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How Can CBD & Hemp Oil Benefit Our Skin?

Everything we do affects our skin, from what we eat, to how much water we drink and even environmental factors associated with lifestyle choice. The skin is the body’s largest organ and plays a crucial role in regulating our inner systems and protecting us from harmful external influences. It is crucial that we keep our skin as healthy as possible to ensure that we optimise our outer (and inner) glow and keep ourselves in tip top shape. 

Because your skin is growing and evolving all the time it is important to prevent potential skin problems early in life as it is easier than trying to fix skin issues in the future. Those who follow skincare trends and flit from one skincare regime to the next depending on what’s hot and what’s not often notice they get ‘troublesome’ skin. You can mitigate the risk of troublesome skin by creating a bespoke caring routine individually designed for you and your specific skin type. 

A 2011 study showed that adding omega-3s (such as those found in hemp oil) to your diet can reduce inflammation which can contribute to diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Ongoing research indicates that the omega-3s and omega-6s in hemp oil may be effective in treating a number of skin conditions so we thought that we would explore the power of this plant further to see how it can promote healthier, more glowy skin. 

What is Hemp?

Hemp is a plant grown predominantly in the northern hemisphere which has been used as a traditional food source for many hundreds of years. One of this plant’s main benefits is the richness of proteins and nutritional goodness that dwells within its leaves, stem, roots, and seeds.

The Chinese were the first to recognise the usefulness of hemp when they made the first paper entirely out of hemp way back in 150BC. Ancient medicines and folk remedies mention the curative properties of the hemp plant throughout history, whilst using hemp to make material has been one of its most common uses in Europe since 1200BC. The most common uses today for hemp are paper production, clothing, textiles, animal supplies such as feed, key ingredients in plastic and food products (for example, hemp seed: hemp oil, hemp milk, and protein powder).The original Levi’s’ jeans were made from hemp cloth!

Hemp seed oil and CBD might come from the same plant but they do not have the same benefits. You can have a look at the key differences between hemp and CBD here

  • Hemp oil has nearly 30 times more natural omegas than organic olive oil, and it is low in saturated fats. Whilst these omegas can help to balance the immune system, they are also great for promoting healthy skin. Hemp seed oil only has very small concentrations of cannabinoids (with just a trace of CBD).
  • Cannabinoids (including CBD) are extracted from hemp using an extraction process such as CO2 extraction. They are the compounds which can enhance your endocannabinoid system assisting the part it plays to achieve homeostasis in our bodies. True CBD skin care products use the cannabinoid-rich stem, stalk and leaves of the hemp plant to harness the anti-ageing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of this powerful compound.

What are the Most Common Skin Conditions?

Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and UV damage can not only make life more difficult for the sufferer, but they can leave lasting damage which can further affect your overall health. Not only physical health, but mental health too. Common psychological problems associated with skin disease include feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, shame, low self-esteem and embarrassment.

Acne: Breakouts on the skin composed of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads or deep, painful cysts and nodules. Can affect the face, chest, upper back and neck. 

Eczema: A skin condition marked by flaky, itchy inflamed patches of skin. Also called atopic dermatitis. Can affect anywhere on the body and is common in children and babies (although can affect anyone of any age). 

Psoriasis: This skin condition is characterised by scaly, silvery patches of skin that may be itchy. Commonly found on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. 

Rosacea: Chronic condition which results in a wide variety of symptoms including redness, facial flushing, pimpling, skin sensitivity and dryness. Often triggered by spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine stress and intestinal bacteria. 

Skin disorders can be caused by a range of things from environment to viruses, health or even genetic factors. Some skin conditions can be caused by illnesses affecting the immune system or other systems in the body. Others are aggravated by bacteria living on the skin or in the body. Some skin problems can seemingly spring out of nowhere, leaving the sufferer depressed and not knowing where to turn for help. 

The endocannabinoid system is a system made of receptors that regulate our other bodily systems which can be responsible for inflammation, mood, sleep, and immunity. A disturbed endocannabinoid system can lead to various skin problems and can trigger inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema. One thing we do know is that looking after our body’s overall health is the number one way to nurture a peachy complexion and leave us feeling that inner glow that radiates from within.  

What Can Science Tell us About Using Hemp Oil for Skin? 

A study in 2017 cited hemp oil as an antibacterial agent which could inhibit various types of bacteria.  An article published in 2014 found that hemp oil is a powerful treatment against acne and although clinical trials are needed to fine-tune ways to best take advantage of its benefits, hemp oil is a potent anti-acne treatment. Used topically, hemp oil can contribute to stronger skin that is more resistant to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) present in hemp seed oil has been shown to reduce inflammation which in turn can help improve skin conditions. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that has been used in homoeopathic remedies for centuries. Native Americans used it to reduce swelling and it is still used in many curative skin creams and lotions today. 

What Can Science Tell Us About CBD Oil for Skin?

CBD is cannabidiol derived from hemp. This non-psychoactive naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant has anecdotally been used to tackle a whole range of health challenges for generations. Now, CBD oil is showing promising results as being a remedy for skin problems via studies carried out by leading dermatologists around the world. 

CBD skin care products which are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids improve overall skin appearance and provide a more youthful glow.

Dr Alster (clinical professor of dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington) says, “Topical CBD is safe and works effectively for all skin types. The products are easy to administer. Sufferers of serious medical skin conditions and those who are seeking innovative skincare options can benefit from topical CBD use,” Dr Alster says. “Anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD are beneficial in treating such dermatologic conditions as acne, psoriasis and eczema due to reduction of dryness, irritation and redness. CBD-containing creams, oils, gels and serums not only moisturize and soothe the skin but are also showing encouraging results in relieving pain caused by certain skin disorders.”

Cleaner Cosmetics, Cleaner Skin

If you are suffering from a skin condition try making your skincare routine more natural. Take out any chemicals which could irritate the skin and instead try to look for clean cosmetics. 

The term “clean cosmetics” includes products that only contain safe, clean ingredients which pose no harm to the user (or the planet). Ingredients of clean beauty products must be toxin-free, cruelty-free and be labelled transparently. Clean beauty products are free of hormone disruptors and carcinogens and do not use packaging which causes harm to the environment (at any stage of the process).

EthicaCBD’s whole company ethos is based around being transparent, clean and ethical and so the leap into clean skincare was an easy decision. Our naturally moisture-rich plant extract formulations are enhanced with organically grown CBD with the intelligent consumer in mind. They nourish, moisturise, soothe, and best of all, return your skin to a healthier and more radiant natural state. Try them today and see the difference.

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