CBD Is All Over Skin Care, And Now It’s Coming for Makeup

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CBD has made its mark in skin care, and now it’s diving head-first into the makeup world. Makeup like primers and foundations are now touting CBD as a major ingredient. As the CBD skin-care market is expected to grow to a value of over $216.8 billion in the next five years, you can expect to see more CBD everywhere in beauty.

But it isn’t just the popularity of CBD itself driving its inclusion in makeup. It seems to be influenced by the wider trend of hybridizing skin care and makeup. From foundations with antioxidants for skin protection and repair, to superfood primers meant to support your microbiome, there has been a consistent rise in beauty lines incorporating skin-care ingredients and their benefits into their makeup.

And CBD is ready to do the exact same.

What Could CBD Do for Skin?

According to a 2022 review of topical CBD studies published in the National Library of Medicine, CBD has “overwhelming clinical evidence suggesting the beneficial effects of topical cannabinoids in treating a myriad of skin conditions.” Based on the current research, CBD seems to work as an anti-inflammatory, may help regulate oil production to reduce acne, and provide hydration. The review concluded that more studies are required to fully understand the potential CBD has topically.

Cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos explains that its success as an anti-inflammatory is CBD’s most promising benefit. “CBD has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties when applied topicals which is why it’s in process of being investigated for treating eczema and psoriasis,” Dobos explains.

Chapel Hill, NC Dermatologist Beth Goldstein, MD explains that there are receptors in our skin that respond to CBD. “There are cannabinoid-activated receptors in our skin that can influence several processes from inflammation, wound healing to hydration to mention a few,” Dr. Goldstein explains. “Nerves, oil glands/sebaceous glands and our keratinocytes throughout our epidermis have receptors for cannabinoids.”

The interaction CBD has on those receptors is still being studied, but Dr. Goldstein says the current studies indicate a lot of potential.

“The activation of these receptors can improve ceramide production and improve the barrier function of the skin as well as reduce irritation and (based on animal studies) can perhaps even reduce ultraviolet damage,” Dr. Goldstein “At this time products with CBD may indeed provide these benefits, but there is still a need for more evidence in humans to verify some of these claims such as anti-aging.”

How Does CBD Work in Makeup?

Like most skin-care-makeup hybrids, putting CBD in long-wear makeup is about getting those skin benefits with only a few products.

“Instead of trying to layer makeup over skin care, which can sometimes be incompatible with each other causing pilling or poor application,” Dobos explains, “including skin-care activities in makeup can reduce the total number of products you’re working with.”

Ideally, CBD in something like foundation could also help combat breakouts and help soothe existing ones, explains formulation specialist for CBD brand Elevated Wellness, Ross Anderson. “When using CBD for acne, users should experience less blemishes, whiteheads, blackheads, etc. over time,” Anderson explains. “It’s also going to help with the pain of acne, as we all know it can be physically painful, which is a definite added bonus.”

Wellness and skin care brand Fitish employs CBD in everything from lip oil to setting spray for its anti-inflammatory power. “CBD has proven to be such an incredible anti-inflammatory ingredient,” says founder and CEO of Fitish Jenna Owens. “A large majority of skin issues stem from inflammation and cannabidiol’s natural properties are able to help alleviate these symptoms.”

CBD might also be appealing in cosmetics because of its antibacterial properties, especially as brands seek more naturally derived preservatives. “CBD is also antibacterial and anti-fungal which may provide a benefit to long-lasting cosmetics to reduce risk of infections, perhaps,” Dr. Goldstein says, while considering the appeal of CBD in makeup formulas.

The Future of CBD in Makeup

Considering the benefits CBD could provide in makeup, Dobos says that its anti-inflammatory properties are its biggest selling point and could lead to a targeted market for mature skin. “I can’t think of anything specific it would bring to makeup beyond that anti-inflammatory property,” Dobos says. “Maybe that property helps with all the insults your skin faces all day like irritants, pollutants, UV… skin loses some of its immune function as we age, could this be the foundation for mature skin? I could see a possible link to being a benefit there.”

After the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized the hemp, the opportunity for scientific study on CBD and its effects have exploded. Much of our understanding of CBD is still in its early stages, as its only recently become legal to study.

“There was a lot of trepidation at the beginning because of the association with cannabis,” Owens explains. “But once consumers started realizing this soothing plant could aid with issues such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and sunburns, it all changed. The companies who have remained more transparent about lab testing and taking the time to educate the customer on the plant benefits and any concerns have really excelled in the space.”

Because the current research indicates it holds potential as a skin-care ingredient, CBD is now relatively commonplace in things like moisturizers and serums. This, combined with the popularity of adding skin-care ingredients to makeup, means we can expect to see even more CBD-based makeup products on the horizon.

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