While recommendations and rave reviews have their place in building a skincare regime, when it comes down to ingredients, and more importantly which ones really work, there’s nobody better placed than a dermatologist or skincare specialist to tell us how to care for our complexions.
If you’re suffering from rosacea, haven’t got a handle on your breakouts or blemishes or you’re searching for skincare to soothe dry skin, you might be curious about whether CBD could be the cure you’ve been looking for.
To sift fact from fiction, we caught up with cosmetic doctor Dr Sophie Shotter a leader in her field with over eleven years of experience in all things skin, to shine a spotlight on the science and tell us why we should all be using CBD skincare.
Here’s everything you need to know…
CBD as a skincare ingredient
‘CBD doesn’t just have positive effects inside the body, it can offer the same benefits when applied topically, making it a highly versatile skincare ingredient,’ explains Dr Shotter.
‘It boasts anti-oxidant qualities (which help to mop-up free radicals to keep skin looking healthy and fresh) as well as anti-inflammatory properties (which protects against ageing and acne) making it suitable for regulating and improving a variety of skin types and conditions – from acne and ageing, to psoriasis and sensitive skin,’ she adds.
‘Moreover, CBD is an oil which means it’s rich in fatty acids – this can be incredibly useful in helping to maintain the skin’s lipid barrier, which, if compromised, leads to irritability and dryness. In short, using CBD within skincare can help lead to a more balanced and hydrated complexion.’
How CBD can help with various skincare conditions
While we all know that anti-inflammatories spell good news for skin – less redness, irritation and sensitivity – exactly how does CBD oil help common skincare conditions? From bothersome blemishes to the rosy cheeks that crop up during a rosacea flare, it’s a one-stop-shop for tackling a myriad of skincare concerns.
‘Using CBD topically means that cannabinoids specifically reach where we want them to,’ explains Dr Shotter. ‘Provided that they’re in a formulation which can penetrate the surface, they can have an immediate and long-lasting effect on skin. I would always recommend using CBD both orally and topically to tackle skin conditions to maximise its effects.’
‘Eczema is characterised by itchy, red, dry skin which can lead to cracking and blisters. A CBD ointment can help to restore the integrity of the skin barrier, thereby helping to decrease pain, itchiness and inflammation. Likewise, CBD can also help decrease inflammation in rosacea to reduce rosiness, keep the skin calmer and reduce sensitivity. It can also decrease the growth of keratinocytes – keratin -producing cells which can contribute to psoriasis and is therefore often used in balms and ointments that help treat this condition too,’ explains Dr Shotter.
‘It’s also incredibly useful for treating acne-prone skin. CBD works to decrease sebum production and inflammation which is a crucial step to controlling breakouts and blemishes. Excess oil in the skin not only makes the complexion look and feel greasy but it can lead to the blocking of follicles which can, in turn, lead to spots,’ she adds.
What should I look out for?
While CBD skincare offers tried-and-tested solutions for a variety of skincare conditions, Dr Shotter emphasises the importance of finding out where your CBD has come from to ensure it’s working as hard as it can and that it doesn’t contain any extra ingredients that could block pores.
‘Try to find out how the CBD has been extracted from the plant – It should be done using pressure rather than heat to produce a high-quality product. Look out for CBD Isolate and check that it’s on the INCI list – it’s the purest form of CBD and doesn’t contain anything that could clog pores.
‘Lastly, pay attention to the other ingredients contained in your formula. CBD works particularly well alongside other antioxidants, and moisturising ingredients,’ she adds.
Ok, now I know why I need it, but what should I try?
Active Hemp CBD Face Cream
Formulated to calm even the most easily aggravated of complexions, this face cream hydrates, plumps and smooths skin without clogging pores. Ideal for acne-prone or sensitive skin.
Active Hemp CBD Ointment
A saviour for dry and damaged skin, this unctuous ointment helps to repair chapped skin and soothe irritation. A real workhorse, it can also be used to care for cuticles and to help heal scars.
By Natalie Ticehurst