best cbd skin care ukDecember 15, 2021
While I've definitely had my head turned to the benefits of CBD after trying out the new Paula's Choice range, I'm keen to know if all CBD skincare products are created equal and what we should be checking for when choosing CBD products to add to our routines.
What should we look out for when buying CBD skincare products?
"When it comes to taking great care of your skin, the earlier you start the better," explains Begoun. "This includes never using products that irritate skin, wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater every day of your life, and making sure your products are loaded with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients. When it comes to CBD, because the body has its own cannabinoid system, applying CBD to reduce inflammation is incredibly helpful at any age."
All sounds pretty impressive, right? Well, yes. But how does CBD actually work within skincare products to give such impressive results? I caught up with Begoun to find out.
Who should incorporate CBD into their skincare routines?
As for choosing the correct dosage? "Many brands selling CBD skin products list the total cannabidiol content in milligrams," explains Begoun. "However, there is no consensus on how much CBD skin needs per application." The amount of CBD used in the Paula's Choice products corresponds to the amount that research shows can reduce inflammation. However, Begoun stresses the importance of choosing a well-rounded skincare product for the best results. "No single ingredient can do it all, [so] both of our CBD products are packed with other skin-beneficial ingredients, including replenishing hempseed oil, emollient squalane, and barrier-replenishing glycerin," she adds.
Pretty clever stuff, but it isn't just spot-prone skin that will benefit from CBD skincare. CBD is an anti-inflammatory, and Begoun tells me that all skin types will reap the rewards of this. "Reducing inflammation helps improve every aspect of skin health, including signs of ageing, environmental damage, acne, rosacea, and on and on," says Begoun. "Fighting inflammation is a crucial part of great skincare."
What are the benefits of using CBD skincare products?
It's clear that it's CBD's unique targeting of inflammation that makes it such a game-changing ingredient for all of us. " Research over the past 10 years has made it very clear that inflammation is a major problem for almost every skincare concern we have: Acne is an inflammatory disorder, rosacea is an inflammatory disorder, oily skin can be made worse by inflammation, and inflammation is behind most signs of ageing." says Begoun. "Anything you can do to interrupt inflammation is incredibly important. At Paula’s Choice, I’ve been formulating products with anti-inflammatories ingredients for years. Information about inflammation is not new. What is new is the detailed research on just how damaging unchecked inflammation within skin and the body can be and the new ingredients [like CBD] that can provide such impressive results."
"Research has shown that topical application of cannabidiol (aka CBD) reduces inflammation in skin, and because acne is an inflammatory disorder, anything you can do to reduce that inflammation will help diminish breakouts, acne-triggered redness, and help to speed healing time," explains Begoun. "For oily skin, CBD has been shown to decrease oil-producing cells known as sebocytes. CBD can do this because it is a cell-communicating ingredient and can actually 'talk' to these cells that cause too much sebum to be produced and tell the cells to normalise oil production, and the cells listen."
Fast-forward to now, however, and there is no sign that CBD is going anywhere. In fact, its popularity as a scientific skincare ingredient—not just as a stress reliever—is growing fast. So when Paula's Choice, one of my favourite skincare brands of all time, launched a CBD collection last month, my interest was finally piqued. And when I learnt at the launch event that CBD could actually be beneficial for acne-prone skin, well, I was sold.
Before I give you the full low-down on my new favourite CBD skincare product, let's delve a little deeper into what CBD actually is. Cannabidiol—CBD for short—is an active compound, also known as a cannabinoid, naturally found in the cannabis plant. " What makes CBD and cannabinoids so fascinating is the human body also has a complex endocannabinoid system that is found extensively in skin," explains Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice. It can be consumed, which is where we see the mood-calming, pain-relieving, and well-being benefits mentioned earlier, but it can also be used topically to treat an array of skin conditions including eczema, rosacea, and acne.
