The Definitive CBD Beauty Products Review

With the CBD craze in full swing, and over 3,500 CBD products on the market, it is hard to know what is real and what is hype.  The market is unregulated for the moment, until the FDA releases its guidance, and actually starts guiding.  

 We were curious about the benefits of CBD in topicals, especially in beauty products.  We know women (and some men) love their beauty products, and are certainly willing to pay dearly for the promise of better skin.  But does CBD provide any benefits in a beauty product, or is it just a well timed, and expensive, fad? 

In total, our team at Plant Society reviewed and tested over 200 beauty or skincare products from 20+ manufacturers.  We tested each product for at least 5 days, among multiple testers, to make sure we got the best, most accurate results.  We used a rigorous 7 category testing matrix (details below), to make sure we discovered the best, safest, and most efficacious products for you. 

BUT DOES IT WORK?

 We were skeptical about that question, and set off to do some research.  Turns out there is some published research about the effects of CBD on the skin.  A short summary of the proposed benefits: 

  • Anti-inflammatory: The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are useful in beauty products, since puffy and red skin does not look its best.  CBD can help calm the skin, reduce puffiness, and smooth out fine lines. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can also control the skin effects of acne because frequently the skin around a pimple is inflamed. 
  • Anti-Aging: Protecting the skin from free radicals, like UV rays, smoke, and environmental pollutants, is critical to having younger looking skin. Free radicals in the atmosphere cause fine lines and wrinkles, ruddiness, and dullness of the skin. CBD is known to have antioxidant properties at least as good as (possibly better than) Vitamin C, which can help protect our skin by fighting the damage of free radicals, and contributing to younger, brighter, clearer skin.  Since Vitamin C is one of the best know beauty ingredients, this was encouraging research.
  • Anti-Acne: Acne involves the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance intended to protect the skin. CBD can be used to affect the output of oils in the skin and hair. Specifically, CBD inhibits the lipid production in skin cells, making it an effective preventative treatment for acne. CBD can also act as an antibacterial agent, decreasing the likelihood of further acne in the future.  Finally, CBD can calm the skin around an acne breakout. {See Research}

If you want to hear it in science talk, this is what one research paper says about the Endocannabinoid System and Skin: 

“It seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g. acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and cancer).”  –Source

OUR TESTING CRITERIA

When testing CBD beauty products we employed a 7 point testing matrix that included the following criteria: 

  1. Ingredients (no parabens, phthalates, petroleum), good source of hemp, good carrier oil
  2. Certificate of Analysis (CBD in stated amount, no THC, no trace chemicals)
  3. Process (CO2, ethanol, or pressure extraction only, no hexane or butane)
  4. Product Experience (ease of use, efficacy, feel, smell, taste, appearance)
  5. Value ($/mg of CBD)
  6. Labeling and Instructions
  7. Company background and practices 

TOP CBD BEAUTY PRODUCTS 

So, without further ado, these were our top rated CBD infused beauty products: 

Mary’s Method RENEW Illuminating Face Moisturizer ($95, 100mg CBD, 1 oz):  Mary’s Nutritionals is the CBD offshoot of one of the original Colorado medical cannabis companies, Mary’s Medicinals.  RENEW is exactly what you want in a night time face cream: rich, smooth, and incredibly pleasant smelling, making you ready to drift off to sweet dreams.  RENEW is infused with 100 mg of Colorado grown, full-spectrum activated hemp extract and peptides, which are designed to eliminate wrinkles and fine lines. In our opinion it works as well as any other (expensive) face cream we have ever tried, and though not a bargain at $95, a little goes a long way.

Saint Jane Luxury Beauty Serum ($125, 500 mg CBD, 2 oz): You had us at hello.  That is, right when we opened the (beautiful) box and saw the incredible packaging, reminiscent of a Rembrant painting.  Ooh la la. But, our rigorous testing standards don’t allow pretty young things to win on their looks alone. Saint Jane Beauty Serum has the beauty and the brawn.  It is packed with a whopping 500 mg of CBD, along with 20 other beneficial ingredients such as sea buckthorn, calendula, and rosehip to boost radiance, and pomegranate and helichrysum as antioxidants. Yes, this is an oil, but it is so lightweight and fast-absorbing, we were convinced.  The smell is heavenly, and most importantly the results don’t lie. Fine lines and age spots both benefited from this oil, and the subtle glow had friends asking what we were doing to look so young.  Yes, it is the most expensive item on the list, but it is half the cost of some cult beauty products, and with 500 mg of CBD, it is actually the most economical per mg, by far. Highly recommend. Get one for yourself, and treat  your bestie to one also, because as they say, you’re worth it.  Saint Jane also has a cult-status Body Oil that is just as heavenly, and half the price.

Vertly CBD Infused Bath Salts ($29, 50mg CBD, 6 oz): If we were skeptical about beauty, we were even more skeptical about bath salts with CBD.  Really how well can they work when you only soak for so long? Well, we were wrong. CBD bath salts rock.  Vertly starts with epsom and dead sea salts, and adds an active botanical extraction of wildcrafted marjoram, yarrow and rosemary.  The secret ingredient in our opinion though: lemongrass oil, which smells and feels so fresh. The 6oz package lasted for 4 uses, bringing the price down to a reasonable indulgence level.  Soaking in the Vertly Bath Salts provided a feeling of calm, muscles felt relaxed, and skin felt ultra smooth. A definite treat.

Sagely Naturals Tranquility Cream ($37, 50mg CBD, 4oz): Though the CBD count in this cream is on the low side, we cannot argue with the fact that it works!  Maybe it is because of the high quality full spectrum hemp they use for the CBD (and the other cannabinoids and terpenes it contains), or maybe it is the high quality essential oils, including lavender and bergamot, but this is one of our all time favorites, and best sellers.  We find it hard to keep this item in stock. The cream is incredibly light and smooth, not at all greasy like some creams, and smells divine. You can use it for pain or soreness such as that from using your digits too long on the computer, or just as an everyday indulgence to keep your skin smooth and your nerves calm.

WINK Nourish Face Cream ($48, 50mg CBD, 2 oz): We liked the feel and scent of the Nourish Face Cream almost as much as the Mary’s RENEW, but it only has half the amount of CBD. That might not matter since Nourish contains lots of other beneficial skin care ingredients such as Vitamin C, CoQ10, organic jojoba seed oil, chamomile extract, Vitamin A, and soluble collagen.  It is also only half the price, for 2oz, making it a great deal as CBD products go.

Written By:

Shari Boyer, Founder Plant Society

With input from Sue Feldmeth RN, and a team of beauty testers

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