CBD Face Masks: Everything You Need to Know
CBD is among the most intriguing compounds in high-end health and beauty products.
It is a component of cannabis that, unlike THC, can promote healing without causing intoxication. While many people love cannabis for its intoxicating effects, others prefer to get some relief without the associated high.
Research suggests CBD has potentially calming and anti-inflammatory effects that can prove extremely beneficial to the skin. This is largely due to how the compound sends signals to the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), indirectly affecting its CB receptors.
With the rapid surge in popularity, CBD face masks have become an antioxidant and therapeutic gem in the skincare industry. Face masks offer a little luxury, helping us to relax once in a while.
This article investigates the types of masks available, the benefits, and the ingredients to look out for.
What Is a CBD Face Mask?
As the term implies, it is a face mask infused with CBD. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, a CBD face mask should be a natural, non-toxic alternative skincare solution. Although, this can depend on the brand.
It is a practical option for those looking to target the face with cannabidiol. The skin can absorb all the benefits of CBD without significant adverse effects.
The natural properties of CBD make it a popular ingredient in many beauty products. As a natural skincare solution, CBD appeals to people who want to avoid the many artificial, chemical-laden skin care products on the market.
How Does a CBD Face Mask Work?
A study published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences in 2009 investigated the ECS’ presence in the skin. The researchers found that the main physiological function of the ECS in the skin is regulating the increase, tolerance, and survival of skin cells. It is a delicate balance, and alterations can result in various skin issues such as psoriasis or acne.
The ECS consists of receptors and cannabinoids and is responsible for regulating most functions in the body. It also collects and interprets signals from cannabinoids. CBD has an indirect effect on CB receptors, which is the reason for its apparent therapeutic properties.
CBD may improve the skin’s defense mechanism by aiding regeneration, preventing drying, and lessening healing time.
The cannabinoid is believed to have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic qualities. Anecdotal evidence also suggests CBD may improve the skin’s defense mechanism by aiding regeneration, preventing drying, and lessening healing time.
So how does this help the skin?
Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help reduce the appearance of puffy and swollen eyes, leaving you looking rested and rejuvenated. Furthermore, with its potential to reduce the appearance of acne, CBD could help users achieve clear and smooth skin.
Benefits of a CBD Face Mask
There is a growing level of research into how cannabidiol can help the skin. We now explore some of the most relevant CBD face mask benefits.
Research has confirmed that acne is an inflammatory condition. Although various factors trigger acne, we know any substance that can reduce inflammation and soothe skin is likely to reduce breakouts, especially redness related to acne.
Numerous studies report that CBD has anti-inflammatory benefits when applied to the skin. This includes research published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2014. The researchers found that CBD showed complex anti-inflammatory actions, helping to reduce excessive oil production, one of the main reasons for acne development.
Furthermore, CBD helps support the skin’s natural healing process, which minimizes breakouts and eczema flare-ups. A study published in La Clinica Terapeutica in 2019 found that CBD could help enhance hydration and skin elasticity in people with eczema, scarring, or psoriasis.
CBD for Wrinkles and Anti-Aging
Since it originates from a plant, it should be no surprise to hear that CBD has antioxidant properties. As an antioxidant, CBD aids the body in flushing and removing chemicals and toxins that can flood the pores and bloodstream. Furthermore, it can help counteract the signs of aging caused by free radicals in the face, such as wrinkles and skin dullness.
A study published in 1998 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America reported that CBD’s antioxidant properties were between 30-50% more potent than both Vitamins C and E.
Decrease in Headaches
If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, CBD face masks could help with the pain. Not only can the anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the pressure felt in the skull and face, but CBD face masks could decrease the number of headaches an individual has and help ease the discomfort.
One of the most notable benefits of CBD face masks is hydration. CBD is deeply hydrating, meaning it penetrates multiple layers of the skin. When the skin is hydrated, it looks and feels healthier. CBD face masks can leave the face supple, soft, and looking rejuvenated.
Unlocking the research…
What Ingredients to Look for in a CBD Face Mask?
When looking for a CBD face mask, please ensure that your product contains CBD oil, not hemp seed oil. The latter comes from the seeds of the hemp plant and contains minimal cannabidiol.
Another important consideration is the CBD concentration. Realistically, it is best to opt for products with a bare minimum of 100mg of CBD per ounce. Most brands offer 250+mg per 30ml of cream when selling topicals, for example.
