There’s no doubt that CBD is the trend du jour for skin care.
It’s on the shelves at Sephora and Ulta. It’s stealing the spotlight in Instagram influencer posts. And it’s showing up in magazine features, newspapers, and websites.
But with all of the enthusiastic hype around this ingredient, it’s not so easy to be confident that a particular CBD beauty product is worth the price tag.
In this article, we’ll recommend a few of our tried-and-true, favorite CBD beauty products. Then, we’ll take a look at the science behind using CBD and cannabinoids in skin care.
Read on to become a CBD skin care expert!
CBD Beauty and Skincare Products: Our Real-World Favorites
Check out the list below for a quick introduction to our favorite, essential, hope-we-never-run-out CBD beauty and skincare products.
Endoca, Hemp Whipped Body Butter
Ingredients: Shea Butter, Palm Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, CBD, Coconut Oil, Tapioca Starch, Vanilla, Beeswax, Vitamin E.
Endoca formulates their cruelty-free CBD products with all-natural ingredients and no synthetic fragrances. With its anti-aging, anti-seborrheic and antioxidant properties, this body butter is recommended for treating rashes and smoothing dry, chapped skin.
But while it’s recommended for specific skin issues, we love it as an everyday, all-over moisturizer. The intensely hydrating formula makes it ideal for winter dryness or after-sun care. And it makes sense that Endoca uses food-grade ingredients, because this body butter smells amazing.
You can choose between two concentration options — medium and strong — to tailor the benefits of CBD for your needs.
Palmetto Harmony, Lavender Night Cream & Makeup Remover
Ingredients: Purified water, Shea butter, Kosher certified vegetable glycerin, Avacado oil, Organic sunflower oil, Jojoba oil, Beeswax, Organic mango butter, Organic xantham gum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe, Coco betaine, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Stearate, Lanolin, Rosemary seed extract, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Sodium citrate, Crushed lavender buds, Organic lavender oil, Hemp concentrate.
Palmetto Harmony formulates their products with Kentucky hemp, and is one of the first CBD producers to obtain USDA Organic certification from seed to sale.
This night cream has a creamy, luxurious texture, that absorbs quickly without leaving a sticky residue. And its relaxing lavender fragrance makes it a soothing addition to a nighttime skincare routine.
And if that wasn’t enough, it also does double duty as a makeup remover as well as a moisturizer. In our testing, we found that it did a great job of gently breaking down sticky eye makeup after a night out.
Cannuka, CBD Calming Eye Balm
Ingredients: Bees Wax, Grapeseed Oil, Shea Butter, Hemp Seed Oil, Orange Peel Butter, Vitamin E, Rose Hip Oil, Coconut Oil, Distilled Water, Potassium Sorbate, Grapefruit Extract, Manuka Honey (Active 16+), CBD Isolate (15mg)
Cannuka gets their brand name from their core ingredient combo: Cannabis + Manuka honey. They use CBD isolate from US-grown hemp blended with clean, natural ingredients.
They call this product a “balm” for a reason. With its firm, waxy texture, it resembles a lip balm more than a traditional eye cream, and there is a definite learning curve for application. (Tip: less is more!)
The unusual texture made this product a surprise hit in our hands-on tests. It sits surprisingly well under makeup, and its protective texture makes it great for cold, dry weather.
We followed the advice of reviewers on Cannuka’s website, and also tried using the balm as spot treatment for blemishes. It seemed to have a noticeably anti-inflammatory effect that helped spots heal more quickly than usual.
Naturally G4U, Be Well CBD Hydrating Facial Mousse Mask
Ingredients: Deionized Water (Aqua), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Cannabidiol (Cbd), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Geranium Maculatum (Wild Geranium) Extract, Organic Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Extract, Abies Sibirica (Fir Needle) Essential Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Carrageenan, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin.
Natually G4U is a woman-owned beauty company that manufactures its products in the US. And we love the fact that this mask is vegan, plant-based, and cruelty free.
Its light, silky texture feels instantly moisturizing. We saw the best results when leaving it on as an overnight treatment. This gave the essential fatty acids and herbal adaptogens in this natural formula time to make a big difference.
After a few uses, we noticed smoother, fresher, well-rested looking skin with smaller pores and softened fine lines.
Truly, Mary Jane CBD Glow Serum
Ingredients: Distilled Water, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Baobab Seed Oil, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Organic Beetroot Extract, Organic Hibiscus Flower Extract, Vitamin A, Caffeine, Glycolic Acid, Hemp Oil.
This adorably pink serum uses antioxidants to fight free radicals, the culprits behind many of the signs of aging. Aloe and botanical oils hydrate the skin, while glycolic acid gently exfoliates.
