National CBD Day: 8 Cannabis Skincare Products and Why They Work

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday August 8, 2019

National CBD Day: 8 Cannabis Skincare Products and Why They Work
  (Source:Getty Images)

At a time of unprecedented cannabis legalization across the country, it's not surprising that CBD — or cannabidiol — seems primed to be the next big thing. But what is CBD, and will applying it topically really improve your skin?

No, CBD products (or other types of products containing cannabis oil) will not get you high. (Sorry.) You're also not going to fail a drug test because brands rigorously test to make sure that their products contain no traces of THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana that provides the high.

According to Preet Marwaha, CEO of BlueSky Biologicals, CBD is rich in vitamins like A, C, and E, which can aid in anti-aging, firmness, and the blocking of free radicals, an essential function of any good face serum or moisturizer. But what CBD seems to do best is to help with inflammatory conditions, including redness, breakouts, skin allergies, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.

I don't suffer from allergies or eczema, but over my months-long product testing, holiday gluttony undoubtedly led to some breakouts: the bitter cold and wind left my face rosy, and the morning after an occasional overuse of retinol, I looked to CBD to calm irritation, shrink blemishes, and improve the overall evenness of my skin. And as someone whose skin is on the oilier side, CBD is also said to help decrease excessive sebum production.

There are two different types of cannabis-centric products hitting the market, both of which are riding this trendy wave in their own unique ways: CBD products (cannabidiol products previously mentioned), and cannabis sativa seed oil, which is essentially a superfood oil derived from the hemp plant that does not contain cannabinoids. Although hemp oil and CBD comes from the same plant, hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant, which means that it doesn't contain the same amount of cannabinoids found in CBD, which is extracted from the entire plant.

Both are worthy ingredients to consider for your skincare regimen. Cannabis sativa oil is rich in antioxidants and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, powerhouse anti-aging ingredients, but contains only trace amounts of cannabidiol.

Here are some cannabis-derived products — both with and without CBD — that are worth a look.

Life Elements Men's Bath Bomb
This manly bath bomb claims to be able to soothe your soul and make you a better man. I'm not sure about those claims, but this bath bomb smells divine and makes for a luxurious and all-around transportive time in the bath. Packed with 200 mg of CBD, this is the ideal bath companion for unwinding after a long day and providing relief to sore muscles along with skin nourishment from goat's milk and oatmeal. $20

Kana Skincare's L I T Hemp Face Oil
One to two drops is all you need of this versatile, rich, hydrating oil (my oily skin liked one drop during the day, two at night). Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9 make this a powerful oil for the skin and an ideal complement to the cold outdoors and heated indoors. Kana blends Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil with 16 plant-based oils and L I T can be effortlessly introduced to any skincare regimen: it can be used alone or mixed into any products you already use (like essences or masks). Additionally, there are no added fragrances and isn't tested on animals, so this is a glow you can feel good about. $75

Hora Skincare's Super Serum + CBD
This straightforward and powerful serum contains a slew of skin-transforming ingredients like marine collagen, rosehip and argan oils, vitamins A and B3, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and CBD. One pump is all you'll need of this effective serum that boasts a whole slew of benefits, from anti-aging and antioxidant properties to hydration, plumpness, firmness, and even regulating sebum and fading dark spots. This one-stop serum is the real deal. For added benefits, Hora recommends working into the skin using a facial roller (available on their website for $26), and I've got to say, I'm a believer. $54

CBD For Life Pure CBD Hand and Body Massage Lotion
Pure CBD Face & Body Cleanser
Body lotions and cleansers often don't have quite the same wow factor as facial products. Body wash is kind of just... body wash, right? Wrong. From the very first use, my skin felt softer than I ever remember it feeling. The fact that a little goes a long way and that it suds up beautifully are only two reasons why I fell instantly in love. It also doubles as a face cleanser, and streamlining products in the shower is never a bad thing.

And then there's the Hand & Body Massage Lotion, which I have been using as a daily body moisturizer since the day I received it. My skin drinks this stuff up, and it soaks in wonderfully, leaving my skin moisturized and healthy, which is no easy task during the winter. Hand and Body Massage Lotion, $22; Pure CBD Face & Body Cleanser, $17

Kiehl's Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate
Kiehl's Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate  (Source: Kiehl's)

Kiehl's Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate
I've had a hard time finding a facial oil that I can wear during the day that doesn't leave me looking like a greasy mess by noon. But because I'm eager to try anything that Kiehl's releases, I couldn't wait to get this newest innovation on my face. To my absolute delight, this product left my skin looking healthy, bright, and more nourished, without the oily residue. I have been layering this onto my skin after my serums and before my moisturizer, and the effects are palpable and relatively immediate. I especially enjoy this after shaving, and it does a beautiful job of calming my skin and eliminating any redness.

Ultra impressive is that this only has 13 ingredients, the first one being cannabis sativa seed oil, which speaks to its potency and uncomplicated formulation. The regulation of sebum is one of the things that is most frequently mentioned with cannabis oil, and this home run from Kiehl's does that better than any of the other products I tested, which is perhaps why I'm able to get away with wearing it during the day. Whether you're looking to calm acne-prone skin, control oil production, or calm irritation, this herbal rebalancing oil delivers on all fronts. $49

Peter Thomas Roth's Green Releaf Therapeutic Sleep Cream Skin Protectant
Containing a combination of cannabis seed oil, 2 percent retinoid complex, melatonin, and colloidal oatmeal, this newest innovation from Peter Thomas Roth is an exquisite and effective nightcap for the skin. This nighttime moisturizer doubles down on the calming properties of both cannabis oil and oatmeal. I love layering this over my nightly retinol and using it on nights when my skin looks a little angry. I don't love the odd smell (which dissipates quickly), but the effects are undeniable. $65

Also worth a mention is Peter Thomas Roth's Green Releaf Calming Face Oil, which uses ginger root extract and a dizzying array of nutritious oils to hydrate, plump, and soothe, in addition to cannabis sativa seed oil.$68