Topical acne products come in every imaginable shape and size, and they all claim to have That One Special Ingredient that will give you the skin of your dreams. According to some, that’s salicylic acid, while others boast that glycolic acid is really where it’s at. Now, we’re seeing more and more products that claim that CBD is the answer to your problems.
But how do you know if what they’re saying is true? Can CBD topicals really treat hormonal acne?
The answer is a simple one: yes. CBD-infused topicals are a versatile solution to a variety of skin care woes. When it comes to reducing hormonal acne — and its more common counterpart, cystic acne — they have many medicinal qualities that make them perfectly suited to the task. Not only do they have the potential to produce real, tangible improvements in your troubled skin (i.e. making it smoother, clearer, and more balanced), but they’ve been proven to have far fewer side effects than harsher products packed with benzoyl peroxide and topical retinoids. It’s a win-win as far as your delicate skin is concerned.
It almost seems too good to be true (and if you’re feeling a bit suspicious, you have every right to be), but in this case, it isn’t. While topical CBD acne treatments might not deliver the movie star-esque complexion you’ve always dreamed of, they could significantly reduce your hormonal acne and give both your skin and your self esteem a bigger boost than you’d expect.
The reason why CBD topicals can be so effective for treating hormonal acne is because they take a holistic approach to the condition, tackling it from four different angles all at once. Not only do they reduce the painful and embarrassing symptoms of breakouts, but they also get right to the root cause of it at the same time. Here’s how.
They Regulate Sebum Production
The fundamental cause of acne is the buildup of oil in the pores, and the bacteria that this creates. This oil is called sebum, and when it’s produced in the right amounts it plays a critical role in keeping the skin balanced and healthy. But when excess oil is produced, it clogs pores. Dead skin cells and dirt can get trapped inside, which breeds bacteria and leads to acne breakouts.
CBD topicals prevent this by helping the skin’s internal regulation mechanism (called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS) bring sebum levels back down to normal, thus restoring balance to the sebaceous glands. This is thanks to the fact that cannabinoids — the chemicals found in cannabis plants, of which CBD and THC are the most well known — are nearly identical to the chemicals produced in the ECS. So, they can support it in the same way that vitamin supplements support the immune system.
They Modulate Hormones
Hormonal acne gets its name because it’s strongly connected to hormonal fluctuations. This kind of acne typically occurs in tandem with the menstrual cycle in women, especially just before or during a period. Scientists haven’t quite figured the specifics of this connection, but they have observed some kind of link between hormonal breakouts and mood or, more specifically, anxiety. Essentially, the idea is that anxiety connected with the menstrual cycle can induce acne breakouts.
If researchers are right about this connection, topical CBD creams that use full spectrum CBD oil could help. These oils contain not just CBD, but also all of the terpenes present in cannabis plants, many of which have been associated with anti-anxiety effects.
They Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is common in all types of acne. When the immune system detects acne-causing bacteria, it sends white blood cells to the area to get busy with the healing process, which creates inflammation as a byproduct. Although this sounds perfectly natural, inflamed skin can become raised, swollen, red, and sore, making it one of the more unpleasant side effects of hormonal acne.
Studies have shown time and time again that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. For example, in mice and other rodents it’s been proven to significantly reduce inflammation and pain. CBD topicals are now also being used experimentally by people suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.
They Kill Bacteria
As we mentioned earlier, acne is caused when bacteria grow in sebum-clogged pores of the skin. Bacteria love nothing more than a warm, moist environment, so the pores provide a perfect home for them to fester and breed. They’re also spread extremely easily across the face with the slightest touch. Considering scientists estimate that we touch our faces thousands of times a day, it’s no wonder that what begins as a single, solitary pimple often leads to apocalyptic breakouts.
Yet again, CBD topicals can help. CBD and many of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis have shown strong antibacterial ability in research studies and clinical trials. So too, have many of the terpenes that are used in full spectrum CBD oils. As a result, using a spot treatment that contains such ingredients could be a great way to fight bacteria off and stop them from spreading across the face.