Few breakthrough ingredients in the skincare world have become quite as ubiquitous in the last five years as cannabidiol, or CBD.
This newer and buzzier relative of hemp, which has long been used for benefits from fighting wrinkles to soothing irritation, raised eyebrows initially because of its obvious association to cannabis. Both hemp and marijuana plants belong to the cannabis sativa species, while there are hundreds of cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis, including CBD. But it’s the non-psychoactive hemp and hemp-derived CBD that are being championed by the beauty industry.
How do hemp and CBD differ?
The main difference between hemp and CBD is what part of the plant they are from. Hemp is from the seeds of cannabis plants, so is rich in nutrients like omega 3 and 6, making it extremely nourishing and helpful for reducing redness and irritation. Cannabidiol is mainly from the leaves, so it has hydration benefits, anti-inflammatory properties and helps the skin to maintain stay balanced.
Is there is a skin type they are better suited to?
“All skin types will benefit,” says Dr Anna Persaud, biochemist and CEO of This Works, who have a trailblazing range of CBD-dedicated beauty products. “But it’s particularly great for sensitive and acne-prone skin due to the anti-inflammatory properties. The soothing and smoothing benefits are also great for anyone wanting to treat the signs of ageing and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. They fit flawlessly into any skincare routine for both morning and evening. Look for products that have a blend of CBD and actives as these will help balance and soothe the skin while targeting specific concerns.”
Have recent changes in the law affected cannabis skincare?
The Food Standards Agency has begun to crack down on CBD brands that don’t have credible evidence to support their claims, although this applies to makers of oral drops rather than skincare. Nevertheless, reputable beauty companies such as This Works and Kloris are ensuring they meet rigorous standards regardless.
“Because of our expertise in CBD and interest in CBD research in skincare, we have been able to develop high quality and effective formulations while meeting regulatory guidelines,” explains Dr Persaud. “All of our products have been put through rigorous clinical studies looking at the impact on the skin and how we blend them with [other ingredients] so that they have an effect not only on the skin but also on the mind. We keep abreast of all the changes in regulation to ensure our products comply, additionally each of our CBD products has a QR code that can be scanned to obtain the Certificate of Analysis showing the purity of the CBD within the product.”
What’s exciting about the latest launches?
One of the most recent developments in cannabis-based skincare is what else is being put into the mix. Sophisticated new formulas are incorporating other already-loved active ingredients, from retinol to avocado and green tea, to enhance the benefits and achieve better end results for the complexion. So beauty companies are finding more ways to bring all those different benefits together into one super-charged oil, serum or cream, tailored to your skin needs.
Shop the best CBD skincare below.
Wild Science Root + Fruit Control Switch Repair Serum
From its collection that focuses on tackling the skin-ageing effects of environmental aggressors, from sun to pollution, this repair serum from British brand Wild Science Lab can be used day and night.
It has a satiny finish and delivers a cocktail of natural ingredients that eases irritation, soothes redness and tackles inflammation. The hemp-derived, one per cent CBD is more than enough to ensure skin stays calm and nourished too, while moth bean seed is a plant-based alternative to retinol, encouraging fresh collagen to plump the skin.
The buttery-coloured serum comes out of the dropper silkily and does take a few second to absorb (try gently patting it in), but the payoff is worth it.
Buy now £35.00, FeelUnique
Hey Bud Daily Hemp Gel Cleanser
This cute and cool-looking brand is the No.1 hemp company in Australia and definitely worth shipping here if blackheads, breakouts and oily skin are an issue.
The range contains careful balances of hemp seed oil with other potent ingredients to get the best results for easily-angered complexions. A must-try is this foaming gel cleanser that’s refreshing without leaving skin feeling stripped. Grapefruit peel provides vitamin C to brighten skin, help fight damage from pollution as well encouraging pluming collagen. The hemp seed oil, meanwhile, is there to clear out clogged pores and calm irritation.
Buy now £19.09, Hey Bud Skincare
Kloris The Eye Cream
This eye cream, from the specialist award-winning brand that works closely with leading plant scientists, has a rich and soothing texture, without feeling sticky. It contains one per cent premium Kloris CBD to heal and calm skin, making it particularly ideal if you suffer from itchy eyes or hayfever. Hemp seed oil and hyaluronic acid add softening benefits to gently work on lines, while Chaga mushroom extract has been included for its efficacy in tackling dark circles and improving collagen production. Put together, this little pot of natural active ingredients brilliantly fuses anti-ageing, brightening and calming benefits.
