I tried smoking cannabis when I was 15.
I was at a house party when I was passed a poorly wrapped joint by a boy who was two years above me at school. It (the spliff, not the heartthrob) stunk of burning tyres and looked like it would set my fringe on fire. I took five or six puffs, tried not to cough my guts up in front of cool-older-boy and styled it out.
An hour later, after nausea had passed, I guzzled half a pack of Jaffa Cakes and a Toffee Crisp. The sugar was infinitely more pleasurable than the drugs, and I couldn’t help wondering what all the fuss was about. Frankly, I didn’t get it – and to add insult to injury, I don’t even like Jaffa Cakes.
So, when the beauty industry got in a tizzy about CBD – hailing it as the latest ‘miracle’ skin care ingredient – I was underwhelmed.
I’ve witnessed a lot of these ‘trends’ in my two decades working in beauty, and I was pretty sure this one, too, would pass fast. So convinced, in fact, I decided to sit this one out. I didn’t want my skincare to give me the munchies.
It’s now been two-odd years since CBD underwent its mainstream beautification though, and the hype remains strong. You can find CBD in almost everything now from face creams, to serums, to oils to bath bombs – even mascara. But let’s rewind a minute. What exactly is CBD? Is it safe and, as importantly, does it make you high?
From CBD to THC
CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of 80-odd compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. The two most well-known compounds are CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is psychoactive – it’s what messes with your head and gets you stoned to the point you reach for the biscuit tin. CBD doesn’t have those mind-altering affects, and there is mounting evidence that it helps with a long list of issues, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia to name a few.
The good news is that, according to the World Health Organisation, which published a report on CBD back in 2017, it’s safe, non-toxic and non-addictive.
The reason CBD blows the beauty industry’s skirt up is that it’s a natural all-rounder. Primarily, it has anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation is at the root of the biggest beauty evil – ageing – as it suppresses collagen production. Inflammation is also the main cause of skin diseases such as hyper-pigmentation, redness, acne, rosacea and eczema… the lot basically. So, by treating inflammation, you treat the skin issue.
CBD is also packed with skin-friendly vitamins A, D and E, fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3, and it’s antimicrobial to boot – meaning it kills bacteria, so skin diseases heal and don’t spread. In summary, CBD is a skincare powerhouse.
After knowing the facts, I jumped, albeit belatedly, on the CBD beauty bandwagon, and I’m delighted to say that it has much to offer. A word of warning before you hop on it with me though – it’s important to choose your products wisely. Not all CBD beauty brands are created equal.
According to a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 2017, more than 60 per cent of CBD products available online are mislabelled. So, do your research and stick with brands you trust. Here are my own top three CBD products, each of which I love and would highly recommend investing in…
Wildflower’s CBD Lavender Soap
A skin-clearing and healing face and body bar soap that can also be used as a shampoo (I don’t, but some people are into it), this both cleanses and nurtures the skin.
When your skin is stressed and needs some calm and balance, this is a winner. It can even take off your make-up, though be careful you don’t get it in your eyes – I’ve done that, and it stings like you wouldn’t believe! Tears aside though, this represents awesome value for money.
Disciple’s Miracle Drops
I’ve tried a lot of CBD drops, but these are by far my favourite.
You can take them orally under the tongue – they taste quite disgusting, so brace yourself – or you can mix a few drops in with your moisturiser. I take the ‘down the hatch’ approach twice a day, morning and night, and find they really help me to relax and sleep well. And as we all know, good sleep means waking up looking rested and not haggard, which I am very much in favour of.
Keihl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Concentrate
When my skin is out of whack and breaking out, this is the product I turn to.
Formulated specifically for problem skin, just a few drops applied directly to the skin will take away redness, calm inflamation and starts clearing up any blemishes – comfortably, naturally and noticeably…