The Benefits of Adding CBD to Skin Care Products

CBD-infused skin care products are popping up everywhere – from lotions and creams to salves and serums. Since CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp, you’ll achieve all the health benefits without the “high” feeling. The major reported benefit of CBD in skin care is its ability to support a normal inflammatory response.

Applying CBD Topically

When CBD is applied topically, the cannabinoids absorb through skin pores to interact with high concentrations of cannabinoid receptors located in the skin. Cannabinoid receptors are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is found throughout the body and affects many important functions. Another benefit of applying CBD to the skin is it allows for good blood absorption because it avoids the digestion process that happens when consumed orally.

Topical CBD for Pain

When it comes to localized pain, CBD is known to support a normal inflammatory response which makes topical CBD a great option. By applying the CBD directly to problem areas, concentrated CBD is delivered to exactly where you need it the most.

Topical CBD for Skin Health

Manufacturers of CBD and hemp oil-based products often claim they’re good for maintaining healthy skin due to CBD’s ability to support normal inflammatory levels. Some also claim topical CBD can help with skin hydration, or generally promoting a relaxed feeling. There is even a hemp seed oil mascara, that uses the oil as a vegan alternative for the beeswax binding agent that’s common in mascara formulas.

In addition, hemp oil tends to be high in vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as omega-3 and omega-6, all which are important for general skin health.

Full-Spectrum CBD Lotion

CBD-containing skin creams and beauty products can be found with relative ease at a number of mainstream health and beauty stores. Look for a full-spectrum CBD lotion, rather than an isolate CBD. Full-spectrum CBD is generally more beneficial and more effective at a much lower dose. Here's more about what full-spectrum CBD means. There’s also something called the “entourage effect,” which describes the idea that all compounds found in the cannabis plant work synergistically, providing more benefit together than the individual compounds would provide alone.

Topical CBD is a safe and non-toxic alternative to other medicines. In addition, it travels well, is easy to apply and doesn’t draw a lot of attention in the process. Here are my top priorities when buying and producing a CBD product.

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods


Hammell DC et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016 Jul; 20(6):935-948.

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