At this point, CBD is probably an ingredient you’ve seen and heard a lot of recently. Candles, drinks, candies, supplements, and even pet products using this hot commodity can be found easily. And perhaps the most popular use of CBD lately is as a skincare ingredient. Being derived from the lush and verdant cannabis sativa plant, it especially makes for a great marketing buzzword in the clean beauty community.
However, there are some ups and downs to the use of this trendy ingredient in the beauty industry.
What is CBD?
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a naturally-occurring, non-psychoactive compound extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. It won’t affect you in the way it’s sister chemical THC will, but it has been shown to induce feelings of calamity and relaxation in many people, especially when ingested. Cannabis and hemp have been used as ingredients and materials for decades, especially in the western US.
There is a myriad of studies dating back several years that show us CBD’s effectiveness in treating anxiety, insomnia, and muscle pain. While not as widely researched at this time, this ingredient has also been shown to reduce acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, dryness, and redness as well.
This is all thanks to its ability to repair the skin’s moisture barrier, which is the key to hydrated, healthy skin. Anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects have also been documented in smaller-scale studies.
The Problem in the CBD Skincare Industry
Despite all of these wonderful effects CBD can have as a skincare ingredient, it is important to understand that not every product that features CBD is a “clean beauty” product.
It’s easy to browse the shelves of your favorite beauty store, see a green bottle featuring a cannabis leaf on the label and assume that it must be clean beauty. Marketers and advertisers know this and purposefully design packaging to attract those looking for “natural” ingredients, especially now that CBD and clean beauty are such profitable industries.
The problem with assuming that all CBD-based products are “clean” is the same problem that plagues many seemingly natural skincare products. Often, brands wanting to jump in on this trend will boast CBD as the main ingredient, but stuff the formulation with other ingredients that clean beauty enthusiasts have learned to avoid.
Mineral oils, parabens, fragrances, and more have been found mixed into seemingly “green” beauty products under the guise of being healthy and clean for the skin.
Since there is no regulatory body working to enforce how beauty and skincare products are marketed, brands can advertise their products in any way they see fit to attract as many customers as possible.
Some products claiming to be based on CBD actually contain no CBD at all, but only hemp oil.
While hemp oil does contain beneficial fatty acids and other components, it contains almost no CBD and it is dishonest to market it otherwise. As with all breakthrough ingredients in skincare, also remember to always be wary of luxury skincare brands using CBD just as a marketing ploy.
Many may have trace amounts of CBD in order to drive up their price, but contain just as many, if not more, fillers and harmful ingredients as less costly products may have.
Brands That are Redefining CBD Skincare
Thankfully, this false advertising and misleading marketing doesn’t apply to the entire “clean beauty” industry. Since there is a lack of extensive and proper research in terms of CBD for topical use, many high-quality producers and sellers of CBD-based products have taken it upon themselves to carefully research and test their products, source their ingredients, and set the standard for what CBD skincare should be.
Dogwood Botanicals is a woman-owned skincare company that specializes in formulating high-quality CBD products. They use single-source hemp from an organic farm in Colorado, ensuring the maximum attention to quality and ethics.
Despite the fact that testing for quality and cleanliness is not required in the industry, Dogwood Botanicals makes sure to always test their products in a third-party laboratory before selling. This ensures their products are free from harmful substances and byproducts that can result when extracting CBD from the cannabis plant during processing.
The test results of each batch of product are noted on their website, meaning you can see exactly what you’re getting in your skincare products. This creates a level of transparency that is often missing in the skincare industry.
Another excellent CBD skincare brand is Prima. Prima sources their hemp from a variety of partner farms in Oregon. Each plant is grown organically using non-GMO seeds and zero-waste cultivation techniques, which makes it perfectly sustainable without negatively impacting the environment.
Prima has earned many certifications guaranteeing the quality of their products and also offers supplements and body care.
Choosing Your CBD Skincare Products
CBD is an effective ingredient that can be a fantastic addition to your skincare regimen, but always remember to carefully check the ingredients lists when shopping for new skincare.
It’s also worth doing some research on the brands that carry CBD products to make sure their practices are ethical and that they are properly verified sellers.
The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, is an independent third-party group that certifies personal care products with strict standards for health, safety, and transparency. Look for their seal of approval to ensure that every ingredient has been deemed safe for use.
Also look for brands that publish their COAs, or Certificates of Analysis to the public, as this validates the content of CBD as well as other compounds in each product. This ensures you are getting products that contain the proper amount of CBD to be effective, but not excessive.
If you’re in the market for one of beauty’s favorite new ingredients, make sure to keep these clean beauty marketing tactics in mind and never fall for false advertising. Thankfully, thanks to third-party organizations and certifications, finding the best and safest CBD skincare products is made easier than ever and will hopefully lead you to finding the perfect formulation for your needs.