CBD skincare and cosmetics

CBD Cosmetics Field of Application
Written by Gunnar R.

CBD skincare and cosmetics: Using the power of nature

The numerous positive effects of CBD on body and mind have now become widely known. Whether against pain, cramps, excessive appetite or mental problems: cannabidiol is enjoying growing popularity, particularly due to its natural origin. Less well-known is the fact that CBD is also starting to play an increasingly important role in skincare and cosmetics. For example, there are already numerous creams and ointments on the market which contain this valued ingredient from the hemp plant. Areas of application include acne, dry skin and eczema.

The hemp plant has a wide range of possible applications in skincare. While the market for CBD products for internal use (e.g. in the form of CBD oil, CBD capsules or CBD e-liquids) is already well developed in the UK, the skincare and cosmetics shelves have now also started to fill up. Of the numerous substances found in hemp, again, it is CBD whose properties are so valued here. But what kinds of CBD skincare products are there?

The variety of skincare products containing cannabidiol

When it comes to CBD skincare products, their great popularity means that choice is constantly growing. There is consequently a wide range of different products which are available, the most important of which are listed below. CBD skincare products are commonly available in the following forms:

  • CBD creams
  • CBD shower gels
  • CBD salves and ointments
  • CBD balm

Other CBD skincare products and cosmetics include:

  • CBD lipstick
  • CBD shampoo
  • CBD face wash
  • Cannabidiol massage oils
  • CBD bath salts
  • CBD tinctures

There is a fluid transition between products which are purely cosmetic and those which have medicinal properties. Salves and creams are the products which have been on the market for the longest and they are the most popular CBD skincare products.

Cannabidiol: A valued ingredient in salves, creams and other preparations.

What is actually produced in the hemp plant is the inactive precursor CBDa. The “a” at the end stands for “acid”. During the extraction of the active substance from the plant, a reaction which chemists call decarboxylation takes place. Only then is the the active and therapeutically relevant compound CBD produced.

The acid component is removed, thus giving your skincare products the ideal pH value for your skin. In addition to this, there is the healing and nurturing effect of the cannabidiol.  As is the case for oil and capsules, CBD skincare products are made using special varieties of hemp. This guarantees a high concentration of the active substance and, ideally, should result in good quality. CBD skincare products and cosmetics are essentially suitable for all skin types and all ages.


  • When buying CBD skincare products and cosmetics, look out for organic certification. This is a guarantee of good quality!
  • Did you know that even pure hemp salve can be very good even if it contains very little CBD?

What makes CBD creams and salves so special?

CBD creams contain the active substance cannabidiol, or CBD for short. In contrast to oils and capsules, creams and salves are used externally. Unlike most ordinary skin creams, CBD skincare products not only moisturise your skin, but may, if concentrated enough, also have a healing effect. People primarily use the cream to treat strained and irritated areas of skin. Injuries also heal faster as a result of the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD.

Pain is also relieved effectively. The pain-relieving effect of cannabidiol is known to be valued even for syndromes involving severe chronic pain and for cancer. The entire spectrum of efficacy of CBD creams/CBD salves is based on the natural mechanisms of the hemp plant. Cannabidiol molecules exert an influence on the nervous system. CBD can also

  • stimulate the formation of new skin cells
  • reduce wrinkles
  • regulate skin moisture

The ingredients: What do CBD skincare products contain?

Of course the “star performer” in all CBD skincare products is the eponymous active substance cannabidiol. This is the non-psychoactive component of the hemp plant, a kind of “counterpart” to the intoxicant, tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. For this reason, CBD skincare products and cosmetics are just as legal as the cannabidiol products which are intended for internal use (e.g. CBD oil). Nevertheless, there are strict rules in the EU for the cultivation and use of hemp products. Thus, the maximum THC content must not exceed the threshold of 0.2 %.

With around 500 constituent compounds, the hemp plant is a true chemical factory. Although this word is somewhat misleading, as these are purely natural products. Nevertheless, the sheer productivity of the plant is striking. CBD is of particular interest for the cosmetics industry. The natural substance is extracted from the plant with the help of various methods of extraction and converted into its activated form. Because cannabidiol is very soluble in fats and oils, the active ingredient is incorporated into salves, tinctures, creams, etc. Generally speaking, the higher the proportion of CBD in a skincare product, the stronger its effect and, often, the higher its price will be.

