Board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Emily Kirby answers the top CBD skincare questions she gets from her Fort Worth patients. Have you ever wondered whether CBD oil can help cure acne? Wonder no more, here is everything you need to know about CBD oil for acne.
Can CBD Improve Acne? A Plastic Surgeon Weighs In.
If you are tuned into the beauty and health world, chances are you have heard of CBD. This compound has recently gained popularity as a wonder drug, touted for its ability to improve everything from epilepsy and insomnia to mental health disorders and even skin conditions, like acne. While CBD oil does appear to offer promising benefits to some acne sufferers, I feel it is important as a physician to take a research-based approach to verifying this claim.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive portion of the cannabis sativa plant, which produces both marijuana and hemp. Unlike the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce an altered mental state in its users. CBD is available in many forms, including tinctures, salves, edibles, smokeable flower, and, now, skincare products.
Hemp seed oil vs. hemp oil
When looking for CBD skincare products, you will likely see some that contain hemp oil and others that list hemp seed oil. While both of these oils may provide benefits, there are some important differences to keep in mind:
- Hemp seed oil is harvested by cold-pressing hemp seeds. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, making it a popular skincare product and dietary supplement. However, hemp seed oil does not contain CBD or THC.
- Hemp oil, also referred to as CBD oil, is extracted from the whole cannabis sativa plant (not just its seeds), and therefore contains more plant compounds, including CBD.
Can CBD treat acne?
One of CBD’s most noted benefits is its ability to reduce inflammation, as supported by a 2017 review published in the Pharmacology & Therapeutics journal. Typically it is sold in a topical salve to relieve sore muscles and arthritic joints, but the same anti-inflammatory effects may be applied to improving acne.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD was effective at reducing sebum production in humans. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance produced by skin’s sebaceous glands that can lead to acne when it is overproduced. The study’s researchers also found CBD to have “remarkable” antibacterial activity, which is key to fighting acne.
These benefits, combined with CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, may make it a powerful ingredient in alleviating acne. However, it is important to remember that significantly more research still needs to be conducted to determine precisely what effect CBD has on acne and what side effects may occur.
It is difficult to know which of CBD’s compounds will benefit your skin and which could worsen the very conditions you wish to improve.
Broad spectrum vs. full spectrum CBD
To add another piece to the CBD puzzle, CBD products are either labelled “broad spectrum” or “full spectrum.” Full-spectrum CBD oil contains a trace amount of THC (less than 0.3%), while broad spectrum CBD has no THC at all. These products each contain different plant compounds and extracts, which all affect the skin differently.
Since research into CBD is still in its early stages, it is difficult to know which plant compounds will benefit your skin and which could worsen the very conditions you wish to improve. For example, while one cannabinoid might be good for inflammation, another might increase oil production. Due to this ambiguity, I advise sticking to medical-grade, physician-prescribed skincare products that have a proven track record, which I discuss below.
Is CBD legal in Texas?
In summer of 2019, Governor Greg Abbot signed a bill making hemp products legal in Texas. Since hemp contains CBD, this law legalized CBD products.
What is the legal limit for THC in CBD products?
By definition, hemp contains 0.3% or less of THC, which is the legal THC limit for CBD products in Texas. However, just because CBD is legal does not mean it is safe.
Is CBD safe?
Many people consider CBD to be generally safe, but there are a few reasons to be wary of the product:
- CBD is unregulated. None of CBD’s medical or health claims are recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. (Only one CBD product has been approved by the FDA—a prescription drug used to treat seizures.) The CBD industry has been referred to as the “Wild West” of herbal supplementation because it is so new and unregulated, with laws trying to keep pace with product marketing.
- CBD may contain THC. Although CBD is often advertised as having no THC, some brands have tested positive for the psychoactive compound in studies.
- CBD can interact with other medications. From antidepressants to herbal supplements, CBD may affect other drugs you are currently taking.
If you choose to purchase CBD, make sure it has been tested by a reputable third party and publishes its THC content on its label. Also, avoid products that say they “cure” or “treat” any health concerns, as CBD products are not legally allowed to make these claims.
The CBD industry has been referred to as the ‘Wild West’ of herbal supplementation because it is so new and unregulated.
Medical-grade skincare products are proven to help acne
Because research on CBD is so limited, I recommend choosing skincare products with ingredients known to be safe and effective at treating acne, such as those found in medical-grade skincare products. Medical-grade products are thoroughly tested and contain active ingredients that are far more potent than those found in over-the-counter alternatives, yet are still gentle enough to nourish irritated skin.
Medical-grade acne treatment in Fort Worth, Texas
At Kalos Medical Spa, we offer premium medical-grade skincare products, including brands like SkinCeuticals®, Babor®, NeoCutis®, and iS Clinical®. These products contain medical-grade, physician-recommended ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and peptides, proven to nourish and protect sensitive skin. Whether you would like to soothe irritated skin, reduce inflammation, or hydrate dull skin, our professional staff can help you find just the right skincare products to meet your needs. Contact my office online or call (817) 292-4200 to schedule your personal skincare consultation.
