Does CBD Oil Cause Acne?

CBD will not cause acne but treat it instead.

CBD oil can regulate oil production therefore it can help prevent acne. Image Credit: By Olena Yakobchuk on shutterstock

Most everyone in the world has experienced some sort of acne — the persistent blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cysts that occur when your pores get clogged up with dead skin cells or oil. Acne is the most common skin problem we have, and, while it’s most prevalent in teens, it can happen to almost anyone, at any age. It’s most commonly caused by hormones, ingrown hairs, and, sometimes bacteria — but does CBD oil also cause acne? Despite anything you may have heard — and despite its oily consistency — CBD does not cause acne. And the great news is, if you’re one of the 50 million people in the US who suffers from acne, studies show that CBD oil actually has pimple-fighting properties. In fact, many researchers believe that not only can CBD oil help clear up existing acne outbreaks and scarring, it can treat acne by helping reduce outbreaks overall. It’s why we’re seeing an increase of CBD products on the market specifically targeted to treat acne.

The benefit of CBD oil for overall skin care—from treating eczema to fighting wrinkles as well as being a proven successful acne and acne scar treatment —is because of the compound’s ability to work together with our natural endocannabinoid system, help regulate natural skin oil production by our sebaceous glands, and support the production of collagen. CBD’s overall calming effect also helps, because — while there are many causes of acne — hormones and stress are the biggest culprits.

According to a 2014 study of acne and CBD by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, cannabidiol is capable of regulating oil production in your sebaceous glands, which means it could keep breakouts at bay. And, anecdotally, acne sufferers are seeing great results from CBD-infused skin care products due to multiple benefits and factors:

  • CBD oil has anti-inflammatory powers, which is a large aspect of acne outbreaks.
  • It prevents damaged cells from spreading, regulating dead skin cells, and encouraging production of new skin cells.
  • A study by the National Institute on Health and the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that CBD has skin regenerating properties and ‘anti-proliferative effects’—meaning it can stop the spread of cells.
  • It’s been found to have antioxidant powers.
  • CBD oil promotes smooth healing of scarring.
  • It works with our immune cells to prevent infection associated with acne.
  • And another great acne-fighting benefit of CBD — it helps regulate the production of collagen fibers in the wound-healing process.
  • CBD targets only the problem-causing skin cells and not healthy ones, avoiding the irritated and dry skin that can be common skin issues caused by the side-effects over-the-counter and prescription acne treatments.

How to Treat Acne with CBD oil

Far from being bad for it, CBD is proving to be a successful treatment for acne—especially with the added benefit of CBD in general providing a non-psychoactive overall calming effect. This reduces stress hormone activity which promotes acne, and the accompanying anxiety of social stress that goes along with having acne outbreaks. The two best ways to fight acne and skin inflammation with CBD are to take a daily CBD oil supplement to help with natural oil production from the inside, and apply topical lotion or cream CBD products directly to acne outbreaks and to help with healing as they scar.

Nicola Bridges
Nicola Bridges
Nicola Bridges is an award-winning writer and editor who’s covered health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle for the past two decades. The former editorial director for and editor in chief of Working Mother, she is currently a regular contributor to Parade Magazine and The Fine Line where she writes about trends in modern health.

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