Chances are, you know someone who rubs their joints with CBD balm before bed or spritzes on CBD oil to ease anxiety. Chances are you also know what CBD is, but just in case, here’s a quick refresher: A component found in cannabis that won’t get you high — the THC in marijuana is to thank for that — CBD, short for cannabidiol, has been gaining popularity as a treatment for everything from muscle relief to insomnia over the last few years. It’s also been popping up in high-end skin-care creams, gels, and serums promising to smooth wrinkles, prevent pimples, and alleviate dry skin.
According to Jeanette Jacknin, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in topical cannabinoids in skin care, studies have shown that “affecting the endocannabinoid system — like with CBD — can help the skin look more radiant and youthful.” Another study, she says, suggests that CBD could slow down the visible signs of aging in mice. Tamás Bíró, professor and chair of the Department of Immunology at University of Debrecen in Hungary and the director of applied research at Phytecs, a company researching and developing drugs affecting the endocannabinoid system, says CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, which can be helpful for conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Bíró also conducted cell model research (as opposed to human testing, which has not yet been approved) that showed CBD inhibited sebum production and normalized overactive sebaceous gland cells — one of the main causes of acne.
While this is all promising, CBD in consumer skin care is still a bit like the Wild West. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found widespread mislabeling of CBD products sold online. “The problem is that there’s no study that indicates the proper dose,” Bíró says. Verena von Pfetten, co-founder of Gossamer — a magazine “for people who also smoke weed” — and a Strategist contributor, tells us that not only is the CBD industry unregulated, but because there are limited opportunities for federally funded studies we don’t actually know which compounds in marijuana do what. She explains that while the most potent products are full-spectrum (meaning they contain CBD, THC, and a host of other cannabinoids), individual cannabinoids affect the skin differently and, as of right now, we don’t fully understand how each one works and in which percentages they’re effective. “While one cannabinoid might be good for inflammation, another might increase oil production,” she says. “So if you have a full spectrum produced, which in theory makes the CBD more effective, you also have these other cannabinoids that could be undoing the exact results you’re trying to see.” Von Pfetten still buys CBD skin care but, until the science advances, she looks for products that contain other, more well-studied active ingredients.
Our Alchemyst Lab skincare was specifically developed by rock-star skincare Alchemyst, Susan Raffy. Susan Raffy, president of Susan Raffy Consulting, has more than 25 years of experience in the personal care industry, including a number of positions in personal care R&D, so she knows a lot about active ingredients. Her formulation combines actives, with CBD, green tea extracts and her innovative Moss Cell Technology.
She also believes that you should also make sure that skincare has no harmful chemicals, sulfates, parabens and other ingredients that can take away from the benefits of the "active" ingredients.
As the CBD skincare industry continues to grow, Alchemyst Lab will continue to work with formulators like Raffy, to bring only the best products to the skincare market.
Learn more about our innovative skincare line.