Hemp is a plant with a myriad of documented properties. Some of these benefits may even extend to the skin!
Should hemp oil be a staple in your beauty routine? Keep reading to learn why!
Hemp Oil for Skin: Benefits
Full-spectrum hemp oil, specifically, contains many compounds that have benefits for the skin (1). These include antioxidant flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids.
Antioxidants and Skin Aging
One of the most beneficial nutrients for the skin are antioxidants.
Antioxidants can come in various forms, but they all function to reduce the oxidative stress load on the body. They accomplish this either by donating their extra electrons to neutralize free radicals or supporting the natural antioxidant systems within cells.
Free radicals are damaging molecules that are missing an electron. They circulate around the body looking for an electron to steal an electron and neutralize themselves. If they don’t find it in an antioxidant, they find it in cell structures.
Free radicals also activate certain transcription factors within cells. Transcription factors are reactive molecules within cells that, when activated, move to the nucleus of cells and influence gene expression in a specific way.
One of the transcription factors that free radicals activate is AP-1 (2). When activated by free radicals, AP-1 influences the gene expression of enzymes called matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). These MMPs degrade collagen which ultimately results in wrinkle formation.
In other words, excess free radical formation equals aging.
So, how do antioxidants counteract this?
By donating their electrons to free radicals and supporting natural antioxidant systems within cells, they prevent the activation of AP-1, expression of MMP, and subsequent collagen degradation.
Full-spectrum hemp oil is a great source of antioxidants. It contains a myriad of flavonoids including apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol, and quercetin. It also contains flavonoids that are unique to the hemp plant, Cannflavin A and B, and a plethora of other antioxidant compounds.
It’s important to purchase a full-spectrum hemp oil to garner the benefits of the antioxidants from the hemp plant. Hemp isolate products don’t contain the same naturally-occurring antioxidants.
Terpenes found in hemp, like β-amyrin and cycloartenol, possess antibacterial properties that may be beneficial for skin (1).
Bacterial imbalances in the skin are one of the primary factors in acne formation. Without proper regulation, P. acnes, a commensal skin bacteria, can overgrow and lead to massive amounts of inflammation. This culminates as red, inflamed acne spots.
Terpenes are mild antibacterials compared to powerful antibiotics that can cause further bacterial imbalances. Instead, terpenes may help foster a healthy bacterial balance by potentially normalizing bacteria levels.
To access these beneficial terpenes, skincare products containing full-spectrum hemp oils may need to be used. Because terpenes are minor, although powerful, constituents of hemp, consuming hemp oil may not provide enough direct terpene action.
Hemp Oil for Oily Skin
One interesting cell culture study demonstrated that major phytocannabinoids in hemp, may have the potential to normalize excess oil production (3).
Part of the endocannabinoid system, the group of receptors that interact with hemp cannabinoids, is found in sebaceous glands. This means the receptors in the sebaceous gland allow its function to be modulated by cannabinoids.
Researchers in the study observed that cannabinoids bind to TRPV4 receptors in sebocytes, the cells of the sebaceous gland. Sebum is secreted into the skin in a holocrine manner, meaning that the sebocytes themselves are the sebum. The outer wall of these cells dissolves to release the sebum.
Essentially, the more sebocytes that proliferate, the more oil production there is.
So, by normalizing excess proliferation of sebocytes, sebum production is also normalized. According to this cell culture study, cannabinoids do just that.
The question then becomes whether or not the consumption of full-spectrum hemp oils, would cause cannabinoids to accumulate in the sebaceous gland and exert its effects.
Research indicates this is highly likely. Cannabinoids have been shown to accumulate in the pilosebaceous unit, where the sebaceous gland resides.
So, if you have oily skin, full-spectrum hemp oil might be able to help! Although, more studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Hemp Oil Vs. Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is not to be confused with full-spectrum hemp oil. The benefits of hemp oil for skin are different than those of hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil is produced from the seeds of the hemp plant whereas full-spectrum hemp oil is extracted from the hemp plant itself. Hemp tinctures, however, often do contain hemp seed oil as a carrier which is not to be confused.
Hemp seed oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is known to help repair the skin barrier when used topically (4). This is because linoleic acid is essential for ceramide formation, a component of the protective skin barrier (5).
Linoleic acid can also be incorporated into the skin through diet consumption, although this should be done in balance with omega-3 fatty acids.
Phytologica’s full-spectrum hemp tinctures do contain hemp seed oil, whose linoleic acid content is transported to the skin when used orally. However, these full-spectrum tinctures aren’t intended for topical use.
Both hemp seed oil and full-spectrum hemp oil provide a wide range of skin benefits.
How to Use Hemp Oil In Your Beauty Routine
Because of hemp’s skin-boosting properties, many companies have chosen to incorporate cannabinoids into their skincare routine.
Our Phytologica topical balms contain our potent hemp extract along with coconut oil, beewax, and essential oils to support skin health.
You can also access the hemp oil skin benefits through incorporating full-spectrum hemp products into your beauty routine.
Our full-spectrum hemp tinctures or softgels are a great way to take advantage of hemp’s benefits. They are bioavailable, full-spectrum products that retain all of the beneficial cannabinoids, antioxidants, and terpenes for true bioactivity in the body. Our supercritical CO2 extraction and cold purification also ensure these nutrients aren’t denatured by heat or oxygen, exactly how they are found in nature.
When you consume hemp in this way, the active nutrients are absorbed via the gut to be distributed to all the tissues of the body, including the skin.
Always Choose Full-Spectrum Hemp Extracts
All the hemp oil skin benefits listed above are contingent on one thing: a full-spectrum product.
Hemp isolate products don’t retain the flavonoids, other cannabinoids, or terpenes naturally found in hemp. Although these are sometimes added after processing, the synergistic levels and ratios of these nutrients simply cannot be mimicked by human production.
So, you’ll always want to opt for full-spectrum hemp extracts. This will ensure you’re maximizing the benefits of hemp for your skin!
To shop our full-spectrum hemp products, check out our Shop page.