Without a doubt, cannabidiol is the most important component in these CBD skincare products. It is usually incorporated into creams and salves in the form of oil. And precisely this cannabidiol oil contains the valued constituent compounds which give your skin a radiant and well-cared-for appearance. Gamma-linolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid with numerous beneficial effects, is of particular relevance in this respect. Of course, skincare products such as creams also contain carrier substances. These should also ideally be of organic origin. The following substances are often used:

  • shea butter
  • hemp oil
  • tea tree oil

In a high-quality CBD skincare product, it is not just the CBD that comes from an organic source. The carrier substances, and any additives which are present, should also always be of natural origin.

In addition, CBD creams can also incorporate phytochemical ingredients such as rosemary, lavender, calendula or mint. There are good reasons for doing this. Researchers have identified some mechanisms of action that are only possible when CBD is combined with other plant compounds. Let’s have a look at two specific examples:

  1. The combination of CBD and rosemary promotes improved circulation
  2. CBD balm which contains lavender soothes and relaxes  the skin

Medicinal additives

Depending on the medical indication involved, CBD skincare products can also be mixed with other ingredients with therapeutic properties. Here are a few common examples:

  • Dexpanthenol: you may know this active ingredient from various wound ointments and healing salves. In fact, there are also CBD salves which contain this chemical compound. Dexpanthenol supports the formation of new skin cells, thus helping wounds to heal. An ideal supplement to cannabidiol, with its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
  • Bisabolol: this compound is a component of chamomile oil, but it is also produced industrially. It supports the healing and recovery of the skin, particularly in the case of burns and sunburn. Mucous membranes are also treated with bisabolol.
  • Zinc: This element is widely used in dermatology. A zinc deficiency in the skin can lead to various problems, such as dry skin, tears in the corners of the mouth, acne, cold sores and wound healing disorders. Zinc is involved in a great number of metabolic processes, especially those involving the skin.

The range of possible additives is therefore very broad and it is up to you to decide which product is best suited to your particular needs. You can find further details about specific products in the information provided by the manufacturers.

Areas of application: How can CBD skincare products help?

Of course, your first port of call when it comes to any serious skin conditions should be an experienced dermatologist. Nevertheless, CBD skincare products are enjoying growing popularity, whether for everyday skincare or for specific problems. Cannabidiol has a variety of effects, and possibilities for topical application are correspondingly broad. You skin will benefit from the

  • nurturing
  • wound-healing
  • moisturising
  • pain-relieving
  • anti-inflammatory

properties of CBD. In addition, this hemp product stimulates the reproduction and regeneration of human skin cells.

CBD for daily skin care

As you have already seen, there are even CBD lipsticks, shampoos and shower gels. These active constituents are not only suitable for the treatment of specific skin diseases, but also for daily skin care. Users primarily use CBD against skin impurities and wrinkles. Another example is the dry skin which is so common in the winter, where our largest organ suffers from either the icy winter climate or the dry heated air indoors. Cracked skin and chapped lips can be treated with appropriate products such as CBD face creams, lip balms, and salves containing cannabidiol. Oily, damaged  hair will be a thing of the past if you regularly wash your hair with CBD shampoos.

Eczema: Relief for damaged skin

In consultation with your dermatologist, you may wish to consider CBD products as an appropriate complementary therapy for eczema (atopic dermatitis). The anti-inflammatory effect soothes damaged skin. The individual symptoms and severity of the eczema determine the frequency with which you will need to apply CBD ointment, as well as the concentration you will need in order to improve your skin. Here, additional substances such as calendula, lavender, shea butter and hemp oil  are very valuable, supplying the irritated and flaky skin with the moisture it needs. As the scalp can also be affected by the symptoms of eczema, shampoos can also be very helpful. The same goes for body lotions, facial creams, shower gel and hand soap.

Cannabidiol for psoriasis

Many psoriasis patients have reported positive experiences with CBD online. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, i.e. one where the immune system attacks part of the body. Cannabidiol has a regulatory effect on the immune cells, alleviating inflammation.

