Here are some of the best CBD oils for Rosacea, a common skin condition that causes visible blood vessels, acne, and redness on the face. One Well+Good editor switched their beauty routine to a completely CBD skincare regimen. This is everything that happened to her skin.
CBD Oil for Rosacea – August 2022
Rosacea is a chronic skin inflammatory condition that causes visible blood vessels and redness on the face.
There are no definitive studies that answer what causes rosacea . However, it is believed that the cause can be a combination of environmental factors and heredity (6 ) .
Rosacea risk factors include eating spicy food , alcohol consumption, extreme climate temperatures, exercise, and stress.
Symptoms of rosacea are triggered by the body’s immune response to stimuli. This response is called a “ flare-up .”
Prescription creams or gels can reduce redness. However, topical drugs, such as azelaic acid (7 ) , metronidazole (8 ) , and ivermectin (9 ) , may cause allergic reactions , burning, or itching sensation.
Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat rosacea (10 ) . However, rosacea is a relapsing inflammatory condition. Continuous antibiotic treatments may result in antibiotic resistance (11 ) .
These factors may be why individuals are turning to alternative medicine to treat rosacea .
Some studies acknowledged that CBD might have therapeutic properties on several skin conditions (12 ) .
An in vitro study shared by the Journal of Clinical Investigation mentioned that CBD exerted anti-inflammatory actions (13 ) .
CBD ’s anti-inflammatory properties were demonstrated by another study posted in La Clinica Terapeutica. The study found that CBD -enriched ointment significantly reduced swelling of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis in human subjects (14 ) .
The study’s results were supported by skin evaluations and photographic data involving 20 individuals. The authors also observed that topical CBD did not produce any side effects or allergic reactions (15 ) .
Although the study results were considered anecdotal evidence , the authors mentioned that topical CBD might theoretically be a promising alternative for improving the quality of life for individuals with inflammatory skin conditions (16 ) .
Studies also demonstrated that CBD might be an effective agent against acne rosacea (17 ) .
Acne rosacea is caused by sebum buildup in the pores due to blockage brought by inflammation (18 ) .
Researchers learned that CBD inhibited pro-acne agents. This activity means CBD might reduce excessive lipid synthesis in human sebaceous glands (19 ) .
Additionally, the study concluded that CBD reduced lipogenesis (metabolic formation of fat). This lipostatic action might help prevent acne rosacea (20 ) .
Anecdotal and in vitro study conclusions suggested that CBD might have promising therapeutic properties for rosacea .
Still, more human studies are needed to show how CBD might act as lipostatic agent against acne rosacea . Our scientific understanding of CBD use in the setting of rosacea is in its infancy.
How CBD Oil Works to Help With Rosacea
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex signaling network that maintains homeostasis in the body.
The ECS is composed of receptors (CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors), anandamides ( fatty acid neurotransmitter), and complex enzymes (21 ) .
These receptors can be found in the immune system , central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and organs (22 ) .
The receptors, anandamides, and enzymes are specific targets for activities triggered by cannabinoids in hemp, such as tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), cannabidiol ( CBD ) (23 ) , and cannabigerol (CBG) (24 ) .
Several researchers studied cannabinoids for their ability to modulate the ECS and influence the production of proinflammatory cytokines (25 ) .
Cytokines are composed of signaling proteins that modulate individual cells’ function in the immune system (26 ) .
A study published in Future Medicinal Chemistry mentioned that the mechanism behind cannabinoids ’ immune control is through the dysregulation of cytokine production (27 ) .
The inhibition of cytokines enables the ECS to provide therapeutic applications in several inflammatory conditions.
Moreover, an in vitro study mentioned that CBD exerted complex anti-inflammatory actions by modulating adenosine receptors. This action also decreased lipogenesis in sebaceous glands , which means less sebum buildup (28 ) .
The authors credited CBD as a potent anti-acne and stebostatis compound that can serve as a promising cost-effective alternative to skin conditions (29 ) .
Aside from skin conditions , the ECS has been credited for having therapeutic benefits for other health problems, such as chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases (30 ) , anxiety (31 ) , depression (32 ) , and epilepsy (33 ) .
However, clinical studies are essential to determine if these hypotheses have clinical value.
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Rosacea
- A study mentioned CBD might possess anti-inflammatory properties . CBD might help reduce redness and inflammation brought by rosacea (34 ) .
- A study credited CBD as a potentially potent anti-acne and stebostatis compound that can serve as a promising cost-effective alternative to rosacea acne breakouts and other inflammatory skin conditions (35 ) .
- A study also noted that CBD might theoretically improve the quality of life of individuals with inflammatory skin disorders , such as psoriasis or atopic dermatitis (36 ) . A study declared topical CBD as a safe and effective alternative solution (37 ) .
