Giving a whole new meaning to chill self-care: CBD has quietly been sneaking its way into skincare. Just when you thought you’ve hit peak cannabis, from CBD-laced seltzers, gummies, and chocolates to hemp-infused creams, the plant has found its way into face masks, oils, and serums.
Although you might be tempted to dismiss it as simply a bandwagon trend, CBD has some pretty legitimate properties that can affect facial skin in a few dramatic ways. While it doesn’t give you any type of euphoric or relax feeling, it does chill out your skin—quite literally. “CBD is truly an amazing ingredient in its purest, cleanest, and appropriate potency on its own, but when implemented into skincare, it helps regulate acne-causing oil production, control redness, and acts as an anti-inflammatory, calming and clearing skin,” says Kiana Anvaripour, the chief marketing officer for cannabis brand Beboe.
The reason CBD is especially helpful when applied topically has to do with the mood- and inflammation-regulating neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids naturally occur in our biological system, controlling everyday things like mood, memory, pain sensations, inflammation, and even fertility. This is where CBD comes into the picture.
Cannabis is an endocannabinoid, similar to the endocannabinoids naturally produced by our bodies. These plant cannabinoids bind to our biological receptors and impact our psychological and biological functions. “CBD is believed to increase the presence of our naturally occurring endocannabinoids, ensuring we stay in balance,” says Anvaripour. That’s why when applied directly to the skin, CBD can help reduce the appearance of blemishes and fine lines, repair elasticity, encourage collagen production, and fight free radicals. “CBD works to calm skin while supporting cell renewal; it deeply moisturizes, and brightens skin as well, so it is left with an even-toned, energized glow,” says Anvaripour.
There’s been nothing short of a monsoon of CBD products to the market recently, especially in the newest genre of skincare, which makes it incredibly difficult for consumers to cut through the static and find a trustworthy source. Here are four options that have been tested for their purity and potency and will deliver big glowing results.
The One From the Luxury Cannabis Brand
If you know me, you’ve probably heard me talk in great detail about this face oil created by Beboe. The “luxury cannabis” brand was founded by legendary tattoo artist Scott Campbell and former fashion executive Clement Kwan and is known for its efficacious THC and CBD vape pens. In early April, it quietly made it way into skincare, launching a sheet mask and serum with a potent dose of CBD. The face mask is Instagram bait, with Campbell’s classic etchings printed on the mask, but the face serum is the game changer.
It calls itself a serum, but it has the consistency of a face oil—an important distinction when it comes to the layering of your products. The oil goes on last, as its molecular weight is greater than serums and creams and it noticeably calms redness and irritation and absorbs quickly.
Morning and night, it absorbs, moisturizes, and heals so well that I reach for it over the estimated 104 other oils in my medicine cabinet. The serum is formulated with 300 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD and 13 active botanicals like rosehip, grapeseed, sea buckthorn, and lavender oil. The formula is great for dryness but especially excels as an anti-inflammatory for acne and fine lines.
The Instagram-Worthy One
Herbivore launched its hemp-seed oil-based Emerald last year and followed it up months later with a new addition to the blend: 100 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD. The new CBD addition is meant to address redness, irritation, and environmental stressors, as well as provide deep moisture. For those with sensitive olfactory organs, this Emerald oil is a full celebration of the cannabis plant and it has the aroma of potent weed.
The price makes it much more attainable than other comparable CBD products, making it a great intro into the world of cannabis skincare.
The Chic One
Infused with a hefty 500 milligrams of CBD, Saint Jane is just a few months old but has already garnered a lot of attention in the beauty world for its effectiveness. Named after the patron saint of healing, Saint Jane is chock-full of antioxidant-rich botanicals, like calendula, rosehip, and frankincense, to deeply soothe, hydrate, brighten, and improve skin’s radiance. Those are wonderful qualities in a face oil, but its ability to absorb incredibly quickly is really what has users and editors amazed. It also has a floral scent, not giving any hints to its 500 mg dosage.
The brand also offers CBD-infused lip glosses, each with 50 milligrams of cannabis to condition lips while giving a pop of color.
The Royal One
No brand is more associated with high-quality CBD than Lord Jones—and for good reason. The founders tirelessly test, regulate, and educate about the CBD industry to ensure they offer the highest efficacy products. This just-launched oil is for those who want a product that can do it all.
The super-potent Royal Oil contains 1000 milligrams of CBD—its highest formulation to date. The bottle has two ingredients (CBD and pure grapeseed oil) and has endless uses. You can use it as a tincture by putting a few drops directly under the tongue, put it in drinks and cocktails for a calming boost, or add a few drops to your face creams or serums for a bevy of anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. It’s your one-size-fits-all product.