Keeping up with what's what in the world of skincare can be overwhelming, particularly when it comes to ingredients. Sure, the likes of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid have been tried and tested and have proven their worth to take up space in our bathroom cabinets, but what about those buzzy ingredients that come out of nowhere and disappear just as fast? When basically everyone started raving about CBD a couple of years ago, I was certain that it would fall into the latter category: a trending beauty fad that wouldn't last. Pretty much all of the press releases that landed in my inbox were focused on CBD oils and their magical abilities to ease stress, calm anxiety, and reduce pain, and I wrote it off as a bit of a placebo to well-being. If it works for you, great. But I wasn't buying into it.
My prior misconceptions about CBD had me writing it off as an ingredient aimed at young people or those seeking a more natural approach to skincare—I was wrong. Turns out, CBD makes a valuable addition to the skincare routines of all ages.
Despite my initial scepticism, I've been using the Paula's Choice CBD Skin Transformative Treatment Milk (£43) for the past few weeks, and I'm genuinely impressed. While it isn't the only thing that I've recently changed in my skincare routine, I have had a particularly rough few months of dealing with painful breakouts, and since I started using this product, my skin has felt and looked so much calmer. It has a really lightweight consistency that sinks in quickly and feels instantly soothing on the skin, especially on areas with angry, active blemishes, and it immediately brings down redness in those spots. With frequent use, my breakouts have reduced, and overall, my skin feels calmer and looks more even in tone.
"It’s important to know that it isn’t easy to tell what a CBD product contains," warns Begoun. "Many products list hempseed oil, but unless the hempseed oil has CBD added to it, which is often stated on the label, it doesn’t contain CBD. Hempseed oil is a great ingredient for skin but only contains trace amounts of cannabidiol, if any. To really know that the product you’re buying contains CBD, I think it’s best when the ingredient label states 'cannabidiol' since this is the correct regulatory-compliant name for CBD."
Begoun also mentioned the importance of choosing CBD skincare products in stable packaging—that means "no jars, clear bottles, or any component that exposes this delicate plant ingredient to a lot of light or air"—to preserve the product's potency and efficacy.
Extracted from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the cannabis sativa (hemp) plant, this seemingly miraculous molecule has sky-rocketed in popularity over the last few years and for good reason.
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The formulation is gentle and suitable for all skin types – even oily. And the orange and geranium essential oil scent is nothing short of heavenly too. A few, readily absorbed, drops were enough to leave the skin silky soft and hydrated – not just upon application but hours later too. And you can also use it on your hair, which provided a fantastic moisture boost and de-frizz during the day. We found this an absolute godsend for healing breakouts and in fact, one tester found that their 20-year-battle with acne became a thing of the past by the end of the bottle.
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We also loved that the pot comes complete with a metal measuring spoon, to ensure you use the perfect amount each time. Although this product contains no THC, we felt so chilled out after using it that our arms and legs were almost jelly like. And the sleep that followed was blissful. This is definitely one to save for a luxury bedtime routine.
Since its initial discovery back in the 1940s, we’ve gone on to find out that our in-built “endocannabinoid system” (ECS), with which CBD interacts, is one of the most important physiological systems for maintaining overall wellbeing. The ingredient is most commonly used to reduce stress, decrease pain and inflammation, and improve sleep. But now, the cosmetics industry has cottoned on to the incredible potential of CBD in skincare too.
The consistency of the cream is thick, yet light and absorbable on the skin, and it smells like lemon curd. A couple of testers noticed a slight tingling sensation when applied, but nothing beyond a quite satisfying zing. After the first use, we found that the skin was left feeling soft and supple. After a week, dryness was well reduced. And beyond that, it provided stressed out skin with some very welcomed relief. The only downside is the plastic packaging, through and through – hopefully, that’s something that will be reviewed by the brand in the future.
By applying a CBD product topically, you can support the skin’s own immune system and encourage the process of healing – easing inflammation and pain transmission to reduce redness, swelling and irritation almost immediately. With prolonged use, and with the use of oral CBD too, the effects go deeper, working to rebalance your body internally and throughout the layers of the skin.
