Cannabis Is This Year's It Beauty Ingredient—and It Will Save Your Dry Skin

Updated 02/23/18

Pot, weed, hemp, ganja—beauty’s controversial new It ingredient has gone by many a moniker over the years, but "hydrating skin saviour"? Well, that might be a first even for cannabis.

Giving beauty editors everywhere a buzz, cannabis plant extracts are now being used in everything from anti-ageing skincare to hand cream and hair care. Because it turns out, that as well being great for a smoky high, the cannabis plant’s cellular make-up also packs powerful hydrating properties. Keep scrolling to find out why and see which products you'll find the potent green stuff in.

Cannabis in skincare: Picture of a Marijuana Leaf
Stocksy / Cameron Zegers

We’ve all heard of essential fatty acids (EFAs), right? Although they’re essential to the body for all sorts of tissue functions, particularly the maintenance of healthy and hydrated skin, we’re actually unable to produce two of the most important EFAs (omega-3 and omega-6) ourselves.

The body needs help from external sources, be they food or topically applied substances, which are already naturally rich in these sacred biomolecules. Cue cannabis sativa, which just so happens to be one of the richest plant sources of omegas -3 and -6 around.The oil extracted from the plant’s seeds in particular is chock-full of these fats as well as proteins, which all help dehydrated skin to repair and replenish its lipid barrier, heal damage and boost elastin fibres. The result? Softer, smoother, plumped-up skin.

Which leads us to cannabis superpower number two: the antioxidant properties of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), aka the main chemical which makes you high when you smoke pot. Just one of the incredible cannabinoid compounds found in the plant, THC is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredient. So much so that when teamed with those regenerative EFA-rich oils, even minuscule amounts of THC can help treat all manner of skin conditions from eczema and psoriasis to acne, signs of ageing and even scars.

What’s more, you don’t need to worry about the effects of THC on the brain. When topically applied, the very tiny amount of THC that is present won’t penetrate further than the skin. This means you’ll never get high (unless super soft skin really does it for you), and it won’t show up on drugs tests because it won’t have infiltrated your blood stream.

So let’s do the math: If cannabis seed oil contains hydrating, repairing and regenerative properties while the rest of the plant contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants that also soothe and heal, together, the sum of the parts must be a something incredible. So incredible, in fact, that a steady stream of beauty products are hitting the shelves harnessing the many superpowers of the cannabis plant. Scroll down for a few of our own faves to get your super-powered skincare regime started.

MGC Derma Anti Ageing Day CBD Stem Cells & Peptides Eye Cream $65
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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive extract from the cannabis plant. Interestingly our bodies have natural receptors for CBD (eyebrow raise), which means we recognise and can utilise it straight away. CBD is known for its potent healing and moisturising power, so this eye cream soothes and hydrates the delicate eye area, ironing out puffiness with ease whilst tackling dark circles and fine lines too. 

Kiki Health + CBD Oil $40
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CBD oil can also be ingested, but it won't get you high. Instead it hydrates and nourishes the body from the inside out thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chlorophyll and amino acids (vital for skin function), as well as potent antioxidants.

The Body Shop Hemp Body Butter $15
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Apply this body butter to skin still damp from the shower for maximum absorption of all those EFAs and skin nourishing ingredients.

Dr Bronner’s Organic Rose Castile Liquid Soap $14
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Though all of the soaps from this brand contain organic hemp oil to gently cleanse and nourish even sensitive skin, we love the rose version for it’s pretty, floral scent. The brand’s also a celebrity fave, with Kate Hudson, Natalie Portman and Gwyneth Paltrow all having declared their love.

Dr Organic Hemp Oil 24hr Rescue Cream $10 $5
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Feed thirsty skin with this cream, which teams organic hemp oil with beeswax and plant extracts for round-the-clock hydration when your face feels dry and tight.

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