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The Truth About CBD Topical Oils in Skincare: 2 New CBD Studies

Aug 01, 2022

The Truth About CBD Topical Oils in Skincare: 2 New CBD Studies

The Truth About CBD Topical Oils in Skincare: 2 New CBD Studies

Summer is almost in full swing, and that means skin issues are having an uptick. Whether you deal with acne from the sweaty weather, sunburns, or worries about impending wrinkles, there's so much to think about when it comes to skin health.

The skincare industry is growing at lightning speed - and it's already worth over 133 billion dollars globally. That number is expected to increase to 200 billion worldwide by 2026, signifying our growing emphasis on getting healthy, beautiful skin by any means necessary.

With millions of products, a developing interest in the beauty market post-Covid-19, and the nature of social media's tight connection with consumer decisions, the skincare industry is a complex beast full of misinformation, mislabeled products, and deceptive advertising.

As customers sift through the slew of skincare products on the market, many look for ones that protect against aging, remedy acne, redness, and irritation, or produce a perfectly flawless look. Could cannabidiol (CBD) be one of those skincare key ingredients? New research points to the use of CBD in combination with other ingredients as a possible choice for skincare consumers. Let's explore two studies.

A Single-Center Study Evaluating the Effects of a Novel Retinol and Cannabidiol Combination Topical on Facial Skin

This first study evaluated the effects of CBD in tandem with retinol, a popular anti-aging and anti-acne treatment. While retinol is a favored product for these two skin conditions, it's also known for its side effects, especially within the first few months of use. People on retinol often notice redness, irritation, and dryness on their treated skin - effects that typically lessen over time but are initially noticeable.

The study's authors focused their research on whether CBD could mitigate those irritating effects. They hypothesized that CBD offered a potential ability to "reduce oxidative stress and inflammation," thereby soothing skin from the side effects of the retinol. Along with that capability, they also theorized that the addition of CBD would promote the improvement of the skin's appearance due to these factors.

10 patients participated in the study (9 female and one male), from the ages of 20-53, all of whom had certain "facial skin imperfections." These imperfections ranged from wrinkles to roughness, visible pores, and others.

After a 42-day trial, the study found that the CBD-Retinol serum improved skin quality with negligible irritation. It pointed to the combined effects of CBD and retinol as the potential reason for the results - and to CBD as the source of the low-irritation results.

Important to note is that the CBD topicals used in the study were formulated with Water-Soluble CBD, or CBD made with a Nano-Emulsification process. This is significant because of CBD's regular bioavailability - or the power of regular CBD products to induce effects in the body. Regular CBD oil has notably low bioavailability (6-10%), while Water-Soluble CBD increases the bioavailability to up to 85-95%, giving it faster, more powerful absorption.

Novel Cannabidiol Sunscreen Protects Keratinocytes and Melanocytes Against Ultraviolet B Radiation

A second study, published in 2020 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, assessed how a sunscreen made with cannabidiol affected keratinocytes and melanocytes, two types of skin cells. It noted the limited research on CBD sunscreens. The study intended to evaluate how CBD might work in a sun protectant topical, especially when considering other studies that claim the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of CBD.

Keratinocytes are responsible for keratin production, a type of cell that prevents damage to the epidermis by forming a physical barrier between it and the environment. Melanocytes, responsible for creating melanin, also protect against UV damage. It is well-known that sun exposure causes damage to the skin. That damage includes UV light's production of cell death, specifically of keratinocytes, and can also extend to the DNA of melanocytes.

This study assessed CBD's effect on "keratinocyte and melanocyte viability following ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation." It found that the CBD had protective effects on the abilities of both cell types, potentially because of a "reduction in reactive oxygen species."

More research is needed to both confirm and continue these findings. However, this points to good news for people using sun-protective products that incorporate CBD.


It's too soon to make claims about the true efficacy of CBD in skincare products, but the future of research looks bright. Extensive research is needed to confirm these findings, and consumers should stay vigilant for brands that make claims about the ability of their CBD topicals to care for any issues.

CBD products are not intended to prevent, cure, or treat any illnesses or conditions, including topical skincare issues.

If you’re interested in CBD topical oil skincare, make sure you third-party tested products made with all-natural ingredients. Explore a collection of CBD topicals that employ the power of natural ingredients studied for their beneficial effects, such as vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid, and Coenzyme Q10 at Science-Rite CBD™.


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