CBD Oil For Acne: Benefits And Side Effects Of Using It
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She also did a certificate course in dermatology offered by the Novosibirsk State University and. more
If your skin is acne-prone and you constantly look out for remedies, you might have heard about the efficacy of CBD oil for acne. It has emerged as a new natural remedy to soothe acne. CBD oil is extracted from hemp and is a close relative of marijuana. However, it is not psychoactive (1). While it may not eliminate acne-causing bacteria, CBD oil may help in other ways to minimize acne and inflammation.
Acne flare-ups often affect emotional well-being and become severe if left untreated. From poor lifestyle to hormonal fluctuation, multiple factors may trigger acne. You may try using CBD oil if you have mild to moderate breakouts.
Wondering if CBD oil is worth the hype? Scroll down to understand how CBD oil may work for acne, its benefits, how to use it properly, cost, side effects, and more.
In This Article
CBD Oil For Acne: How It Works
CBD oil primarily works in two ways to reduce or treat acne:
- Reduces Sebum Production: Your skin has sebaceous glands that produce sebum, an oil that keeps the skin protected. However, due to hereditary predisposition, a poor lifestyle, and/or a hormonal imbalance, the sebaceous glands produce excess oil. The excess oil accumulates dirt and clogs the pores, which causes acne. Research shows that applying CBD can suppress the proliferation of human sebum-producing skin cells (human sebocytes) and activate a gene that helps reduce the production of sebum (2).
- Reduces Inflammation: Inflammatory acne is caused by a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (3). CBD has shown activity against inflammation (4). It also reduces the production of pro-inflammatory molecules (5). This particularly explains why CBD is also used to reduce pain. A study conducted in Italy found that using CBD ointment has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin (6). In the coming years, more research is needed to establish a solid link between inflammatory acne and CBD oil.
Now that we know that CBD oil really works for reducing acne, let’s find out how to use it in the following section.
How To Use CBD Oil For Acne
There are many ways you can use CBD oil for acne:
- Spray: You can use a CBD oil aerosol spray to spritz it below your tongue. Wait for 5-6 seconds before swallowing. Do this once every day.
- Mix: You can also mix the CBD oil with other ingredients and apply it to your face. You can mix one or two drops of CBD oil with 10 drops of olive oil if you have dry skin or 10 drops of rose water if you have oily skin. Do this once every day.
- Spot Treatment: You can also use CBD oil as a spot treatment for acne. Take a drop of CBD oil in your palm. Use the index finger of the other hand to apply it to your acne lesions.
These are the three ways you can use CBD oil unless your doctor recommends a different way. When you start using CBD oil, you will not only see a reduction in acne flare-ups, but it will also benefit you in other ways. Check out the proven benefits of CBD oil in the next section.
Benefits Of CBD Oil
- Helps Treat Epileptic Disorders: Cannabidiol has anti-epileptic properties and has been successfully used to treat and manage Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome (7).
- Treats Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Cannabidiol is found to have an ameliorating effect on anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and panic disorders (8). However, more research is needed with a large sample size to prove the same.
- Improves Sleep: Cannabinoids can help you fall and stay asleep (9), (10).
- Reduces Joint Pain: The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD help reduce joint pain (11), (12).
- Reduces Gut Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of CBD make it a potential therapeutic treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (13), (14).
CBD has many health benefits apart from treating acne. However, more research is needed in the coming years to determine the full potential of CBD in treating various ailments. In the following section, let’s take a look at what a CBD oil user has to say about her acne treatment and other ways CBD oil helped her. Scroll down.
CBD Oil User Review (Video)
There are many other users of CBD oil who have experienced good results. If you want to try it out, you need to get your own bottle of CBD oil. Here are a few tips on what to look for while buying CBD oil.
What Should You Look For While Buying CBD Oil For Acne?
- Buy CBD oil from a trusted brand.
- Check the ingredients list. Do not buy a CBD oil that contains too many ingredients.
- Look for the phrase “full-spectrum” on the label. It means the CBD oil contains natural cannabinoids.
- If you are a new user, buy the lowest concentration of CBD oil.
Now, the biggest question is, how much does a bottle of CBD oil cost? Find out in the following section.
CBD Oil – Cost
CBD oil is expensive. A 30 ml bottle may cost you around $30 to $50. But, it is better to spend a few extra dollars instead of buying a cheap CBD oil that is not pure.
Before we come to a close, here are a few potential side effects of CBD oil you must be aware of.
