CBD Skincare Benefits: A Guide

CBD 101
CBD Skincare Benefits: A Guide

Our skin is the body's largest organ, and just as all the others work hard internally to help keep us healthy and thriving, our skin also plays a role in protecting us. That's why skincare is an underrated but vital part of daily health and wellness! With CBD showing so many potential benefits for the skin, you may be wondering if there are any concrete, science-backed studies on CBD’s role in skincare. Read on to learn more about the potential benefits of CBD products like CBD topicals for your skin and how to choose the right products for your needs.

What Does CBD Do For The Skin? 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp plants that has been explored a lot by the scientific community for its potential balancing effects within the body. That's not to say that CBD is some miracle cure that gets into your body and fixes all your problems. Mostly, CBD is being researched for its effects on the endocannabinoid system (or ECS).¹

The ECS is a complex network of endocannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters found in every part of the body, serving as a messaging system the body uses to communicate with its countless working parts. With that being said, studies have shown it may play a role in many processes—from sleep-wake cycles and body temperature to our appetite, metabolism, mood, immune system function, and more.² It uses endocannabinoids (the ones we produce in our bodies naturally) to send messages that keep the body leveled out—or in homeostasis—and functioning optimally.

So, where does CBD come into play? CBD and other cannabinoids can bind to endocannabinoid receptors found naturally throughout the body. They can interact with that messaging system to potentially trigger the body into specific responses. Essentially, the goal of the ECS is to help keep your body in balance.³ However, because the human body is wildly complex, sometimes it doesn't produce the correct levels of endocannabinoids on its own. CBD and other cannabinoids can potentially help supplement your natural endocannabinoid levels to support the ECS in its mission to maintain equilibrium.

While most CBD research studies its potential benefits on the central nervous system, we also have those very same endocannabinoid receptors all over our skin.⁴ This means you can absorb cannabinoids, like CBD, topically to reap some of its potential benefits. We'll talk more specifics in the next section.

Potential Ways CBD Supports Skincare

Your skin is an organ that helps protect your body from things such as bacteria, chemicals, and extreme temperatures.⁵ It keeps all the yucky stuff out and keeps the important inside stuff safe. Studies suggest that the endocannabinoid receptors found on our skin communicate with each other to help keep the skin balanced. If you get a cut, your ECS is responsible for signaling the body to regenerate that barrier in the form of a scab.⁶

If your ECS is on the fritz, however, its dysregulation can make you more susceptible to highly prevalent disorders and diseases.⁷ Some examples include atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, scleroderma, keratin diseases, skin cancers and tumors, prevalent itching, and even hair growth and pigmentation disorders. 

Doom and gloom aside, some evidence suggests that the relationship between CBD and the ECS makes it a potentially beneficial supplement for keeping the skin healthy and balanced. When it comes to CBD and inflammation, CBD skincare products can help alleviate aggravated skin—which is a key contributing factor to many inflammatory skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.⁸

Some evidence suggests that topical CBD may also have antimicrobial properties that can help protect your skin from an overactive ECS—which may trigger inflammation and oil production that perpetuates certain skin conditions.⁹ Furthermore, CBD shows some robust evidence that it may reduce the oxidative stress that leads to aging, fine lines, and wrinkles.¹⁰ We'll go into evidence-backed specifics below. 

1. CBD For Bacteria & Inflammation 

CBD's potential anti-inflammatory properties can potentially help manage inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Evidence suggests that CBD may contain compounds that help reduce oils and inflammation in the skin that leaves acne looking aggravated––but it also may help improve acne due to its antimicrobial potential.

For example, one study in 2014 found that CBD affects the cells that create sebum.¹¹ Sebum is the waxy, oily substance our skin creates to prevent infections. However, too much of a good thing can also be bad. That being said, too much sebum can actually cause acne. The research discovered that CBD might be able to prevent these cells from creating too much sebum by working with endocannabinoid receptors on the skin to help it reach more balanced levels.

