Cannabliss - Skin deep CBD
Skin deep CBD
Part one of our four-part series on CBD for the skin, mind, body and soul
As the largest organ in the body, our skin needs a helping hand to keep it clean, protected and hydrated. The things you put on your skin are as important as the nutrition you put in your body, and many of us are choosing natural ingredients over harsh chemicals to help our skin glow with pure radiance. Our skin does so much to look after us - like guarding us against daily toxins and pollution - so it deserves some extra special attention to show it love. And one natural ingredient loved by skin care professionals and consumers alike is cannabidiol - or CBD for short.
Here at Graces, we’ve been singing the praises of hemp and cannabis for the skin (and the mind, body and soul!) since we first launched in 2016. Major skincare brands are jumping on the CBD bandwagon, but in reality some products contain little-to-no actual CBD. With so many products and practices to choose from, we wanted to get beneath the hype, and explore the many layers to how CBD gets under our skin.
Skin care is self care
Good skincare practices are a great way to relax, connect and say we’re grateful for the skin we’re in. Many studies have shown that cleansing and nourishing the skin can help us feel more relaxed which has knock-on benefits to our mental and emotional health. Additionally, the skin-to-skin contact of your fingers touching your face relaxes the facial muscles even more, putting you in a peaceful mindset. We love to combine our skincare routine with aromatherapy and a sound bath ritual to turn up the vibration even higher and really engage all the senses.
Our skin’s primary function is to act as a barrier against pathogens and hostile environments which could cause disease. But the skin is also responsible for regulating temperature and gathering sensory information from the environment around us. Our skin does so much more than cover our bodies. It communicates with the environment telling us vital information to stay healthy and protected.
CBD for skin
The amazing benefits of hemp and CBD for the skin have been a best-kept-secret of the beauty industry for a long time. At Graces, our award-winning CBD roll ons are infused with broad spectrum CBD extract to nourish your skin and feed your endocannabinoid system (ECS) with natural plant cannabinoids, as well as other natural therapeutic oils such as argan, ylang ylang, rosehip and jojoba. Our skin has the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors so it’s a great way to nourish your ECS from the outside in. CBD-infused skin products are revolutionising the treatment of skin conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea. Not to mention being a good natural ingredient for everyday skin wellness. As a form of self-love, self-acceptance, and healing, caring for the skin every day can be a step towards inner bliss and loving the skin you’re in.
Recently, endocannabinoid receptors were found on human skin epidermal keratinocytes, dermal mast cells, Langerhans cells, sebocytes, sweat gland epithelium and various keratinocyte populations of the hair follicle which are active cells in the skin. Since these receptors have such a wide array of effects, it’s claimed that the targeted manipulation of the ECS might be beneficial in a multitude of human skin diseases, by aiming to normalise the unwanted skin cell growth, sebum production and skin inflammation.
There is plenty of scientific literature supporting the health benefits from applying CBD to the skin. Although CBD does not penetrate the deepest layers of the skin, it can be absorbed and has been found in blood plasma.
Three layers deep
To understand how CBD penetrates the skin and interacts with our ECS, first we need to understand what each layer of the skin does. The skin is a supple membrane made up of three layers – the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Each layer plays its own role, and all three work together to form a protective barrier between our internal body and the external environment. This includes helping us regulate body temperature, and allowing the sensations of touch, heat and cold.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of your skin and consists of both living and dead skin cells. It’s only as thick as a sheet of paper but the epidermis can help to protect our bodies from infection and other nasties in our outside environment. As old skin cells die, new cells push them up to the surface and the faster this process, the healthier the skin will appear, however ageing and UV exposure slow this process right down. The epidermis layer sheds old skin cells to make way for new ones in the process of regeneration. The skin cells travel from the deepest part of the epidermis to the top layer about a month after they form and flake off to make way for fresh cells. The body will remove about 30,000 – 40,000 old skin cells every day.
As well as shedding old skin cells, the epidermis helps to protect the body from foreign substances and defends us against infection. The epidermis contains Langerhans cells that are part of the immune system and help maintain our health and well-being. Endocannabinoid receptors have recently been found in Langerhans cells.
The epidermis is also the part of the skin that gives it its colour. Melanin is produced in the epidermis, and it is this what gives our skin its unique pigment.
The dermis is the middle layer of skin between the epidermis and the hypodermis, and contains collagen and elastin fibres that give the skin its strength and firmness. Sweat glands are found in the dermis layer, and these glands produce the sweat which we perspire out of our pores. Sweating helps us keep cool and is an extremely efficient way to detoxify the body, flushing out cholesterol, salt and any toxins like alcohol. The dermis also contains nerve endings that send signals to the brain so you know if something is painful, itchy or if it feels pleasurable. So when your hairs stand on end and you get goosebumps, that signal comes from the dermis layer. Our hair follicle roots are also found in the dermis, which is where all the hair on our body starts its growth cycle.
The dermis layer is responsible for bringing blood to the skin, containing blood vessels which provide nutrients for our skin and help to regulate body temperature. The dermis layer is also where our sebaceous glands can be found, and they are responsible for producing oil which keeps our skin smooth, soft and waterproof.
The bottom layer of the skin is the hypodermis and subcutaneous tissue, which is where our fat, nerves and large blood vessels are found. The fat in this layer insulates the body, which acts as our temperature regulator. In addition, the hypodermis layer also provides oxygen and nutrients to the dermis layer via the blood, which helps to control the temperature of the skin and body. The hypodermis connects our skin to the muscle and bone beneath, and acts as a shock absorber to keep us free of any injuries. It varies in thickness from person to person, and can vary throughout the body as well. For example, the hypodermis tends to be very thin on the eyelids and forehead but much bigger on other areas like the abdomen, arms and thighs.
Skin deep CBD
CBD was recently used in a study to treat inflammatory skin diseases and scars. The researchers noticed that after being treated for three months, there were improvements in all the patients. Specifically, the hydration increased by 6.4%, transdermal water loss improved by 23%, and elasticity improved by 23% on average. This effect on elasticity could of course be a result of the carrier cream, however, the researchers also noticed that CBD helped to suppress cell growth and had an antiinflammatory effect in patients with acne scars. This could be associated with CBD’s effect on the sebaceous glands.
The research so far gives us confidence that CBD not only absorbs into the skin but could also promote the skin’s homeostasis. There are, however, many additional factors that play in the correct and most efficient use of CBD, and further study is needed to explore how the strength, carrier oil and cannabinoid profile could impact and influence its effectiveness.
We use broad spectrum CBD oil extracted from cannabis hemp sativa plants that contain less than 0.2% THC. Our CBD is extracted using a CO2 supercritical process which allows us to strip the plant of cannabinoids, ensuring a purer product as well as lowering our environmental impact. Our CBD extracts are tested for quality and to provide a full cannabinoid profile, and are free from any nut oils.
As skin has such a high concentration of CBD receptors, it makes skin care a great way to tap into the health and well being benefits of CBD. When applied to the skin, the natural plant cannabinoids interact with our body’s ECS, delivering their natural anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits via a network of cannabinoid receptors all over the skin. Our unique blends combine CBD oil and natural plant and essential oils to create skincare and wellness products that nourish your mind, body and soul. Beauty runs deep and what we put on our skin can not only affect our skin but can have long lasting effects on our health and well-being. It’s not just skin, it’s everything!
In part 2 of our CBD series, we explore the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids for our mental health.
Sarah Green - Cannabliss Content Creator
The Graces London Team
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