So, does CBD work for acne? Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point. It causes spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that’s hot or painful to touch.
Acne most commonly develops on the:
- Face – this affects almost everyone with acne.
- Back – this affects more than half of the people with acne.
- Chest – this affects about 15% of people with acne.
Types of spots
There are 6 main types of spots caused by acne:
- Blackheads – small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin; they’re not filled with dirt but are black because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces colour.
- Whiteheads – have a similar appearance to blackheads, but may be firmer and will not empty when squeezed
- Papules – small red bumps that may feel tender or sore
- Pustules – similar to papules, but have a white tip in the centre, caused by a build up of pus.
- Nodules – large hard lumps that build up beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful
- Cysts – the most severe type of spot caused by acne; they’re large pus-filled lumps that look similar to boils and carry the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring
Acne is caused when tiny holes in the skin, known as hair follicles, becomes blocked. Tiny glands found near the surface of your skin called sebaceous glands, are attached to hair follicles, which are small holes in your skin that an individual hair grows out of. Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum which lubricates the hair and the skin to stop it drying out. When you have acne, the glands begin to produce too much sebum, which the excess sebum then mixes with dead skin cells and both substances form a plug in the follicle. Whiteheads are created when the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it bulges out. Alternatively, the plugged follicle can be open to the skin. Papules, pustules, nodules or cysts are crated when harmless bacteria that lives on the skin contaminate and infect the plugged follicles.
Teenage acne is thought to be triggered by increased levels of a hormone called testosterone, which occurs during puberty. The sebaceous glands are particularly sensitive to hormones. It’s thought that increased levels of testosterone cause the glands to produce much more sebum than the skin needs.
Acne in families
Acne can run in families, therefore if your parents had acne, it’s likely that you’ll also develop it.
Studies has shown that if both your parents had acne, you’re more likely to develop severe acne. Another study shows that if your parents had adult acne, you’re very likely to have it.
Acne in women
Women are more likely to have adult acne than men, and it is thought that many cases of adult acne are caused by the changes in hormone levels that many women have at certain times.
These times include:
Periods – some women have a flare up of acne just before their period.
Pregnancy – many women have symptoms of acne at this time, usually during the first 3 months of their pregnancy.
Polycystic ovary syndrome – a common condition that can cause acne, weight gain and the formation of small cysts inside the ovary.
Other possible triggers of an acne flare up include:
Some cosmetic products – This isn’t as common as most products are tested however it still can happen.
Certain medications – things such as steroid medicines, lithium (used to treat depression and bipolar disorder) and some drugs used to treat epilepsy.
Regularly wearing items that place pressure on an affected area of skin, such as a headband or backpack.
Smoking – which can contribute to acne in older people.
Acne can be diagnosed by your GP just by looking at your skin, they examine your face, chest or back for different types of spots, such as blackheads, sore and red nodules.
The severity of acne is often categorised as:
- Mild – mostly whiteheads and blackheads, with a few papules and pustules
- Moderate – more widespread whiteheads and blackheads, with many papules and pustules
- Severe – lots of large, painful papules, pustules, nodules or cysts; you might also have some scarring
Acne and CBD
So, Acne and CBD does it work? Below is the up to date studies surrounding CBD and Acne, and from the studies so far it is understood to work.
Studies have shown that CBD when applied on the skin can actually decrease the redness associated with acne, also it helps with reducing inflammation. If you have acne prone skin CBD has calming benefits which can help reactivate your skin and make it look and feel better. Research also shows that CBD has potential to decrease excess sebum (oil) production, possibly due to its balancing effect on the quality of skin’s oil.