CBD Oil For Skincare: What you need to know

Written By: Dr. Donna Schwontkowski

When you first get the idea that there could be CBD oil benefits for skin, it seems to make sense on a simple level. 

“CBD oil works for pain, seizures and inflammation,” you may say to yourself. 

“Why wouldn’t I be able to use CBD for psoriasis or for skincare needs? If Jared uses CBD oil for eczema and Jessica uses CBD oil for skin inflammation, then it’s proof that CBD for skin is a good thing. It should work for my skin, too. All I need to know is what’s the best CBD oil for skin and how to use CBD oil for skincare.”

This type of thinking may be good for choosing objects such as toys for the kids – without having to worry about their skin. Or it might be good for choosing household appliances, but when it comes to health, it’s different. 

When you make decisions on your health and things that affect your body, you have to use another strategy. One of the best strategies that work is to look up good review articles on the topic of CBD for skin and then read what the professionals said. Then make your decision based on the best match for your situation. We’ve done the work for you here to save you a step.

Before we get to those reviews, let’s get to the basics of how to use CBD oil for skincare.

If you want the best CBD oil for skin, don’t use hemp seed oil. It’s not the same thing. Hemp seed oil is made from pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. There are very few cannabinoids in the seeds of the hemp plant. The active ingredient is in the flowers, stock, and leaves. The hemp oil will act as a good moisturizer but that’s about it.
To find the best CBD oil for skin inflammation, eczema, or psoriasis, you want active ingredients in the formulation. Look for any of these terms on the label:
- CBD or hemp CBD
- Phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil
- Full spectrum hemp extract
- Hemp extract oil (as opposed to hemp oil or hemp seed oil)
    Look for the dosage of CBD in the product. Is it a low dosage, such as only up to 100 mg per ounce, there may not be enough active ingredients in the product.

    To find the best CBD oil for skin, see what else is in the product. Does it contain well-known ingredients that are used for skin health? These ingredients could include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and herbs like calendula, comfrey, or even myrrh. Is there a scent added to it? Are you sensitive to the scent?

    Does it come with a rollerball to make application easy? Or will it pour out fast and then you’ll lose some of the oil when it lands on the floor?

    Then read the label on how to use CBD oil for skincare. Does it say to use it once daily or more? Are there any body parts you shouldn’t use it on? Do they list the CBD oil benefits for skin?


      Once you find CBD oil for your personal skincare that works for you, chances are that you will use it over and over again. Finding the best CBD oil for your skin is imperative. 

      Now that you have this much down pat, let’s go to the research. It’s set up in Q & A format to make it easiest to read.

      Q: Are there any studies that tested CBD oil benefits for skin on people?

      A:  Yes. One, in particular, was a study of 20 patients in Italy that had severe skin diseases. The patients wanted to know whether or not CBD for psoriasis, dermatitis, or scars would work. They were taught how to use CBD oil for skincare and applied it twice daily. 

      The doctors reported better skin moisture, elasticity, appearance, and less inflammation. They had no skin irritations or allergic reactions from the CBD oil. 

      Q: Are there CBD receptors on the skin? If there were, then this would make sense that the CBD in the oil would work for the skin.

      A: Yes. CB1 receptors have been found in the skin, GI tract, and even on immune system cells. CB2 receptors, which play a role in inflammation and pain also are found in the skin, and in the:

      - Hair follicles
      - Sebaceous glands (the ones that create oil in your skin)
      - Melanocytes (which give your skin color)
      - Fibroblasts
      - Nerve fibers
      - Fat cells


        Since the cannabinoid receptors are found here, it’s easy to see there’s a connection between the CBD oil benefits for skin and results.

        Q: Should I be concerned about allergy reactions to the plant if I already have disturbed skin?

        A: Studies show that CBD suppresses the inflammatory reaction of contact dermatitis from plants in the laboratory. They didn’t find any negative effects on the cells. However, if you are sensitive to the plant, it’s not necessarily a good idea to use that plant. For example, if you’re sensitive to poison ivy, would you use CBD oil for skin inflammation and go sit in the poison ivy? Always make smart decisions for your body. 

        Q: Do any studies show any problems with skin from the use of CBD oil?

        A: A few reports in the medical literature imply that cannabinoids may be involved in the metastasis of melanoma through the nervous system. The effect may occur because of how the cannabinoids act on the CB1 receptor in human melanoma cells. They stimulate tumor cell migration, which means the tumor cells start traveling to other parts of the body. If you are considering CBD oil for skin problems such as melanoma, it may be better to wait until further research is done on this topic.

        There have also been some studies of super potent cannabinoids that are synthetic (called Bonsai, fake weed, K2, and Jamaica) that cause premature skin aging, hair loss, hair graying, or acne. Using synthetic CBD oil for skincare or other CBD forms simply did not work well. Best to avoid products that do not provide a 3rd party lab test.

        Q: Why would CBD help with psoriasis? And would it be smart to try CBD oil for eczema?

        A: Phytocannabinoids decrease the oil production in the skin. They inhibit the cells that produce the oil from multiplying and reduce the inflammatory chemicals, too. All this was shown in test tube, animal studies and human studies. In human studies, results took about 3 months. 

        Q: What specific functions of the skin does CBD affect? 

        A: The signaling that occurs from the CB receptors in the skin is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis. This means allowing the skin to stay healthy and fix itself when necessary. They are also involved in the barrier functions of the skin to keep out bacteria and toxins and regeneration. 

        When the cannabinoid signaling is disrupted, skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema, atopic dermatitis, keratin diseases, itching, tumors, acne, and hair falling out (alopecia) occur. More information will come out in the future on this topic and people may realize that sometimes there are no CBD oil benefits for skin. Perhaps the type of CBD oil used will be linked to this problem so that the consumer can avoid these types of side effects.

        The signaling involves cooperation between the immune system cells, the skin cells and the nervous system. 


        Generally speaking, there are some studies that show promise for using CBD oil for eczema and psoriasis. There appears to be limitations and although some CBD oil benefits for skin in the area of sebum control are known, there are other potential problems that may result. 

        Until further studies can be completed that detail exactly which products are the best CBD oils for skin, it may be best to avoid the products if you have melanoma. Also, if you already have acne and issues with your hair falling out, as well as itching, using CBD oil for skin inflammation may not be the best way to go. There are plenty of other options to make your skin healthier and radiant. 



        Palmieri, B., Laurino, C., and Vadala, M. A Therapeutic Effect of Cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. Clin Ter Mar-Apr 2019;170(2):e93-e99. 

        This one is on CBD oil for psoriasis.


        Carp,i S., et al. Tumor-promoting effects of cannabinoid receptor type 1 in human melanoma cells. Toxicol. In Vitro. 2017;40:272–279. This one is on negative CBD oil benefits for skin.


        Scheau, C., et al. Cannabinoids in the pathophysiology of skin inflammation. Molecules 2020 Feb; 25(3):652. 

        This one explains all about CBD oil for skin inflammation.


        Inci, R., et al. A. Dermatological aspects of synthetic cannabinoid addiction. Cutan. Ocul. Toxicol. 2017;36:125–131. doi: 10.3109/15569527.2016.1169541. 

        This one is on negative CBD oil benefits for skin.


        Toth, K.F., et al. Cannabinoid signaling in the skin: therapeutic potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” system. Molecules 2019 Mar; 24(5):918.