One of the fastest growing areas in the Cannabidiol (CBD) world are CBD skincare — which are classified as topicals. A topical is any lotion, balm, salve or other product that’s been infused with CBD.
It’s easy to see why CBD has made its way into the topical market. After all, CBD boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties which make it a powerful addition to traditional skincare formulations.
However, CBD’s popularity means that the market is now flooded with CBD skincare products.
So, how is someone supposed to sort through a sea of products to find the right one?
Never fear, friend. We compiled a guide to help you find—and enjoy—the best CBD skincare products on the market today. Check it out below.
Also Read: 5 simple tips for using CBD Topicals
1. Make sure you’re actually getting CBD
First of all, you might be surprised to learn that some products look like they have CBD…but actually contain no CBD at all.
Hemp seed oil is not the same thing as CBD. CBD is a cannabinoid produced by hemp plants. It’s generally made by infusing the flowers of the hemp plant with oil.
Hemp seed is the oil derived from the seed itself and has nothing to do with the CBD rich flower. The seed itself does not contain CBD, so if the only mention of hemp is ‘hemp seed oil’ you’re not getting real CBD. Some products, however, may use hemp seed oil as their carrier oil and add extra CBD to that, which is why it’s important to…
2. Read the CBD Skincare label carefully
Brands trying to make a quick buck may use packaging that’s intentionally vague about what type of CBD you’re purchasing. Seeing the term ‘hemp’ alone on a label is not an indication there’s necessarily any CBD in there. If the label doesn’t explicitly say CBD anywhere chances are there’s no CBD in it.
3. Consider CBD Type
What’s the type of CBD? Does this product use full spectrum, broad spectrum or CBD isolate? Unlike isolates full/broad spectrum extracts don’t stop working at a certain dosage. We recommend products that use full/broad spectrum extracts for those seeking to maximize the therapeutic potential of CBD. Veritas Farms, for instance, is one brand that emphasizes the use of full spectrum extracts in their CBD skincare line.
4. Take other ingredients into account
Every CBD topical formulation has its own unique ingredients. You’ll want to take these into account when choosing what CBD skincare product is right for you. Some brands may add synthetic fragrances, emulsifiers or stabilizers along with the CBD. Other brands take the opposite approach by providing customers with products that contain only all-natural ingredients.
What’s best for you depends on your skin type. Those with sensitive skin, for instance, might want to avoid using products with synthetic ingredients that could irritate skin. Certain groups of consumers seek out and enjoy products that are unscented. Personal preference plays a role here. You always can opt to find a product with whatever ingredients you’re a fan of.
5. Lab Testing is Very Important
The only way to know for sure what you’re getting is to examine a Certificate of Analysis (COA), or lab test. A COA basically shows consumers that the CBD you’ve purchased has been tested for a variety of things. These test include toxins, mold and residual solvents.
Also Read: The Beginner’s Guide to Shopping for CBD
Needless to say you should always try to buy products that have been ISO-lab tested.
According to Dr. Neil Shah: “Make sure it says ‘ISO-Lab tested.’ Otherwise a brand could say they are certified by independent testing. But that could mean the testing was done by a friend who was certified by another friend. Which means it would mean nothing. It’s always important to be extremely specific when it comes to testing and certifications.”
Tests should be performed by a third party (not the brand itself). along with a few other factors:
- You should see a passing grade for all tests in the COA
- Results from the tests should include:
- Cannabinoid Profile
- Heavy Metals
- Residual Solvents
- Water content/activity
- Bonus: terpene testing
No COA? COA not from a third party? You can do better.
6. Search for terpenes
It’s a good idea to choose CBD skincare products that contain terpenes whenever possible. Terpenes are volatile compounds found in cannabis and other plants. They’re a great addition to any topical as they have their own therapeutic properties.
You’ll often find Linalool present in CBD sleeping creams. Linalool is a terpene found in cannabis and lavender. It’s known for its anti-anxiety properties.
Product Review: Lord Jones Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer
A few other terpenes you may want to look for include:
- Terpinolene: There’s some evidence to suggest Terpinolene rich extracts have antibacterial properties. The paper’s authors also noted that the extract was an effective antifungal against the acne causing Propionibacterium.
- Beta-Ocimene: The extract in the aforementioned study also contained a near equal amount of the terpene Beta-Ocimene. This terpene is also has a fresh and zesty citrus smell. It also boasts anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Geraniol: This sweet smelling terpene can be found in geranium and cannabis plants. Its light floral scent makes it a popular addition to CBD skincare products. Lastly, Geraniol also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
7. Pair Your CBD Skincare with other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents for best results
Many other botanicals share cannabis’ natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As an example, Aloe is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. Additionally, it’s also an immunomodulator, which means it can help strengthen your body’s immune system and ability to fight off infections.
Other ingredients that pair well with cannabis include ginger, lemongrass, cocoa butter, chamomile, orange, jojoba, green tea, witch hazel, lavender and vitamin E.
8. Look for educational brands with responsive customer service
Choosing one product from a lineup of a million can be a daunting task. The best way to make that decision is to find a brand that cares about educating its consumers.
Does this brand have a website? Blog? Are there customer reviews you can look to? Is there someone you can contact to ask questions? Can you find an FAQ page?
Read our product review: Joy Organics’ CBD Sports Cream
In conclusion, these are all important considerations to keep in mind when shopping. You should be able to find all of this information in an easy to access, straightforward place on the company’s website. This will help you make the most informed decision possible, and ease any fears you have about things like returns.
Janelle Lassalle is a writer and content creator that specializes in cannabis. She’s also an insanely passionate advocate and expert in all things CBD. You can find her work featured in a variety of publications such as Healthline, The Huffington Post, Leafly, Forbes, and High Times. Check out her portfolio, or follow her on Instagram @jenkhari.