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May 20, 2021

Is Topical CBD the Answer to Your Skin or Pain Concerns? Doctors and Experts Weigh In

There’s a lot to learn. 


 

If it seems like the marketplace is awash with CBD, it’s due to the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the Farm Bill) that legalized hemp nationwide. But CBD is not new. In fact, it has been an integral part of many cultures for centuries. What is new, or newish, is the scientific realization that phytocannabinoids (which come from plants, including hemp) have real benefits. 

 

CBD for muscle pain
CBD is reportedly not only good for your skin but helpful for sore muscles too.

 

The Nourishing Effects of CBD

 

CBD manufacturers cannot make claims as to benefits per the FDA, but anecdotal evidence suggests that individuals dealing with redness, eczema, acne, or other forms of irritation can benefit from using CBD topically. “CBD acts like a magnet,“ says Casey Georgeson, CEO and Founder of Saint Jane Beauty, the brand behind cult-favorite – Luxury Beauty Serum. “It [is drawn to your] deficiencies.” Georgeson discovered CBD in 2018 while suffering from atopic dermatitis. “CBD has had incredible effects on my skin,” she says.  “Like so many others who have [dry, sensitive skin] I found a lot of quick fixes but nothing that would truly nourish and care for my skin long-term without having any harmful side effects.” 

 

Saint Jane Beauty
Saint Jane Beauty creates “meticulously clean” and luxurious CBD-infused skincare.

 

Why Certified Organic Matters

 

Much like the decision to eat cleaner, using CBD- or hemp-based skincare means doing your homework. Jessica Bates, a Certified Clinical Herbalist and Co-Owner of Moon Mother Hemp Co. explains that hemp is a bioaccumulator and draws up anything that is in the soil, including heavy metals and pesticides. Knowing where the plants are grown and what else has been grown on the same land is key, which is why the hemp used in their Glow Skin Serum is farmed on land that “historically produced strictly vegetables and herbs.” This ensures their products offer extremely high levels of antioxidants and break down environmental toxins that get into the skin.

 

Moon Mother Hemp Glow CBD Skin Serum
Moon Mother Hemp Glow CBD Skin Serum / Photo by Beautytap Expert Baylee McNew

 

The Calming Effects of Topical CBD

 

In a recent master class for the Beautytap Review Program, Myaderm Founder Eric Smart explained that intradermal delivery of CBD reduces both inflammation and redness upon contact. As someone who suffers from occasional age-related flushing, I haven’t had the best of luck finding redness-reducing products, but Myaderm’s Ultimate Calming Normalizing Cream has proven particularly effective at soothing tretinoin-induced irritation. After testing it out for myself, along with two other Myaderm products, I’m officially a fan, especially because my skin felt more balanced and hydrated compared to using non-CBD products.

 

CBD May Make Your Vitamin C Serum Easier to Tolerate

 

If you have sensitive skin or find that traditional vitamin C serums sting, a CBD-infused version may prove easier to tolerate. Georgeson created her “intensely potent” The C-Drops with Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract to quell redness and soothe irritation. This is one of the brand’s holy grail products, so she crafted a “meticulously clean serum that combined the skin-soothing, anti-inflammatory effects of CBD with the brightening benefits of vitamin C.”  Saint Jane’s The C-Drops also contain 500 mg of CBD, one of the “highest doses currently available in skincare.”

 

Dragonfly 2000mg CBD Muscle Gel
Dragonfly 2000mg CBD Muscle Gel / Photo by Beautytap Expert Hendrika Van Dijk

 

CBD Options for Pain Relief

 

If you’re looking for pain relief, “Topical phytocannabinoids usually come in an oil or ointment base and are excellent to relieve pain and inflammation in a localized area,” says Dr. Susanne Bennett, Founder and Owner of Purigenex, a wellness skincare company. “For example, applying phytocannabinoids (CBD only, THC only, or a combination of both) on the knee [is effective] for acute pain and inflammation after a sprain/strain injury.” In this type of situation, relief can last “several hours” and begins “within 15 to 20 minutes,” she adds. 

 

I’ve used Dragonfly’s 2000mg Muscle Gel as well as Naternal’s 2000mg Rescue CBD Muscle Cream, and both provide immediate, albeit temporary, relief. The common denominator here is the concentration of the CBD. Of course, long-term relief requires a different approach. “For severe or chronic pain relief, you need high levels of oral CBD, not topical,” says Dr. Bennett. “Anywhere from 20 to 200 mg, depending on the patient. Some patients find more relief by ingesting a combo formula of both CBD and THC…again the ratio and dosage must be customized for each patient.”

 

Wondering if topical CBD is right for you? Reach out to one of Beautytap’s Beauty Experts for guidance. 

Tracy Ann Teel is a full-time freelance writer and the owner of Finesse Writing and Editing LLC. She’s a tutorial writer for San Francisco Globe’s beauty platform, FierceLeague.com, covering everything from skin and hair care to makeup and nail art. She writes for skincare companies, dermatologists, and cosmetic surgeons, and proudly taught at her MFA alma mater, the University of California Irvine, as a member of their adjunct faculty in English. She’s been a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall, been recognized three consecutive years in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and has written professionally for 30+ years. Her poetry chapbook Such Dust was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Pearl, Kaleidoscope, and Lake Arrowhead Life.

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COMMENTS 6

brianahernandez


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I’m absolutely loving all the CBD introductions we’ve experienced I. The review round this past month. I too am definitely a big CBD fan for skincare and self care regimens now!


tracyteel


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

While I was nervous when using my first CBD ingestible, I took to topicals instantly. My skin just drinks them up, and I love having a pain reliever in my desk drawer that doesn't have to do battle with my digestive tract.

elyciarubin

I'm really enjoying the Dragonfly Muscle Gel and it's definitely helped the sore muscles in my back and neck feel better. I also rub it into my hands/fingers and it works like a charm (especially after writing all day). Saint Jane is really impressing me. What a beautiful and effective brand! Loving the C-Drops and their new Petal Cream is a winner too!


tracyteel


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I'm with you, Elycia. The Dragonfly gel is so light, and it absorbs instantly. I appreciate that the smell dissipates quickly, too. And Saint Jane's Luxury Beauty Serum is now part of my morning routine. I just ordered the full-size and am beyond impressed by how effective it is for soothing irritation and moisturizing without pilling under makeup.

neter


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I was really hesitant about CBD products. My mind is now made up- I love them! CBD topical pain creams are really helping me manage my pain. This is huge for me and it is now CBD everything.


tracyteel


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I was nervous, too, until I learned that the body has an endocannabinoid system and that CBD just taps into its deficiencies. Now, I'm searching for CBD for all kinds of things. :)