In most cases, a little blush on the apples of your cheeks is considered a sign of good health, vitality and youth. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition with symptoms linked to a poor inflammatory response. We’ll look at how CBD might be able to calm rosacea flare-ups. One Well+Good editor switched their beauty routine to a completely CBD skincare regimen. This is everything that happened to her skin.
CBD for rosacea
In most cases, a little blush on the apples of your cheeks is considered a sign of good health, vitality and youth. But what if this precious rosiness refuses to fade? What if it spreads and grows darker instead?
Different shades of red often accompany sensitive skin that’s prone to blushing; it is generally easier to spot on people with a paler complexion and in many cases it’s hereditary. However, when it comes to intense flushing at higher temperatures or mental stress and areas of red skin on the neck and chest, we can start talking about the first signs of rosacea.
Over time, the facial veins can become permanently enlarged, accompanied by inflammation and tiny pinkish-red bumps or pimples. In the most severe cases, painful bluish knots may also appear.
Why does rosacea occur?
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that occurs on the face. The real cause has not been discovered yet, but it has been linked to genetics, immune response and environmental factors.
Recent studies show that facial redness – the most common symptom of rosacea – is caused by inflammation and enlargement of small blood vessels on the surface of the skin. Experts believe that’s caused by a malfunction of the innate immune system, the body’s first line of defence against infections.
Some research also suggests that microscopic mites found on the surface of the skin and a type of bacteria in the intestines known as Helicobacter pylori activate our immune system in order to dilate blood vessels and cause swelling and redness underneath the skin, resulting in rosacea.
Is CBD a good match for rosacea?
CBD cannabinoid is known for its ability to activate our own endocannabinoid system, which is the main regulatory system of our body. It affects intercellular communication, and with it the harmonious functioning of our body and its immune response. When imbalances occur in the endocannabinoid system, issues tend to arise – rosacea is one of them.
The good news is that the skin also has its very own endocannabinoid system, which opens up many possibilities for alleviating skin problems and restoring balance to maintain its well-being.
Direct effect of CBD on rosacea
- CBD is anti-inflammatory
Studies investigating the therapeutic activity of CBD have confirmed its anti-inflammatory effect and beneficial influence on overstimulation of the immune response, both of which are largely responsible for the appearance of rosacea.
- CBD has antimicrobial properties
Overactive sebaceous glands and the presence of bacteria can strongly contribute to the appearance of inflammation, acne and redness. In this case, the antimicrobial properties are very welcome; CBD soothes the skin, balances oil secretion and reduces the appearance of redness and discomfort.
- CBD has analgesic properties
Rosacea is characterised by a burning sensation on the skin, which can cause severe discomfort and pain – CBD alleviates the condition by binding to vanilloid receptors (TRPV1).
- CBD has antioxidant properties
CBD protects against free radicals and negative environmental influences, making it an excellent support for the overall health and vitality of the skin.
- CBD helps us overcome stress
Studies confirm the beneficial effect of CBD in relieving anxiety and related disorders; it achieves this by increasing leves of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, which is responsible for preventing physiological responses to stress and promoting relaxation. Because stress and anxiety are closely linked to the occurrence of rosacea, CBD can therefore be incredibly useful in managing the stress-activated variation of the disease.
CBD – the holistic solution for rosacea
Now that we have a good understanding of all the attribudes of the CBD cannabinoid, we can introduce products that contain it into our skincare according to the condition and type of our skin.
A soothing treatment to balance and soothe inflammation and redness begins with a gentle cleansing and moisturising routine using a combination of the Purifying Face Cleanser and Moisturising Bright Essence. We continue by choosing a suitable face cream containing the therapeutic benefits of CBD; Nurturing Face Cream for dry, tight and dehydrated skin, and Balancing Face Cream for normal, combination and pimple-prone skin. The third step is key in protecting the skin from temperature changes and other environmental factors that can worsen the condition – in order to offer our skin the best CBD-based protection for a strong and healthy skin barrier, apply an extra layer of protective care in the form of either the Replenishing Antioxidant Face Oil or theTherapeutic CBD Skin Balm prior to cold, wind or dry air exposure.