- Anxiety has also been known to cause rosacea flare-ups. A study posted by The Permanente Journal demonstrated that CBD might reduce anxiety (38 ) .
- The CBD industry lacks regulation. Individuals are encouraged to do extensive research before choosing a CBD brand.
- There currently are no high quality, prospective clinical studies evaluating CBD use in the setting of rosacea.
- If taken orally, CBD may cause side effects , such as dry mouth, diarrhea, and loss of appetite (39 ) .
- According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), extremely high doses of CBD may cause liver injury (40 ) .
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Rosacea
A common alternative treatment for rosacea is aloe vera. Abundant with polysaccharides, the aloe vera plant is a natural herb used for dermatological conditions (41 ) .
Polysaccharides are long-chain carbohydrates that supply energy for cellular structure (new skin cells ) (42 ) .
Several reports acknowledge aloe vera’s therapeutic benefits on skin disorders, like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, hives , burn injuries, oral mucositis, and surgical wounds (43 ) .
No studies mention if components in aloe vera influence the ECS. Still, some manufacturers take advantage of aloe vera’s and CBD’s health benefits by combining them in skincare products.
Aloe vera infused with CBD oil is marketed towards sunburn, dry skin , itchiness , redness, and inflammation.
Safflower seed oil is another alternative option for treating skin inflammation. The oil is known to be rich in monounsaturated oleic acid and polyunsaturated linoleic acid.
Safflower seed oil is believed to have analgesic and antipyretic properties (44 ) .
Like aloe vera, safflower seed oil may also be added to CBD products to maximize the health benefits they might provide for the skin.
Moreover, some individuals like to use safflower seed oil as a base for CBD isolate powders.
How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Rosacea
Full-spectrum CBD oil is composed of all the cannabinoids present in hemp (a cannabis plant ), such as cannabidiol ( CBD ), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ).
Broad-spectrum CBD also contains all the cannabinoids in hemp plants, except for THC . Some CBD consumers prefer not to have any THC in their system due to work and school situations.
The “entourage effect” is provided by both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. The term entourage effect means all the supposed health benefits of all the cannabinoids are consumed in one dosing.
If full-spectrum and broad-spectrum create an intolerance, individuals may opt for CBD isolate (pure CBD ).
CBD Dosage for Rosacea
There are no studies that can recommend a universal dosage for CBD . Experts advise that first-time CBD users start with a low dose.
Once the body gets used to the cannabinoid , the user may gradually increase the dose.
The British Journal of Pharmacology shared a review that recommended a starting dose of less than 1 to 50 milligrams per kilogram a day. This dosing may only be applied to oral CBD administration (45 ) .
Currently, there are no existing studies that can recommend dosage amounts in vape and transdermal administration.
A 2015 study shared in Pharmacology and Pharmacy demonstrated that CBD has a bell-shaped curve response. The authors mentioned that CBD’s therapeutic effects were only observed when given within a limited dose range (46 ) .
Another study posted in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry experimented with doses using healthy volunteers. The authors aimed to find the correct dosing on treating anxiety caused by public speaking (47 ) .
The authors learned that a dose of 300mg was able to reduce anxiety. Meanwhile, no improvements were observed in individuals with 150mg and 600mg dosings (48 ) .
Individuals must always use caution when experimenting with CBD dosage. Another recent study has discovered that extreme CBD dosages may lead to liver damage (49 ) .
How to Take CBD Oil for Rosacea
When taking CBD oil for rosacea symptoms , the best method is through topical administration. Some brands have a wide range of CBD skincare products , such as moisturizers, creams, ointments, and serums.
Aside from treating the face, CBD oil can also be applied to other parts of the body.
CBD creams , lotions , and salves may be used on dry skin , pimples , and other skin problems . Some CBD brands may also add extra ingredients, such as hempseed oil and hyaluronic acid.
Individuals with other skin diseases , such as herpes zoster (shingles), psoriasis, eczema, and cellulitis, need to consult a dermatologist before using CBD .
Individuals who want to take CBD through oral and sublingual administration (under the tongue) may opt for tinctures and capsules.
However, this method is not ideal because CBD potency may be broken down when absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.
Another available method is through vaping, a quick CBD delivery method. A study mentioned that CBD inhaled through vapors can deliver plasma concentrations into the body in 10 minutes or less (50 ) .
However, vaping may also come with a few side effects, such as chemical irritation, chest pains, and shortness of breath (51 ) .
Do Demodex Mites Cause Rosacea?
Demodex folliculorum are microscopic organisms that are found in human hair follicles. Most of the time, these mites are harmless.
However, healthy rosacea patients have been observed to host Demodex on their skin. Studies also suggested that Demodex might also promote inflammatory duration during rosacea flare-ups (52 ) .
