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October 31, 2021
 min read

Are CBD cosmetics better than traditional skin products?

cbd cosmetics
 Anthony Clement
Written by  
Anthony Clement
July 12, 2021

table of Contents

CBD cosmetics are products that can provide various benefits to your skin. They might be good for inflammation, pain, as well as numerous other issues.

In the last few years, CBD cosmetics have experienced enormous growth.

This makes complete sense. CBD beauty products are based on natural ingredients making them ideal for sensitive skin. Not only does hemp derived CBD reduces natural oil production, but it might also have other active ingredients such as shea butter.

In order to increase their bioavailability, topical CBD items are combined with essential oils (like hemp seed oil), which adds to the list of potential benefits. The substance has great properties, and experts believe that it can do wonders for acne due to its anti inflammatory traits. Given that CBD cosmetic products might also hydrate the tissue, they could be used for dry skin.

In this article, we will talk about CBD cosmetics, their potential benefits, and what makes them different from medical hemp oil.

Are hemp plant products safe?

Most people are afraid to use CBD skincare products because they're worried about getting high.

When you apply a CBD product to the skin, it is worth noting that these cannabis derived compounds will not penetrate your bloodstream. Cannabis plant substances such as CBD and THC will remain within the upper layers of skin and muscles without ever reaching your bloodstream. As such, you won't be able to experience psychoactive effects.

While cannabis cosmetics might have some prohibited ingredients, such as THC, they usually don't have enough of them to make a change in your brain. So, even if you were to swallow a Cannabis Sativa leaf extract, there won’t be enough of the intoxicating chemical to cause a change.

At the same time, this means that CBD topicals will work very differently from other industrial hemp substances. As they won’t reach the bloodstream, they cannot improve your sleep, reduce stress, affect appetite, mood, and provide other benefits.

Nevertheless, CBD skincare products could affect your muscles. According to experts, these topicals are great for soreness and relieving pain. They might also increase joint flexibility when you apply them to the surface tissue. As such, they can be great for athletes as well as people who are suffering from various muscle related problems.

How are CBD cosmetics made?

During CBD oil production, hemp companies will take the plant's leaves, stalks, and flowers and extract oil from them. This initial liquid is called full spectrum CBD oil, and it has all the same natural ingredients as the hemp plant. Through additional refinement, we get CBD isolate (a product that only has CBD) and broad spectrum CBD oil (same as a full spectrum but without THC).

Whichever type of oil a company decides to create, it can be utilized for various CBD products like edibles, topicals, dog treats, and so on. Among others, this also includes products for skin care. Based on the water content and other ingredients, we can turn this oil into a lotion or a cream. You can use CBD oil even for things such as lip balms or bath bombs. We can add other things into the mix, thus changing its potential benefits, smell, and color.

Keep in mind that every country has cosmetic regulations that would prevent the use of any toxic or damaging materials. This provides an additional layer of protection for CBD cosmetics users.

Are CBD cosmetics and CBD topicals the same thing?

CBD cosmetics are a type of CBD topicals. There is a lot of overlap between the terms, and the differences are mostly semantic.

When someone says that a product is a “CBD topical,” this mainly refers to items that can be bought from hemp stores. Their main focus is on providing wellness benefits. Hemp companies usually advertise CBD topicals as something that can relieve pain and help your skin.

“CBD cosmetics” is a term commonly utilized by cosmetic companies. These are topical products that might have several different substances and CBD as an addition. Cannabidiol cosmetics are mostly advertised for skin issues and acne.

CBD topicals are more likely to be advertised to people who are struggling with joint and muscle issues. Oftentimes, hemp companies market them as substances that can help with muscle pain, arthritis, but also skin inflammations.

On the other hand, the main focus of CBD cosmetics is on improving the quality of your skin. Companies also showcase cannabinoids’ ability to address acne, redness, and dryness. Their target audience is women.

Generally speaking, a substance can be advertised as both CBD topical and a CBD cosmetic. However, CBD topicals might have a higher concentration of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids.

Are CBD cosmetics safe?

Hemp experts usually consider CBD products as very safe.

Topical items are even safer than vapes, flowers, and edibles because they won't affect your body from the inside. Instead, they might only cause changes on the surface. The most common issue with CBD cosmetics is allergies. Some people will have a strong reaction to the chemical leading to redness, scaling, and other types of irritation.

