body temperature stay regulated.
When talking about sensitive skin, we're using an umbrella term for skin that may experience a handful of conditions—like psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea, contact dermatitis, dryness, and itching.² Now, these different conditions can come from many different factors, including genetics, allergies, and environmental factors. Mostly, however, it boils down to your skin reacting negatively to various factors leading to inflammation.³
Inflammation directly correlates to sensitive skin—as it causes redness, irritation, soreness, rashes, and scaly flareups that may make skin feel more reactive to ingredients, environmental factors, and potential allergens. If you deal with a lot of redness, itchiness, or dry skin, an inflammatory skin condition may be the culprit.⁴
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp seed oil that may enhance skincare products formulated for sensitive skin. How so? When it comes to CBD and inflammation, CBD products may help alleviate the irritation that leads to flare-ups from inflammatory skin conditions. Studies have also shown that CBD could also play a role in regulating sebum production.⁵
Sebum is the waxy, oily substance your skin produces to kill bacteria on your skin—but too much of it can clog pores and trigger an inflammatory response from your immune system. Alternatively, too little sebum also leads to extremely dry, tired-looking skin that’s more sensitive to inflammation, oxidative stress, and illness when germs penetrate your skin.
Sensitive Skin & The Endocannabinoid System
If you're wondering how or where CBD comes into play, it comes down to a few physiological factors. For starters, all of us have an endocannabinoid system—or ECS.⁶ The ECS is a complex messaging system full of endocannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters that communicate with each other to ensure your body is functioning optimally. The ECS produces a few natural chemicals called endocannabinoids (endo meaning within) that trigger different responses throughout the body.
By sending endocannabinoid messages to your endocannabinoid receptors, the ECS helps our bodies to function at their very best. The ECS plays an essential role in the production of hormones and chemicals necessary in order to have a balanced sleep-wake cycle, immune system, mood, metabolism, and body temperature, among other things.
There are thousands of endocannabinoid receptors found throughout your body—including on your skin.⁷ For example, if you get a cut, the ECS sends messages to your immune system to crank up the heat near the injury with inflammation to kill bacteria. It also will send messages we feel as pain, which notify us that we’ve been cut; while telling the immune system to begin clotting blood in the area to help repair the skin barrier and keep germs out.
Sometimes our ECS and other systems in the body are a little over the top.⁸ Occasionally, the body may not produce the optimal amount of endocannabinoids, hormones, or other natural chemicals on its own— and producing too much or too little of certain chemicals may contribute to sensitive skin conditions. This is where CBD comes in.
Could CBD Benefit Sensitive Skin?
Evidence suggests that CBD may be helpful for sensitive skin because of its relationship with the ECS.⁹ CBD has demonstrated the potential to bind to receptors in the ECS and may amplify its overall function. When CBD comes into contact with the endocannabinoid receptors, it has the potential of binding to and antagonizing them—triggering different bodily responses.
That's not to say that CBD gets you high or messes with your mind. In fact, it doesn't do much of anything on its own—with evidence suggesting it works closely with the ECS to help the body find homeostasis (or balance).¹⁰ If your body produces too much or too little sebum, studies show it may work with the ECS to help balance those levels.
Further, CBD has shown the potential to reduce inflammation in several studies.¹¹ Since many sensitive skin conditions include inflammatory responses—like itching, redness, and dryness—CBD might be able to help manage inflammatory factors that contribute to acne-prone skin, psoriasis, and other conditions that lead to dry, irritated skin.¹²
Some research also indicates that CBD could have antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria on the skin; further assisting the ECS in overactive or underactive sebum production—which triggers the inflammatory responses that make your skin so sensitive.¹³
It's essential to remember that CBD isn't a cure for anything, though. CBD doesn’t cure acne, psoriasis, allergies, or other conditions. Evidence indicates that it may help reduce skin bacteria, sebum production, and inflammatory responses to the environment—or to ingredients that trigger flareups on sensitive skin. All things considered, everyone still reacts to it differently. What works for you may not work for someone else.
Using CBD Oil For Sensitive Skin
Since you have endocannabinoid receptors all over your skin, CBD products may be able to help with some of the factors that contribute to sensitive skin—like inflammation, the build-up of bacteria, dryness, itching, oxidative stress, and redness. But is a certain formula more effective for managing sensitive skin than others?
Topical CBD may be ideal when considering skin conditions, but you can also take CBD oil orally.¹⁴ Since CBD topical products can be applied directly to the affected area, they may provide more significant relief. As sensitive skin is caused by the oils and microbes on the skin triggering inflammatory responses, it makes more sense to apply CBD directly. That's not to say that oral CBD won't help—it just may not be as effective or direct.
You also may want to consider the ingredients in topical CBD products. If allergies to specific ingredients cause reactions to sensitive skin, you’ll want to ensure you're not using topicals containing anything that could cause your skin more irritation. If you're working with a dermatologist and have a go-to moisturizer, cleanser, face oil, eye cream, soap, or lotion, you might consider adding a few drops of CBD oil directly. Start small with just a drop or two, and add more as needed.
Learn more about the connection between CBD and allergies.
Alternately, if you're experiencing less inflammation and oil (or milder effects like dryness and itching), you may want to consider specially formulated CBD for dry skin. Our CBD Skin Repair Cream for dry skin, for example, is specifically formulated with intensive moisturizers (like sweet almond oil, beeswax, and jojoba seed oils) that can help with dryness and itching.¹⁵ Fresh, functional botanicals plus full spectrum CBD make a powerful, all-natural combination!
Last but not least, audit your skin routine for possible changes and wash your bedding regularly to help protect your sensitive skin from bacteria—as well as any other contributors to inflammation that makes the skin irritable.¹⁶⁻¹⁷
Best Topical CBD Oil For Sensitive Skin
At the end of the day, CBD's potential anti-inflammatory properties may help sensitive skin better manage bacteria, itching, dryness, and overactive or underactive oil production. If you feel ready to add CBD to your skincare routine, going with a topical CBD cream, balm, or ointment—alongside CBD capsules or CBD tincture products—may be the most helpful. You can even add CBD oil to dermatologist-recommended products.
Eager to experience other CBD skincare benefits? You may want to consider a full spectrum CBD product if you're searching for the best CBD products for sensitive skin. Full spectrum CBD contains all the natural cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils that may help boost the effects of CBD in the endocannabinoid system. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect.¹⁸ The entourage effect demonstrates that the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals found in the hemp plant could work better together, so the CBD’s effects on the body are potentially stronger.
Interested in trying CBD skincare? If you're looking to add CBD to your sensitive skincare regimen, you can trust Lazarus Naturals. Our line of full spectrum CBD oil tinctures, capsules, CBD softgels, creams, lotions, and balms are formulated with transparency and full-body nourishment in mind. If you're sensitive to specific ingredients, you can check out the ingredient lists on each product page to ensure your comfort. More importantly, our products are made to work and made for all. No matter where your skin sensitivity stems from, we are here to support you in looking and feeling your best at each step along your wellness journey.