Can CBD Oil Help Cure Acne?
CBD oil for acne is one of the most discussed topics. CBD oil is everywhere now, from seeing it on shelves on the high street to your favourite influencers giving it glowing reviews online, it might seem like it’s a miracle cure for all types of ailments. Now, that just isn’t true, but when used in skincare products people have noticed truly incredible results.
That’s led to lots of us wanting to know if CBD oil can help with our acne, but does it actually work? Let’s find out!
But first, let’s quickly cover the basics about CBD oil:
- CBD oil is legal. You can buy CBD oil freely on the high street and online.
- CBD oil will not get you high. There are no psychoactive properties in any of our products.
- CBD oil and marijuana are not the same things.
- CBD oil does not affect everyone in the same way. Your mileage may vary.
Can CBD oil really help with your acne?
Acne comes in all sizes and severity, it can even make its way from your face to your back, but the culprit of any of these breakouts is sebum. Thankfully CBD can help adjust the sebum levels in our bodies to reduce acne. It’s also great as an anti-inflammatory, so you can reduce the swelling that’s normally associated with acne.
Unless you’ve been suffering from acne for a while, or if you’re studying medicine, you’ve probably never heard of sebum. It’s an oily substance that our bodies naturally produce to keep our skin moisturised and protected, but when we produce too much it becomes a problem – a spotty problem.
All this extra oily skin mixes with dead skin cells to form a pore-clogging mixture which, you guessed it, causes acne. Board-certified dermatologist Michele Green thinks CBD can help. “ CBD oil is beneficial to these conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It reduces sebum production and is also antimicrobial, so it works great for acne-prone skin.”
Lots of scientists and researchers have been investigating the benefits of CBD when it comes to acne, and they’ve discovered some pretty interesting results . One amazing group of scientists looked into whether or not CBD can actually prevent our bodies from creating too much sebum. Aaaand you guessed it – it can! CBD affects our sebocytes which are the cells that actually create the sebum.
But their discoveries didn’t end there. They also found that CBD prevents inflammatory cytokines from activating. Confused? Cytokines are responsible for swelling linked with acne and causing breakouts, so stopping these from activating is a big deal.
Bacteria plays a big part in prolonging acne breakouts. Dirty skin is never a good thing when it comes to skincare. A study in 2016 took a detailed look at the antibacterial and antifungal properties of cannabis and how it can reduce skin infections. These studies are ongoing and ever-evolving, so there are no concrete results just yet, and more tests on humans are needed.
What you need to know about CBD oil?
One of the biggest reasons that people try CBD is that it’s a natural alternative to some acne treatments that can use really harsh and invasive chemicals. It’s been great at:
- Reducing nasty inflammation
- Healing skin and calming breakouts
- Regulating oil production
- Reducing excess sebum production
- Soothing redness
All of these are useful for those of us that suffer from acne. But how exactly?
How does CBD oil help acne?
So what do we know so far? CBD oil can reduce inflammation and it also works as an antioxidant – great. And most importantly it can control sebum production. Let’s take a deep dive into the topic.
1. CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory properties
Anti-inflammatory means that it reduces swelling, something that’s so common when it comes to acne. Say goodbye to irritation, pain, and redness by soothing your skin with CBD oil. It’s even a great option for those of us with sensitive skin as it’s also really gentle to use.
2. Controls sebum/oil production
“The most exciting finding of CBD oil is that it’s sebostatic,” says Wexler Dermatology’s Kenneth Howe . While that mightn’t mean much to most people reading this, it’s a very big deal. It stops your skin from producing too much oil. CBD stops lipogenic actions and regulates how much sebum is produced.
He also believes that cannabinoids are active in our skin and can signal for specific activities to occur or not occur.
3. Acts as an antioxidant
CBD is jam-packed with antioxidants that protect our skin from the environment around us, things like pollution and free radicals can wreak havoc so it’s always a good idea to block these out. It even has the potential to improve skin tone too!
4. Manages breakouts
Breakouts are one of the worst parts of acne, while CBD oil can’t get rid of them completely, it can help manage these nasty outbreaks and make them milder by working on the root cause of acne – excess oil production.
But don’t take our word for it. Rachel Nazarian from the Schweiger Dermatology Group says, “Because it works as both an anti-inflammatory and can decrease oil production, it has the ability to multitask as an acne product. It may be considered a gentler option and a safe option for many different skin types.”
How to use CBD for acne?
CBD oil’s popularity has exploded in recent years, and rightly so. You can find CBD oil in so many different types of products, but for us acne sufferers it’s best if we take it topically (put it directly onto our skin).
Rachel has more advice on this too. “The evidence supporting the use of CBD in treating acne is purely topical at this point. The use of CBD was tested topically on skin cells and has shown promise. Oral supplementation or smoking of CBD formulations has not been evaluated in this manner and can not be recommended.”
