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CBD Research

CBD and the Treatment of Rosacea

A girl using ULU CBD creme face product and rubbing some onto her skin

The increased use of CBD in skincare has lead to some important breakthroughs. No more so that CBD and the treatment of rosacea. We explore rosacea and how cbd works to improve this skin condition.

What is rosacea?

A relatively common chronic skin condition with multiple signs and symptoms. Rosacea is generally characterised by redness across the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. This redness can lead to inflammatory bumps and pimples and can also feel sore and sensitive, particularly when using water or skin care products.

Occasionally, rosacea causes the facial skin to swell (lymphedema) as well as uncomfortable inflammation around the eyes and eyelids. Some people develop rosacea keratitis which is a painful inflammation around the front of the eye. Less commonly, rosacea can cause rhinophyma which is a swelling of the nose.

Rosacea ‘flare-ups’ undoubtedly occur in cycles, with symptoms coming and going for weeks or months at a time. Unsurprisingly, the psychosocial impact of this condition can be severe with patients suffering from lowered self-confidence, anxiety and depression. The National Association for Rosacea expands on the explanation of rosacea.

A woman with rosacea on her face
A woman with rosacea on her face

Are there different types of rosacea?

Yes. There are four subtypes of rosacea. Each has its own set of symptoms and it’s entirely possible to have more than one subtype at a time.

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR)

Symptoms: facial redness, flushing and visible blood vessels. Swollen, sensitive and dry skin.

  1. Papulopustular rosacea

Symptoms: acne-like breakouts.

  1. Phymatous rosacea

Symptoms: skin thickening on the nose, chin, forehead, ears and eyelids. Rhinophyma is the thickening of the skin on the nose with bumpy skin texture and large pores. This    is a rare form of rosacea, caused if there is an overgrowth of the oil-secreting glands on the nose.

  1. Ocular rosacea:

Symptoms: watery, bloodshot eyes, eyes that feel gritty and are sensitive to light, cysts on eyes, burning sensation in the eyes, diminished vision.

Rosacea examples
Rosacea examples

Who does it affect?

The National Rosacea Societystates that rosacea may affect as many as 415 million people worldwide. It typically begins any time after the age of 30 and can impact all skin types, although it is predominantly found in people with fair skin who tend to blush easily.

The condition is also more frequently diagnosed in women but tends to be more severe when established in men. The acne-like breakouts of papulopustular rosacea, for example, are generally experienced by middle-aged women, while rhinophyma is usually reported in male sufferers.

What causes it?

According to The British Skin Foundation, the cause of rosacea is not fully understood. It may involve genetics, the immune system and environmental factors.

Some sufferers will also recognise particular triggers that make it worse, from alcohol to spicy foods, caffeine, cheese, stress and even sun exposure.

Recent studies show that facial redness, the most common symptom of rosacea, is caused by inflammation and the dilation of the small blood vessels on the surface of the skin. Experts believe it is initiated by a combination of irregularities in the innate immune system and neurovascular dysregulation.

The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defence against infection. Cathelicidin peptides are part of this system and they act by eliminating harmful bacteria and stimulating a complex immune reaction. Research has shown that cathelicidins may cause inflammatory bumps, pimples, flushing and visible blood vessels and they are found to be more abundant in rosacea patients.

Research into the activation of cathelicidins are ongoing as scientists further understand the links between rosacea triggers and inflammation.

How can we treat rosacea? 

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that rosacea can be completely cured. However, knowledge of its signs and symptoms means that lifestyle changes, skincare and medical intervention can help. The arrival of CBD skincare ranges has added a new treatment opportunity, so that CBD can be considered when treating rosacea.

Lifestyle Changes

Adopting these daily habits can help to reduce symptoms:

  • Recognise trigger factors and try to avoid them where possible. Keeping a food diary can be helpful in spotting links between diet and flare-ups.
  • Avoid heat and excessive sunlight.
  • Take steps to manage your stress levels, adopting beneficial patterns of sleep, diet and exercise.
  • Try to cover your face with a scarf or shawl in cold weather, protecting it from the harshness of the elements.
  • Avoid irritating your skin by touching your face too much.

Skin care

Adopting a gentle skin care routine can undoubtedly help to control rosacea symptoms. Use skin care products designed for sensitive skin and avoid abrasive face cloths. Never scrub your face and always dry with a gentle cotton towel.

Sunscreen should be used on a daily basis to protect the skin from sun exposure. Again, look for non-chemical sunscreens for sensitive skin and aim for an SPF of 30 or higher.

When managing facial flushing and visible blood vessels on a daily basis, the appearance of redness can be reduced with green-tinted make up. It is also wise to avoid using foundation with pink or orange tones.

Medical Intervention

People can use various oral and topical medications to treat rosacea that should be discussed with your GP or dermatologist.

