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Acne affects about 50 million people in the United States. 85% of all adolescents and 12% of women are affected by acne. Acne is a chronic condition caused by excessive sebum production in the skin, colonization by bacteria and hyperkeratinization of the follicle.
Cystic acne is caused when the infection goes deep within the skin. Although benign, acne can cause pain and discomfort, depression, anxiety, permanent scarring and poor self-esteem. Today we are looking at 5 treatments, including some home remedies, that don’t work effectively before discussing how CBD can act as an effective cure for acne.
Tea tree oil acne treatments have grown popular for treatment of acne that is mild to moderate. This is because some consider it to be a natural alternative to harsh acne treatments and to medication. Others say that using tea tree oil for acne is ineffective. Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties but there is little to no research to demonstrate that tea tree oil has any real ability to get rid of acne.
Also, tea tree oil is unregulated to you may be getting skin irritants in your skin care product rather than pure tea tree oil. In addition, many people find the smell of the oil pungent and unpleasant.
Finally, many users report experiencing skin irritation from using the oil. With no evidence that it is acne fighting, and the fact that it can actually dry out your skin, it is better to apply a few drops of tea tree oil to a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Apply tea tree oil in this way as an occasional spot treatment for acne spots and it may help reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
There is no doubt that benzoyl peroxide will dry out a pimple but it does nothing to stop the underlying condition that causes acne and that is excessive sebum (oil) production. It can be very harsh on your skin and kills the good bacteria that live in your skin and help it maintain its health and glow.
Vinegar treatments can dry out pimples very quickly. However, apple cider vinegar (and any other vinegar) can actually change the delicate balance of pH of your skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection. Also, like the other two treatments discussed above, applying apple cider vinegar to you skin may work in the short term as a spot treatment but it does nothing to change the underlying problem that causes acne – the excessive sebum production.
Zinc supplements are said to be an effective acne treatment. However, zinc is a metal that is required only in miniscule amounts in the body and should be taken internally only for the treatment and prevention of deficiencies or as otherwise directed by a health care professional. Zinc supplements also contain cadmium, which can lead to kidney failure with long term exposure.
In supplements, the amount of cadmium can vary by as much as 37-fold. For acne it should only be used if your blood has been tested and found to contain low levels of zinc. Otherwise it may harm more than help. Zinc creams have not be demonstrated to be useful in acne treatment at all unless it is used with erythromycin, an antibiotic drug.
Honey & Cinnamon face masks have become popular treatments for acne. Cinnamon can help to kill the acne bacteria that infect your skin. Honey & cinnamon can make a very soothing cleanser for the skin when used with warm water as a face wash.
However, like all of the other treatments above, these treatments do nothing to control the excessive sebum production that is the underlying cause of acne without a cure of the secretion. It may sooth your symptoms, but acne will likely return.
Honey is acidic and when left on the skin can change the pH in your skin. Cinnamon can be highly irritating to skin. No research has studied these masks for their effectiveness.
Coconut oil is mostly made up of fatty acids which have strong antimicrobial effects. The lauric acid in coconut oil has been shown to kill the acne bacteria that can infect skin and more effectively than benzoyl peroxide. Another of coconut oils benefits is it highly moisturizing effects. It may also help reduce some of the acne scarring that can develop with the condition.
However, it is highly comedogenic. That means it clogs pores, which can make acne worse for many people and again does nothing at all to reduce the hyperactive sebum production that is the underlying cause of acne.
CBD is cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. It has been demonstrated to have a number of remarkable health benefits while having little to no side effects. It is being used as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medication as well as a treatment for hypertension.
There is a lot of promise for CBD in Alzheimer’s and cancer as well. It really is a remarkable molecule. It acts indirectly on our endocannabinoid system to stimulate it. The endocannabinoid system is part of the immune system and can do wonderful things for our health. It is not psychoactive, like THC is, and cannot make anyone “high” or cause addiction.
CBD and Acne
While we do not yet know exactly how cannabidiol works in the presence of acne, we do know that the endocannabinoid system is involved with cutaneous cell differentiation and growth. Studies have found that people with acne can benefit from creams made with CBD by reducing skin sebum, which is the underlying cause of acne.
A recent study demonstrated that CBDV and CBC (two cannabinoids) were significant in reducing lipogenesis in acne and that they both had anti-inflammatory effects. Further in this study, CBD was found to be a highly efficient anti-acne agent while being safe for use on your skin. It can also help reduce the pain associated with cystic acne.
A study in 2014 referred to CBD as a potent anti-acne agent that has triple anti-acne profiles. Meaning it fights acne in three different ways – by reducing inflammation, reducing sebum production and helping to prevent acne from recurring.
This makes CBD among the most potent acne treatments we are aware of, without any of the negative side effects caused by harsher treatments. It also has the added benefit of containing no antibiotics and the risks that come with them.
Rather than risk skin damage, recurrence of acne, worsening the condition or using a treatment that is completely ineffective, CBD oil holds the promise of a real, effective cure for the condition. It treats the underlying cause of acne – excessive sebum production.
It also improves the condition of the skin and reduces the redness and appearance of acne by reducing inflammation. It is an effective analgesic that can assist with the pain of cystic acne. Finally, it is very effective at preventing the recurrence of acne.
If you are looking to finally bring an end to the pain, embarrassment and scarring impact of acne, you need look no further than a good quality, pure CBD oil for help.
Want to learn more? Check out our crash course on treating acne with CBD.