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.
Pablo’s Blog: Travel Lips – What Makes a Great CBD Lip Balm?
Last week I was in the USA enjoying the delights of Los Angeles. It has become my home from home. And it is also in California – which is where I started my CBD experience. Indeed part of my trip involved researching the CBD market, looking at trends and new ideas. But during my travels, it got me thinking about CBD lip balm. What are they? Why do we need them and what makes for a great CBD balm?
What makes a great CBD lip balm ?
I got to wondering, what makes a great CBD lip balm on my flight home. Indeed, there was a battle between a lovely glass of Bordeaux and a great CBD balm to see what would lubricate my lips first.
We all love a pretty package, and I have lost count of the number of lip balms I have used and abused over the years. And in recent times I have been testing some of the best cbd lip balms. So apart from the pretty packages, what have I found out ? Here are a few guidelines on lip balms and salves, and what to look for. Then finally why you should choose a cbd salve product.
Why do we need lip balm or salve ?
Our lips are pretty active during our daily routine, they come into contact with moisture, food, drinks , rain the sun, the wind and maybe if you are lucky another set of lips. All of this mighty action, particularly in the dry winter months leads to a drying out of the surface of the skin and often to sore or chapped lips. Our lips are not sebaceous glans so lack the ability to self lubricate, hence the reason why lip balms have become so popular.
What ingredients go into lip balm ?
The ingredients of the various lip balms on the market vary enormously. Through reading many comments from expert dermatologists a few ingredients it seems should be avoided. These include strong fragrances, salicylic acid and menthol, which can be a cause of irritation or even allergy.
A good lip balm prevents the evaporation of moisture from the lips. It is also a great emollient, softening the skin and allowing for greater ease of movement for the most flexible mobile part of the face.
How the various balms on the market create this performance is very much down to the blend of oils and waxes chosen by the manufacturer. Some ingredients naturally hydrate better than others. And the key here is the how the different ingredients that are chosen work together and combine to provide the most comprehensive performance.
Some of the main ingredients you will see on your lip salve are the following
Lanolin is a substance found naturally and it comes from sheep. You’ll find lanolin in sheep coats to be precise. It is the protectant they have to keep their fleece dry and protected. When the sheep is shorn of their woollen coat, the lanolin can be removed from the fleece. The animal is not harmed during this process, but for some it is still an animal derived product so may not suit their needs. However, lanolin is a natural product and closely resembles the molecular structure of the skin on your lips. This makes it a perfect companion and ingredient for a lip balm. It also allows your skin to breathe as it is semi-occlusive. However, it does require extensive purification before it can be used. This can lead to the use of chemicals that could create harm to the human skin.
Many older readers will know of petroleum jelly . It is comprised of mineral oils and paraffin wax and has been used for well over a century. The low cost of the product and the ease of use made it a popular product as an instant barrier protection for the lips. The limitations of the product are that is provides little impact on the recovery of damaged skin. There is a frequent need too reapply which often causes the lips to dry out and make the condition worse. The immediate relief of moisture is quickly offset by a drying out of the skin. Whilst it is widely regarded as a safe product, there are some that believe applying a Petrolatum to the skin is adding a toxicity that should be avoided.
Petroleum jelly, commonly known by the most popular brand name Vaseline, was originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs in the mid-1800s. It’s composed mainly of mineral oils and paraffin wax, a chemical preservative.
Beeswax is created by, well it will not surprise you to know, by bees! They use the wax to construct their honeycombs, which they use to store honey and breed in. The wax itself is naturally occurring and acts as a protective barrier to maintain moisture. It also acts to rehydrate the skin and reduce dryness. By locking moisture in, it helps to maintain the softness of the delicate skin on the lips. This is another animal-derived product. So, this may not suit everyone, especially if you are vegan. And of course, anyone would want to understand the environment in which the bees are kept.
Coconut oil is made from the fruit of the coconut palm tree. It has a wide range of qualities and is naturally rich in minerals, essential fatty acids and vitamins . This enables coconut oil to assist with intense moisturising and protection of dry cracked, lips. In addition, it can act as an anti-inflammatory and helps to fight bacteria, all helping to repair and heal skin much faster. It is a very rich product, so may prove an issue for more sensitive skin types.
Shea butter is extracted from the Shea tree and is another natural source of protection for damaged skin cells. It is a rich fatty acid with additional minerals and vitamins that assist the healing process. It moisturises and protects the skin and has anti inflammatory properties that reduce the irritation of extensively damaged lips. Shea butter is also a dense product, and care should be taken if the surrounding skin is sensitive or prone to pore blockages.
Extracted from the Jojoba plant , this oil is actually a plant wax . It is naturally occurring and is able to penetrate the skin effectively. Combined with an array of vitamins and minerals, it can soothe and repair problematic skin damage to the lips. It has the advantage of being a light wax and this provides an ease of use and in application. There are also some known cases of allergy to the jojoba oil. So, make sure to always check the ingredients of any lip balm you buy to avoid any allergies.
Why use a CBD lip balm ?
The use of CBD in your lip balm is effective if matched to the correct blend of other ingredients, chosen primarily from the products cited above. The CBD provides a reinforcement for the anti-inflammatory properties of the lip balm and lip salve. It acts as a rapid repair agent to improve the healing process of the skin and lips. In fact a CBD balm can be used to assist the healing process of not only cracked and damaged lips, but also minor cuts located on your hands or face. Indeed many use their CBD balm to improve other dry skin conditions, especially dry skin on elbows and hands.
The suggestion that applying a CBD lip balm can lead to absorption into your blood stream is unlikely. (However, this is not impossible if the skin is broken.) Although, this is not the primary role of CBD lip salve. If you require CBD to assist with issues such as anxiety, it is advisable to use a method of application that allows rapid and easy absorption into the bloodstream, such as oil drops taken orally. Also, remember to always look for quality CBD products that have zero THC and with certified production. (Be assured, they will not get you high.)
The best CBD lip balms contain high quality CBD, in combination with naturally occurring oils and waxes, rich in vitamins such as A, C and E. Reputable companies will also quote the dosage of CBD used in the product. This is essential, as many companies use negligible dosages of CBD to claim its presence. This is a waste of money, as you will not see any positive effects from very minute doses of CBD.
Not all CBD lip balms are the same. It is essential to choose carefully the base oils and waxes and to find a reliable CBD supplier. Personally, I try to find a CBD salve that has a coconut oil base combined with a variety of natural plant extracts such as jojoba oil and avocado oil combined with natural flavourings so it tastes as good as it works. If the CBD balm has less that 1% CBD, I doubt it can be effective for accelerating the healing process of my lips .
I have to admit though, on that flight that I mentioned at the start, the Bordeaux red won the initial contest!