A rich, ultra-nourishing moisturiser with a concentrate of hemp extracts, instantly soothes and rehydrates very dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin, reinforcing the skin barrier. Nurturing hemp seed oil, repairing omegas 3, 6 & 9, soothing CBD and hyaluronic acid help to improve moisture retention, preventing dryness and signs of premature ageing. Ingredients:Hemp seed oil with omegas 3, 6 & 9 strengthen and smooth the skin. Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture, leaving skin soft and radiant Rose and hemp hydrolate protect, calm and balance the skin. CBD calms irritation and redness.
A highly regenerative face oil featuring a unique blend of organic, antioxidant-rich, superfood seed oils that helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier by boosting moisture levels, improving firmness and calming the skin. It tackles dehydration, dullness, redness, uneven texture and fine lines.Plum and hemp seed oils replenish and hydrate the skin with age-defying omegas, vitamin E, pro-vitamin A, antioxidants and polyphenols. CBD soothes skin sensitivities, redness and calms the skin. Poppy extract improves the appearance of fine lines in mature or dry skin.
To round off the care in the best way possible and offer your skin a holistic treatment, support it from the inside out too. You’ve probably heard the saying that the skin is a reflection of our well-being before, right? It’s actually very true. Knowing that stress and anxiety are often strong triggers for the symptoms of rosacea, CBD Oil can help us manage these factors.
100% natural CBD oil with a full spectrum of cannabinoids. Ideal ratio of two key cannabinoids; CBD and CBG.
A natural solution for rosacea relief
Based on scientific discoveries and the responses of our customers struggling with rosacea, we can confidently conclude that CBD offers a wide range of positive results in combating this condition. It helps us reduce inflammation, relieve skin irritation and protect it from microbes, but the key activity of this remarkable hemp molecule which strongly links CBD to rosacea lies in its ability to soothe the skin’s overactive immune response
CBD for Rosacea: Does Hemp Oil Help? Benefits & Usage
Rosacea is a skin condition that is characterized by redness and visible blood vessels on the face. It can also cause small, red, puss-filled lumps in more severe cases, which are commonly mistaken for acne breakouts.
It’s not only painful, but it’s life-disruptive — negatively impacting self-esteem and confidence.
Although rosacea can affect anyone, it’s most common in light-skinned middle-aged women.
Rosacea is poorly understood and has no cure, but it can be treated and controlled with topical medications such as steroids, leaving the skin overly dry, thin, and dull.
Because of this, an increasing number of people are now turning to CBD for its powerful anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antimicrobial properties, among many other benefits.
In this article, we explore the science behind how CBD can be used for rosacea.
Quick Answer: Can CBD Help With Rosacea?
CBD is a natural compound derived from Cannabis Sativa plants with impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Although experts still aren’t clear about rosacea’s exact cause, they have linked it to an imbalanced inflammatory response.
Some research into rosacea suggests that microscopic mites found on the skin’s surface, and a type of bacteria in the gut known as Helicobacter pylori, trigger the immune system to expand blood vessels and cause swelling and redness beneath the skin, thereby causing rosacea.
Moreover, CBD has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, making it an effective treatment for many inflammatory and bacteria-derived skin conditions when consumed orally and applied topically .
CBD also has analgesic properties, meaning that it can effectively relieve the discomfort caused by painful rosacea symptoms .
Lastly, anxiety and stress are suspected triggers of rosacea and common symptoms—it’s a vicious cycle that can have negative psychological and physical impacts. Many people reach for CBD for its calming and relaxing benefits. These CBD effects on managing stress can not only support symptoms from flare-ups but can be a viable preventative treatment .
