CBD Skincare: 6 Reasons To Start Using CBD Balms
CBD is one of the fastest growing trends within the UK health industry. And one of the most recent facets of this trend has been the introduction of CBD skincare products. But with so many different retailers claiming different uses benefits, it can be hard to cut through the nonsense and find the truth. Here at ULU, we want you to stay safe and informed when buying any CBD product – especially online. So, here’s an introduction to CBD balms, their benefits for the skin, and some information from some of the most recent scientific studies about CBD skincare.
What are CBD balms?
CBD balm includes any kind of creams, topicals or salves that contain the naturally occurring chemical compound, CBD. And of course, CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the stems and leaves of the hemp plant. It’s also completely legal in the UK as long as it doesn’t contain any THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that causes a high.)
Where can CBD balms be used?
The sky is the limit when it comes to using CBD balm! You can really use it on any part of your skin – although make sure to avoid broken or extremely sensitive areas.
And if you’re wondering why on earth you would put CBD onto your skin, here are 6 great uses for CBD balms to inspire you to consider a CBD skincare routine!
One of the main reasons that CBD balms (and CBD skincare products in general) are so useful is because of CBD’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This means that CBD balms are great for reducing redness and swelling not just on the face but all over the body.
Of course, many people treat inflammation with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroid medications. However, both of these can cause unwanted side-effects, whilst this very rarely happens with CBD. (Honestly, the risk of side-effects from CBD is virtually non-existent.)
Itchy or irritated skin can be a nightmare – especially when this occurs on the face. And we’ve all suffered with itchy skin at some point – whether from an allergic reaction, or from an annoying bug bite after a trip to the beach.
Well, a recent immunology study published by PubMed Central found overwhelming evidence that CBD contains natural anti-itch properties. This study also found that using CBD oil in skincare was able to rival some leading medical anti-pruritic (anti-itch) medications and creams.
Using CBD oil in skincare balms is a great way to moisturise dry skin. It has also been linked to reduction in dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
CBD is also a great way to reduce side effects of dry skin, such as swelling and itching. But crucially, it regulates oil build-up, causing your skin to feel soft and moisturised, without becoming too oily.
As CBD is a natural, plant-based chemical compound, it also has anti-oxidant properties. Therefore using a CBD balm helps to counteract free-radical damage and reduce oxidative stress – helping your skin to maintain its natural, youthful glow for longer.
Wrinkles are also always more prominent when the skin is dry. So, using a moisturising CBD balm will help reduce the appearance of signs of ageing.
Your CBD skincare routine doesn’t have to end with the face. You could be using CBD balm more widely across your body, especially if chronic pain is something that you suffer with!
A study from the European Journal of Pain showed that applying CBD to the skin can help reduce pain – especially from arthritis, scleroderma and other types of neuropathic conditions.
In fact, here at ULU, we recently interviewed Tom Corbett, an avid cyclist who uses CBD for muscle soreness caused by cycling.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting millions worldwide. And it’s caused by an over-production of sebum (oil).
We’ve already mentioned that CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it can be great for reducing redness and swelling that comes with acne. However, research also shows that CBD has the potential to decrease excess sebum production within the skin. This makes it great for maintaining healthy oil levels within skincare, as well as maintaining the balance necessary for clear, healthy skin.
Why do CBD balms work so well?
You’re probably thinking ‘That all sounds too good to be true! How can CBD have so many different benefits?’ Well, let’s take a look at some of the science behind CBD balms and CBD skincare.
CBD is able to have so many widespread benefits because of how it reacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS.) The ECS is a complex cell-signalling system naturally found within our bodies. It plays a crucial role in homeostasis – keeping our bodies within strict parameters that allow us to function properly. Therefore it also plays a role in regulating things like sleep, immune system, memory, fertility and mood. CBD (and other types of cannabinoids, including the body’s own naturally-produced cannabinoids) essentially act like a boost to the ECS, providing a natural ‘power-up.’
The ECS also plays an important role within the skin through a process called cutaneous cannabinoid signalling. This essentially allows the ECS to ‘communicate with’ the skin, passing on cannabinoids such as CBD, and allowing them to have a wide variety of skincare benefits.
According to a study from the Department of Immunology at the University of Debrecen:
“cutaneous cannabinoid cannabinoid signaling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration, and its dysregulation was implicated to contribute to several highly prevalent diseases and disorders, e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma, acne, hair growth and pigmentation disorders, keratin diseases, various tumors, and itch.”
What about hempseed balms?
We’re constantly clearing up this mix-up because we come across a lot of people who think hempseed and CBD products are the same – not to mention a lot of retailers who aren’t very clear about the fact that there’s a difference between the two!
Hempseed balms (and all hempseed products) do not contain CBD. This is because you won’t naturally find any CBD in hemp seeds. Therefore hempseed balms are not classed as CBD products unless CBD has been added during the manufacturing process. This is also the case for products advertised as ‘hemp products’ or ‘hemp oil’ products. These are also both derived from hempseeds and do not naturally contain CBD.
So, always remember to check the ingredients list carefully – If you don’t see ‘CBD’ listed as one of the ingredients, and can’t find a clear concentration level, then you can’t be confident that the product actually contains CBD.
What should I look out for when buying CBD balms?
In addition to carefully checking the product ingredients to make sure you’re buying a CBD product, there are a few other things you should look out for.
- The skin forms a protective barrier which is difficult to penetrate easily. Therefore, you’ll need to use a CBD skincare product with a high CBD concentration to allow your skin to absorb the cannabidiol. Otherwise, you might not notice any benefits. Always make sure to choose a skincare product with a CBD concentration of 1% or higher.
- There are a lot of retailers out there selling dubious CBD skincare products. So, you should only ever purchase from a company that you trust. Read our article for red flags you should look out for when buying CBD.
- You should also carefully read the other ingredients within the product to make sure you’re not allergic to anything.
Happy CBD shopping!
For more information about how to buy CBD online safely and legally, check out our handy ULU guide.
We’ve also written an article with more information about the types, uses and benefits of CBD in the UK.