This serum offers an instant brightening effect, making it an essential addition to our morning skincare routine. Truly recommends applying up to twice daily, but those with sensitive skin types may prefer to start with less frequent application.
Saint Jane Beauty, Microdose Lip Gloss
Ingredients: Sunflower Seed Oil, Cannabidiol (CBD), Candelilla Wax, Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis, Chamomile Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract. May contain: Red #6,#7,#27, Mica, Iron Oxides
CBD skincare is finding its way to every skincare collection, but CBD-infused cosmetics are harder to find.
Enter Saint Jane Beauty. This brand is perhaps better known for their skin serum, but we think that their lip gloss deserves its own hype machine.
With pretty, subtle colors, this gloss packs tons of eye-catching shimmer with a hint of tint. It combines calming botanicals with CBD isolate to add a microdose of cannabidoil to your daily beauty routine.
In our hands-on tests, the formula was not too gooey or sticky. The glitter does gives it a slightly rough texture, though, which might not be ideal for everyone.
How Did We Choose the Best CBD Skincare and Beauty Products?
Reviewing CBD skincare and beauty products posed a few unique challenges. First, there is a huge variety of types of products available. That’s great for consumers, but when we are comparing lip glosses to body lotions, it’s difficult to come up with a standardized scoring system.
And because skincare products tend to have complex combinations of ingredients, the effectiveness of a product isn’t necessarily just due to high CBD quantities. We believe that the best skincare formulas allow the ingredients to work together, so a lower dose of CBD might be appropriate when combined with other high-quality ingredients.
Ultimately, we decided that for these products, the results were the most important metric to consider.
So, our selections below are primarily based on long-term, hands-on evaluation. These are CBD skincare products that we’ve spent months testing and incorporating into daily, normal use.
What do these products have in common? Here are a few of the standards for inclusion in the list:
- Clean: Free of ingredients known to have disruptive effects on the body like phthalates and formaldehyde.
- Cruelty-free: We don’t suffer for beauty, and neither should our animal friends.
- Affordable: Every product on our list retails below $50.00.
- Effective: After thorough hands-on testing, we liked what we saw.
Why weren’t some brands included?
The brands that didn’t make the cut were disqualified for various reasons.
For example, some products that regularly get included in CBD beauty roundups actually only contain hemp seed oil. This ingredient is also sometimes listed as “cannabis sativa seed oil.” It’s a fine skincare ingredient in its own right, but hemp seed oil is not the same thing as CBD oil.
We also ditched any products that caused clogged pores, breakouts, or other undesirable results. Every product in this list was tested for at least two weeks to make sure that they performed well over time.
We’ve also favored brands that incorporate sustainable practices into their manufacturing processes, and which offer cruelty-free products. We believe that beauty shouldn’t be about suffering.
What is CBD, Anyway? And Why Put It in Skincare Products?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a member of a group of cannabis-derived substances known as phytocannabinoids. Like its notoriously intoxicating cousin — THC, or Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol — CBD is gaining fame for its potential health and wellness applications.
But how can CBD do all of the things that people claim it can? After all, CBD is currently being hyped as a treatment for everything from depression to diabetes. Not to mention acne!
The reason that CBD is credited with this huge spectrum of applications is that phytocannabinoids interact with a system of chemicals and receptors in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. CBD and THC mimic naturally occurring substances in the body known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid receptors exist in tissues throughout the body, including the organs, immune cells, and in the skin.
And beyond its interactions with the endocannabinoid system, CBD has a few properties that give it a lot of potential for skincare.
CBD is an Antioxidant
Unstable cells called free radicals can damage cells if they build up in the body. When they accumulate too much, it’s known as oxidative stress.
Antioxidants — like Vitamin C or Vitamin E — stabilize free radicals to slow down the process of oxidative stress. And just like those famous ingredients, CBD is also an antioxidant.
So, what does that mean for your skin? Research shows that free radicals can play a role in everything from aging to acne. And that makes CBD a potential powerhouse ingredient for skincare products.
CBD Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is an immune response that can cause redness, swelling, and pain. If you’ve ever experienced acne, you know the discomfort that comes with inflamed skin.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and researchers are studying how to use that power to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions.
CBD is Antibacterial
CBD’s antibacterial properties are powerful. So much so that cannabidiol is currently being studied as a potential treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other superbugs.
And bacterial play a starring role in the development of acne. CBD’s antibacterial action may help keep bacteria from getting out of control, without the harsh side effects that come with traditional antibiotic treatments.
CBD is Anti-seborrheic
Sebaceous glands are found throughout the skin, where they produce an oily, waxy substance called sebum.
Over time, sebum can accumulate with dead skin cells in hair follicles, creating a cozy environment for acne-causing bacteria.
CBD helps to keep the skin from producing too much sebum, reducing the likelihood that acne will develop.