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CBD Topicals May Improve Acne & Effects of Sun Damage

Written by Lisa Rennie

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. Both CBD and cannabinoids have a slew of medicinal properties with applications in the health and wellness field.

The list of health benefits of CBD continues to grow, and one of the more exciting things about CBD is its application to the world of skincare and cosmetics. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to regulate sebaceous glands of the skin, CBD may be an effective substance to combat both acne and sun damage.

CBD For Acne

Acne breakouts are generally caused by skin inflammation and over production of sebaceous glands. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can help keep acne breakouts at bay and may also help regulate the production of sebum, an oily, waxy substance.

While sebum helps protect the skin from the elements, it can also lead to acne if it clogs the pores, along with dirt, dead skin cells, and other debris.

One study found that CBD was able to prevent sebocytes, which produce sebum, from creating too much of the oily substance.[1]

The study also found that CBD oil triggered an anti-inflammatory response in sebocytes and prevented the activation of inflammatory cytokines, which can trigger acne. By inhibiting the activity of such cells, further breakouts may be reduced.

CBD For Sun Damage

Thanks to CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it may be used as an effective topical to treat sunburns and even combat the long-term effects of sun exposure.

CBD and other cannabinoids may also help alleviate pain and discomfort from sunburns.[2] Further, the antioxidant properties of CBD may help to combat damage done by free radicals, and their naturally occurring fatty acids can help soften and moisturize the skin.[3]

The Bottom Line

In an effort to target skin conditions, users may apply CBD topical creams and lotions directly on top of the skin’s surface to control specific areas of breakouts or scarring from sun exposure.

While some dermatologists have concerns about product labeling and regulation, many support using CBD for certain skin conditions.

And while further human research is needed to solidify these claims, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD certainly has its place in the world of skin care.

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Joseph Mucira

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  1. Oláh A, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014;124(9):3713-3724.
  2. Tóth KF, et al. Cannabinoid signaling in the skin: Therapeutic potential of the “c(ut)annabinoid” system. Molecules. 2019;24(5):918.
  3. Atalay S, et al. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;9(1):21.

About the author

Lisa Rennie

Lisa Simoneli Rennie has been working as a freelance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content dedicated to informing consumers. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others, and in her spare time, Lisa enjoys trying funky new recipes, spending time with her dog, and of course, reveling in the joy of family.

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