Side Effects Of CBD Oil
Here are a few side effects of CBD oil that you may experience:
- Dry mouth
- Change in appetite
- Mood swings
CBD oil may not directly impact acne lesions. However, it works by regulating excess sebum production, one of the many causes of acne. It also reduces inflammation and may help soothe acne lesions. While more research is required to prove its efficacy, follow the methods discussed in the article if you want to use CBD oil for acne. If you are using it for the first time, buy the lowest concentration of CBD oil. Though it does not cause any severe side effects, it is best to do a patch test before applying it to the affected area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to use CBD oil every day?
Yes, it is safe to use CBD oil every day. Since it does not contain THC, the compound that makes you high, you can use it every day at the dosage recommended by your dermatologist or esthetician to reduce acne.
Can CBD oil be used for under-eye bags?
Yes, CBD oil can be used for under-eye bags. The antioxidants in CBD oil may help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- CBD oil helps regulate sebum production by suppressing the rapid growth in sebum-producing skin cells.
- Besides, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce/prevent inflammatory acne.
- It can be directly applied to acne lesions as a spot treatment or mixed with other ingredients like olive oil and rose water.
Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.
CBD Oil For Acne: Everything You Need to Know
Bryan is a contributing writer for Byrdie covering all things beauty and grooming. He has over 16 years of experience in beauty editorial and has been with Byrdie since 2020.
Rachel is a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology. She has contributed to Byrdie, as well as Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Allure, Vogue, and the New York Times, and more
Madeline has been with Byrdie and Brides since 2021. Most recently, she lead social media at Glamour magazine where she covered pop culture, beauty, and fashion.
Liz DeSousa for Byrdie
In This Article
CBD oil is seeping into virtually every beauty product category nowadays—even in deodorant and toothpaste. With its anti-stress, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory claims, it’s no wonder this so-called “wonder ingredient” is pushing its way into our self-care routines. Even more, according to the latest studies, CBD oil may be exactly what your breakout-prone, irritated skin needs to get back into shape.
Although there’s still a great deal of required research ahead to determine how best to use CBD to treat acne, we talked to a panel of experts, including cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of BeautyStat, Michele Green, board-certified dermatologist, Kenneth Howe of Wexler Dermatology, and Rachel Nazarian of the Schweiger Dermatology Group to get the facts as well as the potential of using CBD oil for acne.
Keep reading to determine if CBD’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and oil-regulating properties actually work wonders for acne.
Meet the Expert
- Ron Robinson is a cosmetic chemist at BeautyStat. is a board-certified dermatologist based in Manhattan.
- Kenneth Howe is a board-certified dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology.
- Rachel Nazarian is a New York City-based dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group.
Type of Ingredient: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, sebum-regulating.
Main Benefits: Reduces inflammation, healing and calming, regulates oil production, neutralizes free radicals.
Who Should Use It: It is recommended for those looking to treat mild to moderate inflammatory acne lesions at home. It’s also great for sensitive or those allergic to typical anti-acne ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide or retinol.
How Often Can You Use It: Products containing CBD oil can be used twice per day as part of your usual anti-acne skincare routine.
Works Well With: Ingredients designed to calm skin and decrease inflammation, including arnica, hyaluronic acid and ceramides.
Don’t Use With: Ingredients that can counteract the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, such as alcohol. Also, be aware that CBD is still an unregulated ingredient, and ongoing research is still exploring CBD’s pathways and other ingredients it may or may not work well with.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD—which stands for Cannabidiol—oil is a compound derived from both hemp (cannabis sativa) and marijuana (cannabis sativa indica) plants, both of which are part of the cannabis family. When it comes to acne’s root causes—a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells getting trapped in your pores—CBD oil seems to have all bases covered. “CBD oil is beneficial to these conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It reduces sebum production and is also antimicrobial, so it works great for acne-prone skin,” says Green. She also cited a 2007 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science that showed CBD oil applied to the skin may inhibit the overproduction of keratinocytes (skin cells), thus eliminating yet another acne-causing culprit.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Acne
- Reduces inflammation: CBD oil helps soothe irritation caused by acne, noticeably reducing overall redness and making breakouts appear smaller and less painful. This is especially helpful for acne-prone skin sensitivity, as CBD oil works without the dryness, redness, or irritation of conventional ingredients.
- Controls oil production: “The most exciting finding of CBD oil is that it’s ‘sebostatic’—it cuts down on oil production in the skin,” says Howe. “Current evidence suggests the skin has its own endocannabinoid system, which is to say cannabinoids are active in the skin, binding to their receptors, and signaling for certain activities to occur or not occur.” How does that relate to oil production? Green explained that “the increase in sebum production is a result of endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2AG) which are produced in the sebaceous glands. These endogenous cannabinoids act on CB2 receptors inhibiting the lipogenic action, therefore regulating sebum production.”