Although a low concentration of cannabidiol isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker in itself, too many CBD face masks are padded with active ingredients. These include collagen, Manuka honey, and essential oils. All of the above are beneficial for your skin, but virtually every standard skincare product has most if not all of them as ingredients. There’s no sense in buying a CBD mask if 90% of what it contains is found in a much cheaper item!
Even so, it is worth investing in products containing the following ingredients:
- Glycerin: Seals in hydration and moisturizes the skin.
- Licorice Root Extract: Improves uneven skin tone.
- Vitamin C: An antioxidant linked with anti-aging properties.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles while plumping and hydrating the skin.
- Butylene Glycol: Assists in improving the softness and texture of the skin.
- Aloe Leaf Extract: Revitalizes the skin and repairs skin damage.
Best CBD Face Mask Types
The market is filled with exotic-sounding products, including:
- CBD honey face mask
- Milk CBD face mask
- CBD pumpkin face mask
- CBD aloe vera face mask
In reality, there are two specific types.
CBD Sheet Mask
You put this product on your face and keep it on for a specific period. It is typically made from Tencel, cotton, or bamboo. Your skin absorbs the cannabidiol and other ingredients. Once the allotted time is up, you peel off the mask and wash your face.
Make sure you wash your face thoroughly BEFORE using a CBD sheet mask. Also, let your skin air-dry instead of using a towel. Check for creases and bumps before placing the mask on your face. The product should have pre-cut holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth. Although the time varies, many sheet mask manufacturers recommend wearing it for 10-15 minutes.
CBD Face Mask Cream
The other option consists of a cream, gel, or lotion. Apply the topical to your skin, and wait for it to become firm. Leave the mask on your face for a certain amount of time, then wash it off. This is a more commonly available product than a sheet mask.
Where Can I Buy a CBD Face Mask?
The proliferation of what is an unregulated market could spell danger for consumers. When purchasing a CBD face mask, consider the following:
- Focus on CBD brands that offer third-party lab reports, a full list of ingredients, and have a stellar reputation in the industry.
- It is also essential to compare prices; CBD face masks are relatively expensive, so be wary of products that cost way below the market average.
- Carefully read product labels to ensure there are no common allergens.
- Check out customer reviews before making a purchase.
Now, here are five brands with CBD face masks worth consideration:
Do CBD Face Masks Have Any Downsides?
A CBD face mask isn’t the perfect solution to your skin troubles. When you apply a CBD face mask to the skin, it never reaches the bloodstream.
The skin absorbs the CBD so that it can interact with cannabinoid receptors nearby. Using the compound in this way ensures you target a specific area. However, in general, human skin is not very porous. It blocks most substances to prevent them from entering the body.
The absorption rate of CBD through the skin is relatively low. This means you need to generously apply CBD face masks and other CBD topicals for them to work. You must add a thick enough layer to break the dermal barrier so that the CBD can reach the bloodstream.
You need to generously apply CBD face masks and other CBD topicals for them to work.
If there is enough of the substance, the skin pores will absorb the CBD. Therefore, make sure the product you choose has a reasonable cannabidiol concentration.
Although a CBD face mask may prove beneficial, it is an expensive luxury. Most users will find they can’t include it into their skincare routine regularly. In this instance, we recommend looking into CBD creams and salves.
There is also the possibility of certain ingredients causing an allergic reaction, so check the product carefully.
Finally, CBD itself interacts with a huge percentage of prescription and OTC drugs. Therefore, you may need to avoid using it if you’re on medication. This is especially the case if the drug you’re using carries a grapefruit warning.
Final Thoughts on CBD Face Masks
Ultimately, CBD face masks could work. However, results are not guaranteed. Some people claim that hemp-based skincare has eliminated a variety of skin problems, such as acne. However, CBD’s overall impact on the skin is still being investigated by the medical community.
It’s also worth remembering that every individual has different needs, and CBD’s effects vary depending on body weight, metabolism, and general health factors.
If you’re keen to give your skin a boost, a CBD face mask could be worth a try. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties of CBD are potentially beneficial to the skin. Just make sure to buy from a respected and trusted brand.
Is Your CBD Skincare Doing Anything?
CBD sits at the perfect intersection of a few of our current preoccupations; wellness, natural beauty and a general feeling of anxiety. Given the backdrop of political instability and a news cycle that often feels unrelentingly bleak, it's no wonder we're all looking for something that can offer some serenity.
