Is CBD Oil Good for Skin?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / Honayst

CBD is a chemical compound present in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Manufacturers can combine CBD with an oil, such as hemp or coconut oil, to create CBD oil. People can purchase CBD oil or a range of beauty products that incorporate CBD oil to use on their skin.

Does it work for skin?

Research suggests that CBD oil may be beneficial for a number of different skin conditions. These may include:

Aging and wrinkles

A 2017 study highlights the antioxidant properties of CBD. Oxidative stress can contribute toward the aging process. Therefore, the antioxidant and anti- inflammatory properties of CBD may help prevent the appearance of aging in the skin.

Risks

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people generally tolerate CBD well. However, some common side effects of CBD, which may be dose-dependent, can include:

  • dry mouth
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite and weight

It is also worth noting that CBD may interact with certain medications, so it is important that people who currently take prescription medications talk with their doctor before using any CBD products.

How to choose

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not currently regulate CBD products. Therefore, we recommend that people look for CBD oil products that:

  • contain no more than 0.3% THC, per the Agriculture Improvement Act
  • have proof of third-party testing by an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratory
  • pass tests for pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and microbes
  • pass product potency evaluations and safety testing
  • are not from a company subject to an FDA warning letter
  • are from a company that provide certificates of analysis (COAs) for all their products

Additionally, people may also consider:

  • CBD potency
  • price
  • retailer’s and manufacturer’s reputation
  • customer reviews

Read our complete buyer’s guide to CBD here.

Alternative natural skin remedies

Other natural skin remedies that may benefit skin health or reduce symptoms of skin conditions include:

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is an excellent moisturizer and has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties. Studies from 2014 and 2017 suggest that aloe vera can reduce symptoms of both acne and psoriasis.

Honey

A 2012 review notes that honey has shown moisturizing, healing, and anti- inflammatory properties. A 2016 review suggests it may also boost the immune system, while a 2017 review indicates that honey can treat burns and wounds.

Coconut oil

A 2016 article explains that coconut oil is an effective treatment for dry skin, as it can significantly improve skin hydration. A 2019 study also notes that coconut oil may protect the skin by combating inflammation and improving the health of the skin barrier.

Tea tree oil

A 2013 review identifies the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and wound- healing properties of tea tree oil. A 2015 review notes that tea tree oil is an effective treatment for acne, reducing the number of acne sores in people with mild to moderate acne.

Summary

Research suggests that CBD oil may have use as a treatment for a range of skin conditions, such as acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. This is due to its potential anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. People can either apply CBD oil directly to their skin, consume it, or use topical beauty products, such as creams or lotions, that contain CBD oil.