The beginner's guide to decoding CBD beauty products
We’re not even going to try to deny it: CBD is officially found in everything, whether it’s baked goods, candles, pet food, or even activewear (yes, really). CBD beauty products have also become immensely popular, and many skincare and makeup brands are now incorporating this buzzworthy ingredient into their product lines.
However, as cutting-edge as CBD beauty products may seem, Jacqueline Kang, a cosmetic chemist and head of product development at Rose & Abbot, suggests that the jury is still out on any positive effects CBD may have on overall skin health.
“CBD is still under [FDA] regulation for how to be used in skincare products,” Kang tells HelloGiggles. “Many products claim that the ingredient reduces inflammation (which may be true for some people who have tried it), but more clinical trials will have to be run before it is officially stated.”
Unsubstantiated claims aside, CBD beauty products also use confusing marketing terms in their ingredient lists. Many CBD lotions and serums, for example, seem to feature both CBD and non-CBD-derived ingredients, making it very confusing to the consumer who isn’t quite sure what they are actually buying.
To help clear up confusion surrounding hemp-related ingredients used in CBD beauty products, we tapped dermatologists, CBD product founders, and a medical professional to break down all the product ingredients (we’re talking extracts, oils, and more!) that you may encounter when shopping for these products.
From full-spectrum CBD to CBD isolate to hemp seed oil and more, we broke down the major product terms and ingredients for you to familiarize yourself with, should you be considering adding some CBD-infused products into your skincare regimen.
1Hemp Seed Oil
Yes, you’ve probably seen hemp seed oil listed on the back of your go-to hydrating CBD facial oil. However, board-certified obstetrician Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., says it’s important to know that this type of oil may not contain any CBD (or therapeutic value) whatsoever.
“This term simply refers to the oils extracted from the plant, and does not require the oil to contain the medicinal components of the plant,” Gersh tells HelloGiggles. This is very similar to the situation with fish oil, she explains, as some products may not contain nutritionally beneficial omega-3.
2CBD-Rich Cannabis Oil & Phyto-Cannabinoid-Rich Cannabis Oil
“CBD-rich cannabis oil is essentially an unclear form of cannabis oil, with added CBD,” Gersh tells HelloGiggles. “This is a manufactured product, manipulating what would naturally be found in the plant with added CBD.” Since the base oil and added quantity of CBD are usually unknown to the consumer, Gersh strongly advises against buying CBD beauty products containing this ingredient.
Similarly, Gersh also recommends steering clear of products containing phytocannabinoid-rich cannabis oil, as she says this is usually any type of oil (like olive oil) enriched with additives of cannabis oil.
“Phyto-cannabinoid-rich cannabis oil is basically extracted cannabis oils added to another oil base,” Gersh explains. “How much useful cannabis product is contained, and which portions of the cannabis products are contained is unknown, making it probably best to avoid products with this ingredient.”
3Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract and Full-Spectrum Help Oil
Full-spectrum hemp extract is essentially the rawest kind of hemp extract, according to Gunhee Park, founder of the new CBD brand Populum, meaning that it still contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes (organic compounds) from the hemp flowers and buds.
According to Park, this makes it ideal for the consumer who is seeking the full CBD experience, since it’s the least processed form of CBD available. Park also suggests that full-spectrum hemp oil is a good ingredient to look for in CBD beauty products because, he says, it contains an array of cannabinoids (including CBD), as well as many essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and terpenes.
4Broad-Spectrum Hemp Extract
Broad-spectrum hemp oil, much like full-spectrum hemp extract, is a suitable ingredient to look out for, according to holistic dermatologist Jeanette Jacknin, M.D., of Medterra CBD (a global leader in the CBD space). It contains CBD, plus other terpenes, with trace amounts of THC (the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives people a “high” sensation).
Since the concentration of THC inside broad-spectrum hemp extract is not high enough to be psychoactive, Jacknin says it’s pretty good for the skin. “Studies for acne, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, itch, and other rarer skin problems responded positively to CBD topically,” Jackin tells HelloGiggles.
“Lots of CBD brands also use ingredients such as CBD isolate, which is an extraction method that removes all other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant,” says Michelle Clemens, co-founder of Soji Heath. Clemens says researchers have found that CBD isolate doesn’t provide the same effectiveness as broad-spectrum CBD.
6Cannabis Sativa Hemp Extract and Cannabis Sativa Hemp Oil
If you spot the term “Cannabis Sativa Hemp Extract” on the back of your products, you may be getting duped. Jacknin says that this ingredient is essentially hemp extract, since it can be made from the seeds and stalks (and sometimes flowers) of the hemp plant. And unlike cannabis sativa hemp oil, which is pressed from the seeds, she says that this extract contains minerals such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Now that you know what product ingredients to look out for, we’re highlighting eleven CBD beauty products that we love. From bath bombs to face oils, trust any of these products to take your routine to a whole new level.
1Lord Jones + Tamara Mellon High CBD Formula Stiletto Cream
If you’ve ever fallen victim to high-heel pain after dancing all night, look no further. Apply this cream to your feet before slipping on your heels, and pack it in your bag in case you feel sore later on. It uses 200 mg of broad-spectrum CBD and will keep your feet ready for just about anything.
2Seventh Sense Muscle Balm
Great for aching soles, legs, or shoulders, this body balm is perfect to keep in your gym bag for an on-the-go rescue whenever you need to relieve pain quickly. It’s infused with 200 mg of 100% hemp-derived CBD, and the eucalyptus spearmint scent helps both as aromatherapy (to calm) and for an instant cooling sensation that soothes sore muscles.
3W!nk Bath Salts
Talk about self-care! Soak your troubles away with these bath salts that combine multi-cannabinoid hemp (CBD) oil extract with both eucalyptus leaf and mint leaf oils to keep you chillin’ like a villain in the tub.
4Peter Thomas Roth Green Releaf Calming Face Oil
While this product doesn’t contain actual CBD, the combination of the cannabis sativa seed oil with ginger root extract and cucumber seed oil helps to reduce inflammation and redness, hydrating your skin and making it look ultra-radiant.
5Beboe Therapies High-Potency CBD Body Balm
With a whopping 750 mg of full-spectrum CBD, you can kiss body ache goodbye for good. This balm also uses arnica, making it a great product for an athlete or someone who experiences more serious discomfort.
6Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate
Expect this herbal concentrate to upgrade your skincare regimen fast. It utilizes hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil and green oregano oil to hydrate the skin and balance uneven skin tone.
7Onyx & Rose CBD Bath Bomb
Don’t let its pretty appearance fool you — this bath bomb is made with organic full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate to help you unwind and relax after a long day.
8Herbivore Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil
Packed with adaptogens and 100 mg of premium and organic full-spectrum CBD, a few drops of this face oil will have you glowing all day. For best results add three to 10 drops onto cleansed skin, gently massage it into your face, and let it absorb for about three minutes before applying makeup.
9Farmacy Better Daze Ahead CBD Moisturizer
Say hello to your soon-to-be-favorite winter moisturizer! This formula uses full-spectrum hemp oil and adaptogens that will keep your skin feeling velvety smooth. Also, Farmacy is a clean skincare brand, so if that’s what you go for, then you’ve found your match.
10Nannette de Gaspé Bain Noir CBD Bath Soak
Luxury doesn’t even begin to describe what bathing in this CBD-infused bath soak feels like. It uses hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil and meadowfoam seed oil, which together help relax and revitalize your skin.
11Populum Cold Therapy Hemp Rub
This cooling hemp-infused CBD body rub is the perfect spot-treatment for joint and muscle pain. It uses 100 mg CBD which will be sure to alleviate some discomfort.