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition marked by redness, swelling, and small pus-filled bumps on the face. This condition affects more than 16 million people in the US, according to the National Rosacea Society. Despite this, the cause of the condition remains a mystery.
What Causes Rosacea?
What scientists do know is that the symptoms (usually presenting as redness in the face) are often caused by inflammation from a dysfunction in the immune system or neurovascular dysregulation (blood vessel disorders).
Anxiety and stress have also been suggested to be rosacea triggers. One study showed that patients with rosacea were likely to have experienced at least one critical life event (defined as an event causing challenge, loss, or danger) before they experienced their first rosacea flare-up .
Lastly, studies have shown rosacea patients to have increased levels of mast cells, as well as larger numbers of Demodex folliculorum, a tiny mite naturally found on the skin, than most people (up to 18 times more) [4, 5].
What Are the Symptoms of Rosacea?
The obvious rosacea symptoms are redness, visible blood vessels, fatigue, and, in more severe cases, puss-filled lumps on the skin. However, the effects are, in fact, much more broad-ranging.
Most rosacea patients report significant social, occupational, and psychological problems as a result of the condition. In a survey by the National Rosacea Foundation, more than 90% of people reported that rosacea flare-ups significantly lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41% reported avoiding or canceling social engagements and public contact.
For patients with severe symptoms, 51% reported having missed work due to the condition, and a staggering 88% said that it had a significant negative impact on their professional lives. This resulting stress and anxiety can also serve as a trigger, thereby increasing the severity of flare-ups.
CBD vs. Other Treatments for Rosacea
Currently, there is no cure for rosacea. Experts recommend the following as treatment:
- Steroid topicals or other prescription creams
- Oral antibiotics and inflammatory drugs
- Ensure a healthy diet that is high in Omega-3
- Laser and other light-based therapies
- Manage stress levels and anxiety
Unfortunately, extended use of steroid creams or other prescription medicines is not recommended. The former can thin and damage your skin, and the latter can damage your liver or renal systems.
CBD is a natural compound that interacts with and enhances the performance of the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce health benefits, making it a much more attractive treatment option.
Although research into CBD’s effectiveness as a rosacea treatment is still in its infancy, some studies have shown that it has great potential:
1. CBD is An Anti-Inflammatory
A study published in 2018 examined the therapeutic effects of CBD, finding that it can significantly reduce inflammation and over-stimulation of the immune system — both of which are thought to be causes of rosacea . One of the ways CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory is by inhibiting enzymes that cause inflammation, specifically an eicosanoid enzyme called COX2.
2. CBD Has Antimicrobial Properties
Overactive oil glands and bacteria can build up to produce acne and exacerbate rosacea pustules. The Journal of Clinical Investigation showed CBD, with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, was able to effectively treat acne, reducing redness and discomfort. In this sense, acne and rosacea share some similarities .
3. CBD Can Improve Skin Health
Studies have shown that CBD has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which are great benefits to aid scar healing and treat other skin conditions . This is especially useful when treating rosacea, which is sometimes caused by increased levels of mast cells and larger numbers of the parasitic mite, Demodex folliculorum, than normal.
4. CBD Has Profound Analgesic Properties
One of the characteristics of rosacea is a burning, stinging sensation on the skin, making it incredibly painful. CBD can be a powerful pain reliever. CBD binds to the TRPV1 receptors (vanilloid receptors) to moderate the sensation of pain .
5. CBD Supports A Healthy Stress Response
A study published in 2015 found that CBD can be used as a potential treatment for anxiety-related disorders by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA . GABA counteracts the physiological stress response and promotes relaxation. As stress and anxiety are often linked to both the cause and effect of rosacea, this makes CBD particularly helpful in managing stress-triggered rosacea.
How to Use CBD for Rosacea?
As more research is required into using CBD for rosacea, we can’t say for certain which method of consumption or application is the most effective for everyone.
However, CBD can be taken in a variety of ways, and it’s more than likely that a mixture of oral consumption and topical application will produce the greatest benefits.