Just like pretty much everything else that we buy, some are better than others and some CBD oils can actually contain ingredients that can irritate your skin. So be smart and always buy from a trustworthy source.
Don’t just go out and buy CBD oil and put it on your face, you’ll need to buy it mixed with a carrier oil to make it more effective and pocket friendly. Some of the best carrier oils are:
CBD products infused with CBD oil slip seamlessly into your skincare routine, just swap out your old facial oil, serum or moisturisers for ones with CBD and you’re good to go.
Our Poko Luxury Facial Oil is one of those products that once you use it you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t buy it sooner.
How long does CBD oil take to work?
The therapeutic effects of CBD are instantly noticeable and it usually takes a few weeks to see any noticeable changes on your skin, this is pretty much the case for most treatments. Once it starts to kick in, you’ll have fewer outbreaks and will start to notice an improvement in your skin.
Before you jump right in, it’s a smart idea to patch test any new skincare product just to make 100% sure that you won’t react badly to it. The last thing we want to do is irritate our skin even more.
But can it work with body acne?
Acne isn’t just restricted to faces, it’s also really common for people to have it on their chest, back, shoulders and butt. Even though it’s on a different part of the body, it’s caused by the exact same reasons, so all the treatments we’ve mentioned here will work as well.
Are there any side effects?
There are side effects with every treatment, and while CBD is gentle and safe to use, it’s always good to be extra cautious when using a new product.
Industry experts have noticed some side effects when people take way more CBD oil than is required. People have noticed fatigue, changes in appetite and diarrhoea when they’ve taken too much orally.
If you take your CBD oil topically through a cream or moisturiser you can forget about side effects as there have been no reported side effects whatsoever. But always remember to keep an eye on the ingredients in CBD products and make sure that you aren’t allergic to anything.
Not all CBD oils are created equal, and you take a risk when you buy from a shop with a bad reputation, so do your homework on who you’re buying from, check out their reviews and look for their third-party laboratory tests.
For a sure-fire, guaranteed gold-standard product look for the award winners. Our champion products have been specially designed to suit all skin types and treat a whole host of issues.
Best CBD skincare products for acne
The Poko Soothing Serum is a gentle, lightweight formula that sinks into the skin almost immediately, leaving no residue. It smells incredibly fresh and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth without making your skin feel heavy like some other serums do.
The Soothing Serum is packed full of healthy ingredients your skin will love, like enriching vitamins, nourishing minerals, soothing CBD, and protein. It also contains other natural ingredients like root and flower extracts that help fight spot-causing bacteria, calm stressed-out skin, and has the potential to improve the appearance of acne scars.
It leaves skin gently moisturised, which prevents excess oil production, which can lead to acne. Only a tiny amount needs to be used at a time, so each bottle lasts a long time.
If you want glowing, healthy skin and fewer breakouts, treat yourself to a bottle of Poko Soothing Serum.
Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser
Poko Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser is a powerful product infused with CBD and aloe vera juice. It’s a delicious smelling moisturiser that keeps skin healthy and hydrated.
Made for combination and oily skin, the Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser helps calm skin while locking in moisture at the same time. The collagen in the moisturiser plumps up skin and fights signs of ageing, while the CBD prevents excess sebum from being produced. It is ideal for mature skin that still has breakouts.
So not only does the Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser help improve the appearance of ageing, but it also helps soothe and stop acne breakouts.
Luxury Facial Oil
If excess oil can cause acne, then why would we recommend adding even more oil to your skin? But you miss out on all the potential benefits by avoiding facial oil altogether.
While you may think adding more oil to your face is the last thing your skin needs, you are missing out on all the potential benefits by avoiding facial oil.
If you have oily skin, you probably wash it often to get rid of the oil on your face. But this can cause your skin to produce more sebum. Overwashing even causes the loss of moisture which in turn causes, you guessed it, more oil. And if you leave it untreated it can make your spots really painful.
A facial oil keeps your skin hydrated at all times. Poko’s Luxury Facial Oil is perfect for acne-prone skin as it contains skin-clearing ingredients like moringa oil, oleic acid, and CBD.
Moringa oil is such a good source of Vitamin E and other natural ingredients. The Vitamin E in the facial oil helps reduce acne scars, and the oleic acid gives your skin a natural moisture barrier. This works as a barrier to keep you protected from acne-causing free radicals. Combine all this with the CBD infused in the oil it helps soothe stressed skin and prevent the overproduction of sebum.
The oil smells fantastic and will last you a long time as a little goes a long way. Revitalise your skin and protect it with this decadent oil.
You are beautiful as you are, acne and all, but you don’t have to put up with the unpleasant symptoms and blow to your self-esteem caused by acne.
We’ve covered a lot in this article, and while there’s a lot more research needed there’s evidence that shows CBD can help reduce the production of sebum and reduce swelling. With a CBD skincare product in your bathroom, you’ll soon be rid of your acne. Try it for yourself and see why so many people love Poko CBD skin care products.
If you’ve enjoyed our blog and want to know more about acne, read our main blog on: What is Acne?