More studies are needed to explain how CBD might affect the presence of Demodex mites. The common treatment to reduce the Demodex population is the antiparasitic drug, 1% ivermectin (53 ) .
Is CBD Legal?
The 2018 United States Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp derivatives, such as hemp oil , hempseed oil , and CBD . These products can be sold and consumed as long as the THC content is 0.3% or below (54 ) .
Although CBD is legal, it remains highly unregulated. Thus, many CBD companies present the certificate of analysis (COA) to guarantee that their products are high-quality and safe to use.
Individuals must always look for COAs that come from third-party ISO-certified laboratories.
These third-party laboratories test the product for cannabinoid concentrations and contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and fungicides.
Are CBD Oil and Medical Marijuana the Same?
CBD is abundant in hemp, a plant that belongs to the Cannabis sativa species. Manufacturers derive CBD from the hemp plants to create a concentrated version without the psychoactive effects one may get from marijuana.
THC is the active component of marijuana, also called cannabis. Although CBD and THC are the two major components used in medical cannabis ( medical marijuana) , THC is what makes users high.
The THC content in CBD oil is 0.3% or less, while medical marijuana (depending on the cannabis strain used) may contain up to 17-28% THC (55 ) .
While there is no cure for rosacea , individuals may still find CBD useful in improving their quality of life and self-esteem (56 ) .
Findings suggest that CBD ’s antioxidant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects may reduce redness in inflammatory skin conditions , such as rosacea (57 ) .
Moreover, studies also show that CBD has a combination of lipostatic activities that may prevent sebum buildup. This activity may help prevent rosacea acne (58 ) .
The best way to avoid rosacea flare-ups is to avoid environmental factors, like sun exposure , stress, and spicy foods (59 ) .
More importantly, individuals suffering from rosacea must consult with a dermatologist before taking CBD .
I Swapped My Entire Skin-Care Routine for CBD Products, and My Skin Is Better for It
W hen it comes to star skin-care ingredients, you can bet that I’m diligently slathering them on every single day. Retinol? Check. Hyaluronic acid? I’ve got two just in case. CBD skincare, though? Not quite in my regimen yet.
I have no good reason why it’s not: Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, has been infiltrating the wellness world due to its incredible anti-inflammatory prowess. And as skin issues stemming from inflammation rise, the study-backed powerful antidote (and antioxidant, I might add) is ready to take on acne, rosacea, dryness, and free radical damage all in equal measure. So, you could say it can hang with the OG MVPs of the skin-care world.
“CBD has been shown to have a soothing effect on the skin, and has been used in the treatment of acne and rosacea as well as eczema and dryness,” says Shirley Chi, MD, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist. With such a stacked resume, I collected CBD beauty products and made the decision to overhaul my current regimen with options that are decidedly more high-vibe. Here’s what happened to my skin.
Photo: Getty Images/ Tomas Rodriguez
My CBD skin-care life
I procured CBD beauty products in every category, and for the most part succeeded minus a cleanser (I can’t part with my fave). I decided this was enough to deduce the changes in my complexion if I swapped over to all CBD products. So for the couple of weeks during my CBD experiment, I retired my retinol, vitamin C serum, hyaluronic acid, and go-to face masks in lieu of those with the buzzy ingredient.
I opened the new Herbivore Emerald Glow Oil ($48), spiked with cannabis sativa seed oil and smothered it all over my face. It kind of smelled like weed, but absorbed nicely into my skin. Then for posterity’s sake I layered up with the Khus Khus Sen Face Serum ($80), which had less of a scent but definitely added some soothing moisture to my face. For my eyes, I slathered on Gold Q Nighttime Eye Cream ($48). And then I moisturized my entire body with Lord Jones High CBD Body Lotion ($60), and puckered up with a Veritas Farms Whole Hemp Oil Lip Balm ($4).
I repeated this regimen for two straight weeks, and incorporated the Hora Overnight Exfoliating Mask ($62) twice a week as I slept. And let me tell you something: The results have been impressive. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d notice much of a change (and TBH I was worried my skin would regress without my trusty retinol and HA serum), but I’ve been dealing with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and it’s now noticeably faded. My skin’s also been calm, even, and bright—no redness in sight. The CBD products have really kept things chill.
“The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can help decrease itching and puffiness of skin, and even treat soreness of the skin,” says Dr. Chi. It’s true that my eyes have been less puffy in the morning, which just adds to the long list of reasons CBD’s so amazing. And perhaps the best part of all? It’s good for all skin types. Just be mindful of what type of product it is: “If it’s an oil-based CBD product, stay away from it if you’re very oily-skinned,” notes Dr. Chi. Besides that, consider the cannabidiol to be a now permanent staple of my beauty shelf, in some form or another.
For more basic skin-care tips, here’s how hard to scrub your face, according to a derm. And this is why hard vs. soft water for your skin actually matters.