The body’s excessive immune reaction is reduced, resulting in reduced pathological flaking. This effect can be demonstrated by means of a laboratory test: the blood contains fewer mast cells, as well as less histamine, which is a product of mast cells. This is the determining factor in the effectiveness of CBD against psoriasis . Another positive effect is that CBD creams leave a protective layer on the surface of the skin. In contrast to substances such as cortisone, it is not possible to overdose.

CBD for spots

Many people suffer from pimples or acne, especially during puberty. This is due to hormonal changes in the adolescent body. The sebaceous glands get out of balance and the skin ends up inflamed in various places. This becomes visible in unsightly acne, which is much feared despite its harmlessness. Because acne is an inflammation, medically speaking, the anti-inflammatory  properties of CBD are very effective. Hungarian researchers have found that CBD also directly inhibits sebum production via various signalling pathways. Thus, there are two ways in which CBD helps against pimples:

  1. Immediately dealing with the symptoms, by dealing with the inflammation which is present
  2. Over the long term, by dealing with the cause, which is excess sebum production

Many CBD anti-acne creams also contain other ingredients such as dexpanthenol and/or zinc. These also support the regeneration of the skin.

Sunburn – Does cannabidiol help?

Making sure you do everything which is necessary to protect yourself from the sun is essential when it comes to avoiding the harmful effects of sunburn. As convincing as the following section may be, do remember that the best thing is not to let things get this bad in the first place. And yet it happens to everyone: you are finally on holiday somewhere warm, and there’s nothing you would like to do more than spend a day out in the sun. However, many underestimate the power of UV and don’t use any cream, or not enough, or they spend too long in the blazing sun right at the beginning of their holiday.

In such cases, sunburn is bound to happen. Yet again, CBD skincare products can help. Although there are not yet many studies regarding this medical indication, many users report that CBD has a pleasant cooling and soothing effect on the irritated and inflamed skin. Some users have also noticed accelerated  healing processes.

In addition to the medical indications just described in greater detail, people also use CBD skincare products for:

  • wrinkles
  • wounds
  • irritated or red skin

Buying CBD skincare products and cosmetics: What do you need to look out for?

Even though the market for CBD cosmetics is constantly growing, ordinary shops and chemists have none of these products in their range, or only a very few. Online, the situation is different. Not only specialist suppliers, but also well-known online mail-order companies offer a wide range of skincare products. Due to the enormous range of products  you should first ask yourself why it is that you want to use a CBD product in the first place.

This will decide which CBD skincare product might be the best for you. If you just want to treat facial acne, you should buy an appropriate face cream. Do you suffer from eczema? Then a body lotion or CBD salve would probably be more appropriate. Do you have dry lips? There are special lip balms or lipsticks which can help you. So, to start off with, you simply have to ask yourself the question “Why?”.

Another critical question is that of getting the right dose. It is obvious that the dosage for a straightforward skincare product should be lower than that for CBD cosmetics which are aimed at skin conditions.

For example, creams which do not contain high enough concentrations may not have any effect on the skin problem. This can lead to the incorrect conclusion that the CBD is entirely ineffective. You can save yourself this frustration, but do not hesitate to visit a doctor if CBD does not help you despite high concentrations! It also must be repeated that cannabidiol cannot help with all complaints and can be counterproductive in the case of some skin conditions and intolerances.

Only use CBD skincare products and cosmetics which are of high purity and which have the corresponding seal of quality. Cannabidiol is not the only decisive factor here. The additives and carrier substances should ideally also be of natural origin. As already mentioned, many manufacturers use vegetable oils and shea butter as carrier substances. In addition there are supplementary natural substances such as lavender and calendula. Avoid CBD products which contain silicones and paraffin. Otherwise, you will end up using what you actually wanted to avoid: a chemical product! 


  • CBD skincare products and cosmetics come in a wide variety of forms. Ever more people are turning to cannabidiol for their skincare needs. CBD skincare products and cosmetics can be used for skincare as well as for specific skin conditions.

Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.

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About the author

Gunnar R.

Gunnar R.

Gunnar has been with CannaTrust from the beginning. Within the team he is know for his enthusiasm for cannabis and CBD. As a business journalist Gunnar has been writing for renowned media such as Stern, Spiegel or 'Sueddeutsche Zeitung'. Additionally, he has been part of a large medical encyclopedia project and therefore has an extensive knowledge about medical devices.