Acne is a very tricky thing. A remedy that works wonders for one person may not help others at all. But when you take one look at the striking before-and-after image of 21-year-old Reddit user ElectricPastries (shown below), you’ll want to know exactly what she used and how she did it. Her secret? Hemp oil.
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At age 19, her skin was “absolutely ravaged by acne,” as she describes it. Taking a recommendation from another Reddit user, she began cleansing her skin with hemp oil, documenting her experience along the way. Now, almost 18 months later, her complexion is almost entirely acne-free—all that remains is some scarring, from what we can see in the pictures.
So what is hemp oil anyway? “The oil of the hemp seed (Cannabis sativa) that is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, notably linoleic acid, and many bioactive phytochemicals and minerals. Plus, it has high antioxidant activity,” says New York dermatologist Estee Williams, MD.
But if it’s such a miraculous acne-fighting ingredient, why don’t we hear about it more often? “In the Internet era, it is incredibly easy for any acne patient to crowdsource tips on how to get their skin better,” says Dr. Williams. “The upside is that many ‘alternative’ treatments (those that have not been investigated in large clinical studies) are posted online and get attention, for better or worse. This is especially true for acne. Hemp seed oil is not commonly talked about as an acne treatment because it has not been studied. Medical doctors are obligated to recommend treatments that have been shown to be effective in studies. When the data isn’t there, it’s a hit or miss. But perhaps this case will turn our attention to this interesting treatment.”
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