Another review in 2016 found that CBD may have potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, which may help prevent acne or inflammatory flareups simply by keeping bacteria and other germs from penetrating deeper layers of the skin.¹²

2. CBD For Fine Lines & Wrinkles

Some evidence indicates that CBD might be helpful for skin aging due to oxidative stress. A 2017 study found that CBD's potential antioxidant properties—paired with its anti-inflammatory potential—might help prevent fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.¹³⁻¹⁴ Research has demonstrated that CBD may be able to counteract free-radical damage and prevent the ECS receptors on the skin from triggering inflammatory responses that contribute to aging in the skin.

Another study, this one in 2019, found CBD may also help repair skin cells and reduce the appearance of acne scars.¹⁵ Participants in the study found that after 3 months of applying CBD ointments, acne scars showed better elasticity and hydration. Remember, those ointments weren't made using CBD solely. The ointments also contained naturally functional ingredients to help enrich, moisturize, and nourish the skin.

3. CBD For Dryness & Itching

If you have sensitive skin, there's a good chance you deal with a lot of dryness and itching. Like the other categories we've broken down, a lot of it might be caused by natural imbalances in ECS responses. One study found CBD may be helpful for dryness and itching thanks to its anti-inflammatory potential.¹⁶ Your body tends to be a little overzealous regarding inflammation, which is why chronic inflammatory conditions tend to be so relentlessly painful.¹⁷ CBD could help limit the inflammation response on your skin, which in turn may reduce potential triggers of psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema alongside acne.¹⁸

In some cases, the dryness and itching can be caused by allergic reactions. Some evidence indicates that CBD may help suppress your body's mast cell communications.¹⁹ Your mast cells trigger the release of histamines that cause allergic reactions. While you can try using CBD for dry skin, it isn't an antihistamine—but it may help inflammation caused by histamines to help alleviate the dryness and the itching you feel when you come into contact with something your skin doesn't agree with. That being said, you wouldn’t want to use CBD for sensitive skin in place of antihistamines if you have an allergic reaction. It's better for soothing the dryness and itching that certain ingredients in things like soap may cause.

Which CBD Should You Choose For Skincare?

There's still a lot to explore in the CBD skincare market. The key takeaways here are that CBD may play a role in effectively managing inflammation, bacteria, and oxidative stress in your skin. But that's just one piece of the puzzle. There are many delivery methods and factors that go into how effective CBD may be in your skin care routine. 

For example, topical CBD is likely to be more effective for your skin than CBD taken orally. Since a lot of skin issues are caused by the oils and microbes on the skin triggering inflammatory responses from your ECS, you may want to apply CBD directly to the affected areas instead of ingesting it.²⁰

Ingestible CBD comes with its own set of potential benefits, but if your goal is to integrate CBD into your daily skincare regimen, you should consider topical products containing additional nourishing ingredients. For example, our topical CBD is enriched with sweet almond and jojoba oils—along with other functional ingredients that are rich in Vitamin E and moisture-locking elements—to support the overall appearance of your skin.

It would benefit you to also set up a healthy daily skincare routine for optimal results.²¹ Simple things like cleansing your skin, exfoliating, and ensuring that you're washing your bedding regularly all help protect skin from bacteria and the contributing factors related to inflammatory skin conditions such as acne.²²

Final Thoughts: Is CBD Good For Skin?

At the end of the day, there is vast benefit potential when incorporating full spectrum CBD into your skincare. However, topical products seem to be ideal, as they can be applied to the affected areas directly and contain other skin-nourishing ingredients such as essential oils, fatty acids, and moisturizers that are necessary for soft, healthy skin. If you're interested in integrating safe, effective, all-natural CBD into your routines, start with Lazarus Naturals.²³ Our functional, full spectrum CBD skincare products include lotions, CBD skin repair creams, balms, and oils that are specially formulated with both your skin and overall wellness in mind—that way, you look and feel your best at each step along your wellness journey.