Of course, the problem can become very severe if you used excessive quantities of the substance. If you notice a reaction, it is very important to wash away cannabidiol from your skin.

Hemp professionals suggest that you perform a minor allergy test before you start using the product. Just put a tad bit of the substance on the skin and see how the tissue reacts. This is very similar to an allergy test that you would otherwise perform.

Like with any other cosmetic substance, you shouldn’t apply CBD items on an open wound or infected area. Although it is said that CBD might have antimicrobial properties, we don’t know how your body would react if you were to put the substance on fungus or some other microbes.

Bear in mind that some items will be more dangerous than others. The safety of a CBD topical can vary based on the extraction method. The cleanest procedure is CO2 extraction that doesn't leave any residue behind. Unfortunately, some companies rely on extraction processes that might leave toxins and other unwanted chemicals within the oil.

What are some of the CBD cosmetics benefits?

First off, it is worth mentioning that CBD cosmetics benefits can be boosted by adding the right ingredients. For example, if you add anti inflammatory oils to the product, the substance might provide even better results for acne and similar skin conditions.

Anyway, here are some of the main reasons why you should consider using CBD cosmetics:

It might help with inflammation

The main reason why people use CBD topicals is to soothe inflamed skin. Irritations and inflammations not only leave a bad esthetic impression, but they can be very painful. These issues can go from acute to chronic, and for some individuals, they can create a living hell.

CBD works internally and externally to address inflammations. The substance might be able to regulate cytokine production. As the cytokine levels in your body increase, the symptoms of inflammation will become worse. These chemical compounds are also important for pain so, by regulating its levels, you are able to manage two things at once.

On top of this, the chemical might address the main cause of skin inflammation, and that is bacteria. Acne is caused by microbes and other impurities. When you apply cannabidiol, you might be able to eliminate these bacteria from the surface of your skin.

Increases hydration

CBD oil is commonly mixed with hemp seed oil, a substance that has high levels of omega fatty acids. This substance can do wonders for dry skin by providing the necessary hydration. It might also help tighten the tissue, which is why the signs of aging won’t be as noticeable.

Addressing certain skin problems

Besides addressing acne, the beauty product might assist with some other conditions. According to limited study data, CBD cosmetics might work by reducing itchiness, burning, dryness, and so on. In that sense, it might provide some relief for ailments like psoriasis, xerosis, and dermatitis.

This probably has to do with cannabidiol’s ability to regulate the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid chemicals are able to bind to cannabinoid receptors, thus regulating the whole system. As a result, various internal processes can be improved.

Are CBD cosmetics better than some other popular skin substances?

Regardless of all the potential benefits that we’ve mentioned, there simply isn’t enough data to back up any of these claims. Most of our knowledge is based on circumstantial data at best. Because of that, it is really hard to assess the potential of the cannabinoid compounds.

On the other hand, other common cosmetic ingredients are much better researched. We know that substances such as retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid work by providing anti aging benefits, antioxidation, and hydration. The same scientific data confirm that these chemicals are safe for human use.

Anyway, while CBD does have enormous potential, we still need to learn more about the chemical. Furthermore, we need to see how CBD oil would affect your tissue after prolonged use. The substance is especially dangerous if you start using it from an early age.

How are CBD products marketed?

There is a good reason why CBD has become so popular so quickly with the cosmetic industry. These companies have always been proactive in exploring substances that have high wellness potential.

Nowadays, you can find cannabidiol in almost anything. Customers can buy products such as CBD lip balms, soaps, lotions, and so on. All of them are promoted in a similar way claiming that CBD will help reduce inflammation and pain, provide nourishment, and fight signs of aging.

Unfortunately, companies tend to exaggerate when it comes to CBD's potential benefits. This goes both for cosmetic items and all other cannabinoid products. Because of that, you need to be very careful when utilizing these chemicals and moderate your expectations.

Baswan, S., Klosner, A., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, K., Stern, N., (2020), Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders, Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, Auckland, New Zealand


Palmieri, B., Laurino, C., Vadala, M., (2019), A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars, La Clinica terapeutica, Roma, Italy


Pandelides, Z., Thornton, C., Faruque, A., Whitehead, A., Willett, K., Ashpole, N., (2020), Developmental exposure to cannabidiol (CBD) alters longevity and health span of zebrafish (Danio rerio), GeroScience, Switzerland