Everyone, from adolescents to adults, has at least once looked into the mirror and asked in frustration “Why do I have acne?”
If you’re an adult, it’s usually asked before an important meeting, photo shoot, or date.
If you’re an adolescent, the question may come up about every day before school.
The answer to the “why?” of acne is a little complicated, as we’ll discuss below. Accordingly, there are many different treatments for it: creams, pills, astringent swabs, and maybe, CBD.
Besides its other health benefits, there is increasing evidence that CBD can also be an effective treatment for acne.
What Causes Acne?
At its most basic, acne happens when the skin pore surrounding a hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells and oil produced by the sebaceous glands that normally keep the face moisturized.
Most people have had experience with the four main types of acne: whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and cysts.
Here’s the basic difference between each type:
- Whiteheads – blocked pores which bulge out at the follicle wall
- Blackheads – pores that become congested with bacteria and oil
- Pimples – bacteria-induced inflammation at the follicle tip
- Cysts – blockages and inflammation that occur deep inside the follicle
Many factors go into what causes acne and how severe it is. Genetics can play a role, hormones can also cause excess oil production, and stress can make it worse.
Assessing Conventional Acne Treatments
The conventional products used to treat acne are topical creams, astringent wipes, and medications.
Topical creams like retinol work on pimples by affecting the growth of cells, which unblocks pores by increasing cell turnover. It’s an effective treatment and needs to be used continuously, possibly taking up to two months to be effective.
Astringent wipes or face washes break down the oil buildup that can cause acne. They work as a daily treatment in keeping pores clear of blockages and can also dry out and irritate facial skin, causing further problems.
Medications such as antibiotics prevent the growth of bacteria in blocked pores which can cause whiteheads and cysts, however this option comes with side effects such as liver damage and increased sensitivity to sunlight. These medications are also the most expensive acne treatment option.
In the end, none of these treatments affect one of the main factors causing acne, which is the overproduction of oil from sebaceous glands that blocks pores.
However, CBD applied topically and/or ingested may make acne better by getting to root causes other treatments can’t.
How Can CBD Treat Acne?
Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating cannabinoid extracted from cannabis, has many properties that can help to combat acne.
This is mainly due to the role which the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays in skin cell regulation (as well as many other processes in your body) and how the right cannabinoids can target that system when it’s not working properly.
According to a 2014 study, the ECS helps to control skin cell growth, inflammation, and oil gland production.
This same study, as well as a recent presentation from the American Academy of Dermatology, found that CBD taken orally and topically helped regulate production in the oil-producing glands as well as decrease inflammation, both of which are primary causes of acne.
CBD when applied topically can also speed healing of blemishes due to its beneficial effect on skin cells and the Vitamin E it contains.
A third way that CBD helps treat acne is its anti-anxiety properties. Dosages of CBD taken orally have been shown to decrease anxiety and stress, which also helps reduce acne outbreaks as a crossover benefit.
What Are The Best CBD Products To Treat Acne?
So, with all this talk, what are the best CBD products to treat acne?
Navigating the flooded CBD marketplace can be confusing, and unfortunately, there are a lot of inferior products out there.
One good rule of thumb is to look for all-natural skin care products that include CBD and use them daily, such as organic creams, facial butters, or salves.
On the simpler end, you can simply mix CBD oil with coconut oil to create your own basic facial moisturizer. You can also spot treat acne with pure CBD oil or a CBD-rich ointment.
CBD can also be taken orally for acne treatment, which will help to regulate stress, reduce inflammation, and control skin oil production through the ECS.
So, the next time you have an important presentation or photo shoot coming up, look to CBD to keep your face clear.