Initially, antibiotics and steroid creams might be suggested to bring the condition under control. The anti-inflammatory properties of antibiotics are often effective and steroid cream can also relieve the skin conditions associated with rosacea. However, both antibiotics and steroid creams can have adverse side effects, so more natural treatments are clearly preferable moving forward.

Where appropriate, laser therapy and IPL (intense pulsed light) can be used to remove redness and dilated blood vessels.

It is obviously of vital importance to consult an optician or dermatologist if you are experiencing problems with your eyes or vision.

Can CBD skin care be used in the treatment of rosacea?

CBD has been shown to offer a range of medical benefits and to tackle the underlying causes of rosacea. As our endocannabinoid system responds to the presence of CBD, so it redresses the balance and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

As well as modulating our internal systems, CBD can dampen certain elements that trigger rosacea, its calming effect having a positive impact on anxiety levels and its anti-oxidant properties protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Research continues, but ‘The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabiniods in Dermatology’ reported on the immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD and their treatment of several dermatologic conditions.

There are ongoing studies into the benefits of CBD and rosacea, and many further anecdotal reports are being made. ULU has instigated studies into the use of CBD skin care used in the treatment of rosacea and will publish our findings in early 2021. One of the earlier user experiences with CBD skincare products can be found by reading Vicky Smiths Blog.


How should I take CBD when treating rosacea?

When seeking to prevent or treat an outbreak of rosacea, CBD can be taken in four different ways:

  1. Sublingual method: place CBD oil under your tongue and let it absorb, by-passing the digestive system
  2. Orally: ingest edibles or CBD capsules
  3. Topically: apply oil, serum or cream directly on to the skin
  4. Inhaling: Inhale the cannabidiol vapour using a compatible vaping device 

Which ULU CBD products should I consider?

Our CBD infused beauty range contains organic and EU-sourced ingredients and can be a hugely beneficial addition to your skin care routine. CBD Balm, CBD Crème, CBD Serum and CBD Oil are all products that you might consider using, both to prevent and relieve the symptoms associated with rosacea. Let’s take a look at some of these products in more detail.

ULU Revitalise 5% CBD Serum 750mg with Retinol

Proven to show positive results when used to combat the symptoms of rosacea, our ULU CBD serum pampers and restores the skin. Acting as an effective natural anti-inflammatory with antioxidant properties, this high-strength serum focuses on cell renewal and protection against free radicals. Hyaluronic acid rejuvenates whilst retinol stimulates cell activity and regeneration. Apply gently to the face and neck after cleansing and toning.

ULU CBD Skincare serum with retinol for rosacea treatment
ULU CBD Skincare serum with retinol


ULU Glow 5% CBD Face Cream 1500mg

Our Glow CBD face cream is an essential in our CBD skin care line. Working deep into the skin and providing lasting moisture and protection as well as intense hydration through organic aloe, coconut and jojoba oils, meadow foam and avocado oil. At 5% concentration, this is an extra-strength CBD formula which will target the problem areas associated with rosacea without overwhelming your skin.

ULU Protect CBD Balm 375mg

This ultra-soft revitalising formula includes lavender, peppermint and lemongrass. A lightly fragranced salve, it provides a protective barrier from harmful elements making it an ideal product to support your skin in colder outdoor weather. Gently rub into problem areas, use as a base layer for make-up and as a make-up remover.

ULU CBD Balm for use to treat rosacea

ULU Full Spectrum 5% CBD Oil 500mg CBD / 10ml

5% CBD drops are a great way to introduce CBD into your daily routine. Adopt the sublingual method with two to three drops under the tongue, three times daily, absorbing the active cannabidiol ingredients into your system for maximum effect. Read more about the benefits of CBD oil here.



In conclusion – CBD and the treatment of rosacea

As a chronic skin condition, rosacea affects around 415 million people worldwide. Symptoms include facial redness, acne-like breakouts, skin thickening, sore eyes and, in more extreme cases, rhinophyma. The discomfort and appearance of these symptoms unsurprisingly cause distress to sufferers.

While there is no cure for rosacea, the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of CBD offer a number of benefits in treatment of the condition. As well as modulating our internal systems and acting as an immunosuppressant, its calming effect can have a positive impact on anxiety levels. Absorbing CBD under the tongue and applying it topically are likely the most effective methods. CBD has also shown to have notable benefits for treating acne.

Consider the products that best suit you, perhaps building up as you see the benefits. And remember, if you have any questions, our friendly CBD experts are just an email away.


As always, make sure u love u!

CBD also makes for an incredible lip balm, and you can read about the best lip CBD lip balms  and how CBD can be used with tattoos. Due to the anti inflmmatory properties , CBD for acne is a natural progression of use.


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