It's one of the buzziest ingredients in the beauty industry. The meteoric rise of hemp and CBD in the last few years has everyone talking about the cannabis family and what the benefits of using those products are. Both hemp and CBD oils contain high levels of anti-inflammatory properties, fatty omega acids, and healing benefits—but they also have such small amounts of the psychoactive compound THC that you won't get a "high" from it. In addition to their calming and soothing properties, CBD and hemp oil are also powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and healing ingredients. Rich in fatty acids, CBD and hemp oils are highly nourishing and hydrating, while helping to balance out oil production.
Don't get them twisted, however—CBD and hemp are two members of the same family, but they're closer to cousins than siblings. Hemp seed oil is just what you think—oil derived strictly from the hemp seeds, while CBD oil incorporates oils extracted from the entire hemp plant, including the stalks, stems, seeds, and flowers. We asked Nicole Hatfield, a licensed esthetician at Pomp and NYC dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, about the best ways to incorporate hemp oil into your life. Read on to learn exactly how to use hemp oil to benefit your skin, nails, and hair.
A More Even Complexion
Who doesn't want clearer skin? While adding oil to oily skin may sound counterintuitive, massaging a bit of hemp oil, like Herbivore's Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil, into acne-prone skin will help to neutralize the sebum that causes breakouts. "One of the benefits of using hemp oil for your face (and body) is that it is not pore-clogging," says Hatfield. "Hemp oil can actually balance out oil production and reduce acne. It's also a lightweight oil and can be used for sensitive skin as well."
One of our favorite hemp oil uses is for all-natural nail repair. Apply hemp oil directly to the nails and cuticles, or treat yourself to hemp oil foot bath and add a few drops before spa day starts. This cuticle oil by French Girl Organics contains hemp oil, which the brand notes for its anti-fungal properties.
Natural Makeup Removal
Using a soft cloth or cotton swab, gently massage hemp oil—we love this one from Absolute Nutrition—into makeup (especially eye makeup) to effortlessly remove it from your skin. Hemp oil is great as a makeup remover because of its anti-inflammatory traits, which can help with treating skin ailments like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Like many natural oils, one of the best hemp oil uses is as a moisturizer. "If you have oily and acne-prone skin, hemp oil could be used as your moisturizer. If you have dry and sensitive skin, hemp oil could be used first and then you can add a moisturizer and SPF on top for added hydration," notes Hatfield. Simply apply a dry body oil, like this one from Meow Meow Tweet, directly to dry or cracked skin to restore softness.
Better Skin Texture
Going hand in hand with improved moisture, hemp oil can also help to make skin stronger and more supple. "Hemp oil is rich in natural emollients that help hydrate and soften the outer skin layer," shares Zeichner. Along with hemp-seed oil, this lightweight face oil by Eve Lom is enriched with vitamin C to soften skin.
One of the most sought-after elements of hemp oil is essential fatty acids, also known as EFAs. These help to restore hair’s natural strength, softness and shine. Hempz's dry shampoo will both absorb excess oil while retaining shine. Hemp oil also boasts one of the highest concentrations of EFAs and has plenty of proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, as well.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a component of hemp oil that reduces inflammation. This makes it a terrific ingredient to assist in topical applications on red or irritated skin, as well as a natural shampoo ingredient that can help alleviate inflammation of the scalp. R+Co's Super Garden CBD Shampoo and Conditioners will make your hair super easy to detangle, as well as moisturized beyond belief.
Natural Hair Conditioning
Hemp is full of antioxidants, which can be nourishing and good for both the strands of your hair, as well as your scalp. It's non-greasy, so using it in your wash day routine is key. While you'd normally condition hair after shampooing, hemp oil should be applied first. Allow a small amount of hemp oil to soak into the hair and the scalp for 10 to 20 minutes; then wash as usual. Using a mask, like SheaMoisture's Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oil Moisture-Seal Masque, can also be a great way to get all of the benefits of hemp seed oil into your hair care routine.
Heal Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Like several anti-inflammatory oils (tea tree oil and coconut oil are also good examples), hemp oil has a natural ability to help cleanse and restore chafed, cracked skin. Being rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, hemp oil can help skin repair, too. Josie Maran's Skin Dope Argan Oil is great for skin in need of a little extra TLC—combining argan oil, which comes with a ton of omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids, with Cannabis Sativa Hemp Extract, your skin will drink it up like water. So fear not; your boo-boo won't last forever.
Boost Your Detox Efforts
Hemp oil helps support healthy liver function, making it an ideal supplement to your healthy detox efforts. If taken orally, hemp oil can also reduce inflammation in the body—lowering the risk of heart disease. Hemp oil also has antibacterial properties and can block or inhibit specific types of bacteria, including the bacteria that can develop into staph infections. Using a probiotic protein like the one from The Nue Co can change your gut health, protein, and immunity. It has been suggested that hemp oil might actually make the skin stronger and more resilient against bacteria.