What Do Dermatologists Think of CBD Skincare? 4 Weigh In

The more you know.

cbd skincare

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One of the biggest recent trends has without a doubt been putting CBD in just about anything—and that includes skincare. It’s beginning to feel like you can’t open your computer without seeing a story about CBD skincare products that claim to have anti-inflammatory or even acne-healing benefits. That said, CBD skincare, or Cannabidiol-infused skincare products, are still brand-new to the mainstream market and research about their effects is still emerging every day.

When an ingredient is popping up everywhere, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction—so we reached out to four dermatologists to get their opinions—what it does to your skin and whether or not they recommend it. Below, find all the information you need.

There Is Promising Research

According to Michele Green, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, there have been some promising studies about CBD skincare. Specifically, she says studies have found that CBD may have anti-aging properties, and cite a 2014 study that found it may decrease sebum production on your skin, aka the reason you get clogged pores and acne. "There are studies that show CBD oil improves acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to control sebum production. In addition, it is a botanical antioxidant, which makes it a powerhouse for anti-aging protecting from environmental damage improving the skin’s texture and tone," Dr. Green says.

It May Help with Eczema and Psoriasis, Too

Manish Shah, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in Denver, CO, also notes emerging research about CBD skincare could benefit people those struggle with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. "One review of existing research into the role of cannabis in dermatology found CBD can benefit patients fighting conditions that cause itching,” he says. "This can have a lot of positive effects on patients reducing discomfort, inflammation, and preventing patients from worsening their condition by picking at their skin.”

It May Alleviate Pain

Another benefit: Similar to an analgesic product, CBD skincare products may also work to alleviate pain. According to Deanne Robinson, M.D., FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Westport, CT, CBD has a long history as a therapeutic botanical and has historically been used to treat pain, injuries and soothe skin.

“Perhaps its biggest benefit is its anti-inflammatory benefits. CBD skincare products boast analgesic (pain-killing) properties,” she says. “Furthermore, there are neurological benefits. I personally suffer from migraines and have found the roll-on lavender with CBD super helpful."

But, the Side Effects Are Still Fairly Unknown

As with anything new, though, research is still emerging—and, as Rita Linkner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City points out, more research still needs to be done to really know if it could have any detrimental side effects. “Thus far, there have been no double-blind randomized studies evaluating the beneficial effects of CBD on the skin,” she says. “I am asked about CBD in skincare often because it is the en vogue active. The jury is still out. As far as I have seen, there are no downsides to its use.” Similarly, Dr. Green explains, “To date there aren’t any known side effects. The use of CBD in skincare is new. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with further research.”

At the end of the day, you should check with your doctor before changing anything in your skincare routine—if for nothing else, because you want to make sure it’s going to work with your current routine. “Your doctor has individual knowledge of your skin type and condition and can better inform you as to what effects to look out for,” Dr. Shah says.

Whatever you decide, know that CBD skincare probably isn’t going anywhere—so even if you don’t try it right this second, you’ll likely still have a chance in a few years too. 

Article Sources
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  2. Oláh A, Tóth BI, Borbíró I, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytesJ Clin Invest. 2014;124(9):3713‐3724. doi:10.1172/JCI64628

  3. Mounessa JS, Siegel JA, Dunnick CA, Dellavalle RP. The role of cannabinoids in dermatologyJ Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;77(1):188‐190. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.056

  4. Palmieri B, Laurino C, Vadalà M. A therapeutic effect of CBD-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scarsClin Ter. 2019;170(2):e93‐e99. doi:10.7417/CT.2019.2116

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