Buy now £42.00, Kloris
NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil SPF 30 Daily Moisturising Primer
An ally in helping keep skin balanced, hemp oil is a hero ingredient in this moisturising primer. The hemp adds a gentle hit of moisture, ensuring any hints of dryness are seen off for 24 hours, as well as soothing any patches or redness or bumpy skin. There’s an impressive SPF30 include to keep the complexion protected against both UVA and UVB rays too. It’s completely clear, making it ideal to wear under make-up, but equally if you want to go bare-faced, one application of this will leave you looking perfectly fresh and radiant.
Buy now £15.00, lookfantastic
Chantecaille CBD 300 Face And Body Cream
There’s a reason Chantecaille liken this cream to giving your skin a chill pill. Developed using CBD taken from hemp that’s grown organically in Kentucky, the cream is light as a lotion but leaves skin with the kind of plumpness and satiny finish you get from something much richer. It also contains around three times more CBD than most on the market and is paired with other extracts from hemp that have an antioxidant effect and encourage the CBD to work harder. Stem cells taken from purple nightshade add another layer of stress- and redness-protection too. It’s created to be versatile, so blend with your regular night and day creams to make it go further should you wish.
Buy now £122.00, Space NK
This Works My Wrinkles CBD Booster with Granactive Retinoid
If you’re looking for impressive anti-aging power alongside calming CBD qualities, make this your go-to. This Works use CBD extracted from the stems and leaves of hemp grown in Switzerland and you’ll find one per cent in this light liquid alongside one per cent granactive retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A that’s less irritating to the skin than retinol, but still packs a punch. Used in the evening alone or as three drops mixed into your moisturiser, expect smoother skin, lighter pigmentation patches and more lustre to your glow. The lavender, chamomile and vetiver scents helps beauty sleep too.
Buy now £17.58, Amazon
Dr Organic Organic Hemp Oil Intensive Eye Serum
Utilizing hemp oil for it’s excellent emollient properties, this weightless eye serum glides on, absorbs quickly and gives a little brightness to the delicate eye are. With essential fatty acids including omegas 3, 6 and 9, which are vital for healthy-looking skin, the serum also incorporates Dr Organic’s own blend of bioactive ingredients including olive leaf extract, levan and jujube seed extract to help protect with antioxidants and smooth out fine lines. It’s a refreshing texture (and price) if you don’t yet need any serious anti-ageing properties.
Buy now £9.99, Amazon
Skin Diligent Vitamin C Serum-in-Oil
Often those with acne and breakout-prone skin avoid oils, but this serum-in-oil is the star of a range aimed at just such temperamental complexions. The texture is very unique, as a drop feels like oil in your palm. But smooth it onto skin and it dissipates beautifully to leave a matte veil. A huge 25 per cent hemp seed oil works on inflammation as well as hydrating and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier. Pomegranate extract is anti-inflammatory too while also targeting blemishes and fine lines. And not forgetting the addition of vitamin C for brightening, collagen-boosting and antioxidant powers.
Buy now £55.00, Skin Diligent
Scientia Beauty Green Supreme CBD Vegi-Tox Rescue Mask
Bringing together both hemp and CBD, this rescue and recovery mask is as healthy for your face as the ingredients that go into it. The avocado, kiwi, broccoli and sea kale that help give it a pale green colour are well-known for their calming, protective antioxidant and revitalising qualities, while French green and bentonite clays gently help to draw out impurities without stealing moisture from the skin.
CBD and hemp, meanwhile, are busy calming, infusing hydration and ensuring the complexion stays in balance. Leave on for ten minutes while you have a green smoothie to feel doubly virtuous.
Buy now £26.00, Cult Beauty
Elemental Herbology Purity Facial Oil
Another excellent oil aimed at seeing off blemishes while taking down breakout-inflammation and keeping the skin’s delicate balance of hydration intact.
The role of hemp seed oil here is as a great source of the omegas 3, 6 and 9 for nourishment as well as it’s ability to help take the anger out of redness and bumpiness, plus strengthening the skin’s natural protective barrier. Salicylic acid and bakuchiol work together to tackle spots, blocked pores and scarring by gently encouraging skin cells to refresh, while raspberry seed oil keeps oil levels in check.
Buy now £44.00, Elemental Herbology
With so many approaches to multitasking using hemp and CBD at the heart of the ingredients list, it’s a competitive field for those who want benefits beyond the cannabis-skincare qualities. But with collagen and cell-boosting properties, plus the ability to fortify the skin’s natural barrier, Wild Science Root + Fruit Control Switch Repair Serum comes out on top. The delicate but soporific scent of eight essential oils helps too: after a few moments, it’ll help the mind to feel as calm as the skin.