- It’s an antioxidant: CBD oil is packed with potent antioxidants that help protect skin from free radicals resulting from environmental damage and improve texture and tone over time. While none of the dermatologists could vouch for CBD oil’s ability to fade post-acne marks, it could provide an extra measure of antioxidant protection into your anti-acne routine.
- Acne multi-tasker: Rather than act as a spot treatment, acne-targeting products containing CBD oil may help manage the overall issues that contribute to acne formation. Nazarian says, “Because it works as both an anti-inflammatory and can decrease oil production, it has the ability to multitask as an acne product. It may be considered a gentler option and a safe option for many different skin types.”
Other Skin Benefits
One thing worth pointing out about incorporating CBD oil into your skincare routine is how kind it is to skin. “It’s gentle, and that’s what makes it stand out from other options,” said Nazarian. “Additionally, there are many skin types that are either too sensitive to use ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or retinol on, or they have allergies to these ingredients. Having an additional tool in the ‘acne toolkit’ will always be useful in the fight for healthy skin.”
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Though rare, the known side effects of using CBD oil for acne include dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD oil is also known to interact with certain medications such as blood thinners. While there are no known interactions with other topical products, you should start with a patch test if you’re concerned about a reaction. If you experience irritation, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re sensitive to CBD oil, and you should stop using it.
How to Use It
When it comes to actually using CBD oil to treat acne, you may find yourself wondering: supplement or product? Nazarian says, “The evidence supporting use of CBD in treating acne is purely topical at this point. Use of CBD was tested topically on skin cells and has shown promise. Oral supplementation or smoking of CBD formulations has not been evaluated in this manner and can not be recommended.”
The good news is, there’s no shortage of CBD-laced products. One of the most popular routes is face oil. Oils are still having their moment in skincare, as they’re ideal for virtually every skin type (depending on the formulation) and act as an excellent carrier for a variety of potent compounds—like CBD. Oils are also easy to incorporate into a multiple-step skincare regimen, so if you’re looking to up your anti-acne game with an extra product that has very little likelihood to interact with your existing products, a face oil containing CBD oil might be the perfect fit. There are also various cleansers, creams, lotions, and oils for the face and body, but it’s important to steer clear of any that might contain potential comedogenic ingredients.
While the doctors we spoke to were happy to recommend products, they were also quick to remind us that CBD is still an unregulated ingredient, making it difficult to gauge a product’s efficacy. There’s no way to specify the purity or optimal percentage of active ingredients required for the product to be effective.
The Best Products with CBD Oil for Acne
“This product packs a 100mg hemp oil lightweight formulation which also contains adaptogens” (plant-based roots and herbs that help calm our body’s reaction to stress), says Green.
This anti-blemish cream combines 200mg of CBD hemp extract with 1% salicylic acid to calm and soothe active breakouts and clear up blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads while keeping skin smooth and hydrated.
These concentrated patches will help you forget everything you knew about spot treatments that dry zits into painful oblivion. It is packed with the ideal ratio of salicylic acid and hemp to reduce inflammation and speed healing, while hydrocolloid action stops the infection in its tracks.
Each scoop of these luxe bath salts contains approximately 20mg of CBD oil and a host of other de-stressing and body-boosting ingredients, including pink Himalayan salt, arnica, Epsom salts, and calendula. Plus, they get two thumbs up from Nazarian, who praises their ability to decrease inflammation and encourage relaxation. Great for a bacne-busting soak—make sure the water isn’t too hot.
When cleansing broken-out skin, it’s important to be thorough while still respecting the skin’s moisture barrier. While this refreshing gel cleanser doesn’t contain actual CBD oil, it’s stacked with Cannabis Sativa seed and green oregano oils.
The skin around the eye area is the thinnest and most delicate on the face, so while an eye cream isn’t exactly first on the list of anti-acne products, one containing CBD could tick off two essential boxes of your skincare regimen: eye care and soothing anti-acne action.
Rather than applied topically, a few drops of this ultra-pure, ultra-potent CBD oil taken each day orally may help balance out the stress levels and reduce inflammation.
CBD oil is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation, controls oil production, and manages the overall issues that contribute to acne formation.
Yes, it’s especially beneficial for acne-prone skin. “It’s gentle, and that’s what makes it stand out from other options,” said Nazarian. “Additionally, there are many skin types that are either too sensitive to use ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or retinol on, or they have allergies to these ingredients. Having an additional tool in the ‘acne toolkit’ will always be useful in the fight for healthy skin.”
Nazarian says, “The evidence supporting use of CBD in treating acne is purely topical at this point. Use of CBD was tested topically on skin cells and has shown promise. Oral supplementation or smoking of CBD formulations has not been evaluated in this manner and can not be recommended.”
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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