Enter CBD. It's quickly moved from the "crunchy granola" realm of beauty to something that's seen as slick, sophisticated and luxurious. You can find CBD gummies, sheet masks and rose gold vape pens in high-end department stores, and Kim Kardashian revealed this week that she would like a CBD-themed baby shower. There's even a new über-luxe brand, Beboe, which is being touted as "the Hermès of marijuana" Stateside.
It's been a long time since a single ingredient caused such industry-wide ripples. It rapidly achieved super-star status, and yet questions abound. What exactly is CBD? Does it get you high? Can a serum boost your mood? Why should you bother including it in your routine?
To answer these questions and more, Vogue spoke to Samir Juneja, who left behind a career in pharmaceuticals to start CBD of London.
What is CBD?
"CBD is found in the different varieties of cannabis that exist," explained Juneja. These include hemp, indica and sativa – the latter two remain controlled substances in the UK, though the government granted limited legal medical use in exceptional circumstances in 2018. "The reason that indica and sativa aren't legal is that they're high in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound which gets you high," noted Juneja. "Hemp, on the other hand, is low in THC, but high in CBD, which is just an abbreviation of cannabidiol. It doesn't have the same psychoactive properties."
What's the difference between hemp and CBD?
This is where things get a little interesting. As Juneja delineated, "CBD is extracted from hemp. But to get CBD from hemp, you have to use a special process or you still just have regular hemp. For example, a normal hemp process might just be cold-pressing to hemp seed oil, but to get CBD you have to do an extraction process like CO2 extraction."
I Got a CBD Facial—This Is What Happened to My Complexion Afterwards
Since it’s anti-inflammatory, CBD is being infused into skin-care products so that it can soothe irritation. So, as one does, I started hoarding each and every CBD-spiked beauty product I could get my hands on—you know, to have a chilled-out, un-inflamed complexion—but then I saw that CBD facials are becoming a thing, and so I had to give one of these babies a test drive.
Celebrity facialist and skin pro Ildi Pekar is offering a CBD Vibe Facial, and it’s meant to “vibe you out,” she says. Pekar is no stranger to CBD, either—the beauty expert already sells a CBD-laced tissue repair facial serum and sleeping mask with CBD oil, so she’s a big fan of its benefits. Dermatologists don’t necessarily hate it either. “CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits on skin,” says Rosemarie Ingleton, MD, a New York-based dermatologist. “So it might calm any rashes that you might be having, and should help control free radical formation in your skin.”
Despite the clear perks for your complexion, Pekar tells me that this CBD facial is so much more than a facial. “I see what CBD does for the skin, the mind, and the body,” she says when I arrive at her spa in New York. “I would call it more of a treatment, because you’re going to see that it clears your mind a well as your face.” Sign me up.
Photo: Stocksy/Liliya Rodnikova
It all starts with CBD. “Do you want to take some CBD tincture?” Pekar asks me as soon as I strip down and get onto the treatment bed. “It’s going to make you relaxed, but not sleepy—just comfortably relaxed.” I proceed to put some salted caramel-flavored oil under my tongue to initiate the chill. Soon after, Pekar’s massaging my back with a CBD lotion to create energy flow and relax the body, releasing tension. I’m very into this and am immediately feeling calm despite running late through the streets of Midtown Manhattan on a very rainy day merely 10 minutes before this.
Next comes a peel. “I’m starting with a quick vitamin C peel to ensure your skin handles dryness,” says Pekar as she slathers a deliciously-smelling product onto my skin, followed by some CBD oil. She then uses a number of different high-tech machines on me. There’s the micro-stimulation, which is massaged all over me to stimulate the lymph nodes and release toxins from my body.
By this point—after feeling the soothing, lymphatic flow-inducing vibrations—I’m feeling really, really good. Like, it was as if I was floating on a cloud of no worries and utter relaxation. I’m not surprised when Pekar says she’s been giving this CBD treatment quite frequently. “I think this takes the anxiety and stress away,” she says as she applies more CBD product onto my skin. “I think people are realizing it feels so good after—that it’s not like a facial. Your skin looks great but you feel great and that makes a big difference. It makes you feel like you just went on a really good vacation.”
She’s spot on. An hour has gone by and the treatment has completed, so I take my time getting up from the table where the magic has happened. When I look in the mirror, my skin is radiant—I haven’t seen it glow this hard in a long time. But equally as exciting is the fact that I’ve forgotten about all my troubles, from the lingering items on my to-do list to the stress of figuring out what to eat for dinner. I’m fully rejuvenated, from the inside-out, and I feel like a million bucks.
This post was originally published on October 19, 2019; updated on July 31, 2020.