This wash impressed us on multiple levels – our skin was left feeling fresh and thoroughly cleansed, without being dried out. The choice of ingredients used are ideal for blitzing bacteria and removing dead skin cells without any rough abrasion. And of course, the addition of CBD and aloe vera leaves upset skin feeling soothed and reduces uncomfortable inflammation. Plus, it’s vegan, paraben-free, synthetic fragrance-free (it’s delicately scented with citrus essential oils) and a percentage of each purchase goes to the prevention of young suicide charity, Papyrus. If acne ails you, this is one you need in your bathroom.
Hapi Hemp hapi hands CBD hand and nail cream, 30ml.
With so many wonderful CBD products to choose from, there’s no reason not to give it a go. We’ve reviewed our favourite skincare CBD buys below.
Eighty years on from the discovery of CBD (and thirty years on from the discovery of the ECS) we’re finally starting to see some really exciting results of long-haul studies, across all areas. And many of the millions of CBD users all over the world give rave reviews that are as glowing as their skin. It’s suitable for all skin types, thanks to its gentle and adaptogenic nature which supports the body in doing whatever it needs to do to regain balance, and it’s perfectly safe and legal too.
We know that CBD helps to maintain the natural moisture barrier of the skin, making it ideal for anyone who is eczema-prone, but so does eggplant stem cell extract – which is included in this wonderfully replenishing cream. There are a number of other unusual ingredients we were excited to see featured, like cherimoya extract (which is really high in vitamin C and antioxidants) and cannabis sativa stem cell extract (in addition to the 300mg CBD) which contains high levels of the anti-inflammatory flavonoid, cannaflavin B.
We put this one to the test on extremely sore, broken, unhappy skin, and this butter was as gentle as could be. Where nothing else had worked to heal the problem area (not even prescription creams), this one did the job in less than a week with a twice-daily application. You can’t really get a better review than that.
Kloris luxury CBD balm, 60ml.
There might literally be no better way to unwind after a long day than soaking in the tub with a scoop of these super strong CBD bath salts. Our weary muscles simply rejoiced while being enveloped by the relieving and restorative blend of CBD, arnica, magnesium and epsom salts, complemented by a mind-clearing scent of rosemary and eucalyptus.
Whether you’re hoping to calm damaged skin, fortify your nails, or ease the pain of arthritis – this single, very affordable product is all you need. Its easy pump delivery system makes this a cinch to use on-the-go and everything about it is soothing, right down to the floaty lavender, chamomile and lemon scent.
The first thing you notice upon opening is the unmistakable scent of fresh turmeric root, with a hint of zesty lemongrass. You can’t smell the hemp, but it’s there – 300mg of it, which has been organically grown on a small, artisan farm. There are no cloying, clogging chemicals here, which your skin will thank you for. The product is a little tricky to get out of the jar, as it’s a hard texture (due to the coconut oil base), but a small scraping immediately melts into a smooth balm which can be applied anywhere, head to toe! And we did.
It’s fragrance-free and THC free, broad spectrum (meaning it contains a range of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes), organic and third party tested – making this is a brand you can really trust. It’s a small jar for the price, but you only need to use a small amount for big results. And the balm absorbs very well allowing the CBD to get to work quickly, inside and out.
Nature of Things launched the Elemental Skincare collection in April, which features a complete . [+] four-step facial routine.
Whether you are looking to make a complete switch to CBD or want to try just one step at a time, here are the nine best cannabis beauty launches of 2021 (so far) to help narrow your search — each tried-and-tested in the challenging and drying environment of the high alpine.
I might be biased (and, yes, I test cannabis products as part of my job) but over the past few years, I’ve transitioned to an all-CBD-based face and body regimen (with the exception of Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 and EltaMD sunscreen). The result? My clearest and healthiest complexion to date.
With BDSA’s recent trend report forecasting the CBD beauty segment of the market to reach $720 million this year alone — a 60% increase over 2020 and representing just 10% of the total CBD market — the number of new brands and product launches to consider buying — often at a high price tag — is overwhelming.
As the summer season winds down, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to streamline your skincare routine to keep that sun-kissed glow and stay protected from the elements all year long.
*Note: This list is in alphabetical order, not ranked and will continue to get updated with new product launches through December 2021.