CBD Cream For Rosacea
Topical CBD, such as a cream, is usually the preferred method for addressing skin irritation, as the product is immediately absorbed and reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the epidermis.
Topical application helps to target inflammation and discomfort at the source, thereby providing the quickest and most effective relief. CBD skincare products also include other nourishing ingredients that can help to protect and strengthen the skin barrier for increased comfort.
CBD Oil For Rosacea
Consuming CBD products like sublingual oil, gummies, capsules, or CBD-infused food, could also be beneficial, but it has to go through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. This method takes much longer to exert its effect and has a less direct effect on the skin.
That being said, internally ingesting CBD can help improve the homeostasis (balance) of several vital systems, including the auto-immune, stress, and hormones, which can combat the frequency and severity of rosacea flare-ups.
Consuming CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue) allows it to bypass the digestive system and enter the bloodstream faster through the network of microcapillaries. Sublingual CBD is more effective than oral consumption, as the active compounds succumb to hostile stomach acids and liver processing before it enters the bloodstream.
Where to Buy CBD for Rosacea?
Online is the best place to purchase CBD. That way, you can easily compare different brands, strengths, and flavors, all while researching the company and products at your leisure.
We can’t stress enough the importance of shopping with reputable CBD brands. Suppose the CBD extract contains high levels of heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins. In that case, it could make symptoms worse — and it’s highly unlikely to address your rosacea symptoms. It could make your symptoms much worse.
To make sure you’re buying a high-quality CBD product, look for independent lab testing. Companies should have a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) for every product. A CoA proves that the product has undergone independent third-party lab testing for its safety.
The CoA indicates the potency, purity, and overall quality and contents of the CBD product.
As the third-party laboratories are in no way associated or affiliated with the brands or companies that they’re testing, they have no reason to be anything other than completely truthful regarding their findings. Plus, these labs are held in high regard, with exceptional and consistent reputations to uphold.
Summary: CBD Oil For Rosacea
CBD can offer a range of benefits for treating rosacea, from reducing inflammation and calming an overactive immune system to providing antimicrobial and analgesic benefits when applied directly to the skin.
It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety — which are both triggers and effects of rosacea.
Although it’s certainly not a cure — and more research is needed in this area — CBD certainly seems to be a good (if not better) alternative to traditional prescription medications and steroid creams.
Combining oral or sublingual consumption with topical application produces the best results — but it’s always advisable to consult a medical professional before taking any new supplement to treat a condition.
References Cited In This Article
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- Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825-836.
- Jarmuda, S., O’Reilly, N., Żaba, R., Jakubowicz, O., Szkaradkiewicz, A., & Kavanagh, K. (2012). Potential role of Demodex mites and bacteria in the induction of rosacea. Journal of medical microbiology, 61(11), 1504-1510.
- Forton FMN. Papulopustular rosacea, skin immunity, and Demodex: pityriasis folliculorum as a missing link. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2012;26:19–28.
- Sowińska-Gługiewicz, I., Ratajczak-Stefańska, V., & Maleszka, R. (2005). Role of psychological factors in course of the rosacea. Roczniki Akademii Medycznej w Bialymstoku (1995), 50, 49-53.
- Oláh, A., Tóth, B., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A., Czifra, G., Pál, B., Ambrus, L., Kloepper, J., Camera, E., Ludovici, M., Picardo, M., Voets, T., Zouboulis, C., Paus, R. and Bíró, T. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124(9), pp.3713–3724.
- Marks, D. H., & Friedman, A. (2018). The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in dermatology. Skin Ther. Lett, 23, 1-5.
- Tabassum, N., & Hamdani, M. (2014). Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacogn Rev 8 (15): 52–60.
- Costa, B., Colleoni, M., Conti, S., Parolaro, D., Franke, C., Trovato, A. E., & Giagnoni, G. (2004). Oral anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, in acute carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat paw. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology, 369(3), 294-299.
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Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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.