Have CBD supplements de-stressed my client’s skin?
For years one of my facial clients has suffered from two dry, crusty patches on either side of her nose. We have tried everything to get rid of them: polyhydroxy exfoliation, alpha hydroxy exfoliation, enzymes and various oils – nothing has worked. Pha exfoliation repaired her skin barrier to a degree, but it didn’t reduce the crustiness at all.
So imagine my surprise when she turned up for her regular facial one morning, and the patches had completely disappeared! The reddened skin between her brows, which always looked tight and stretched, seemed much calmer. The reason? She had started taking CBD supplements to deal with stress.
Julie’s irritable skin
Julie’s thin skin has always been prone to redness and eczema, which worsens with each change of season or whenever she gets hot or stressed. She is also allergic to dust, MSG colouring and some plants. A truly sensitive soul!
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What are these red, crusty areas on either side of her nose?
What are these red, crusty patches on either side of her nose?
These crusty patches didn’t respond to her trusty steroid cream, which normally cleared up any stress-related eczema patches on her neck and eyelids. Of course, she couldn’t resist scratching them; they turned red and flaky, so she exfoliated them off with a grainy scrub every night. Although initially satisfying, this wasn’t a long-term solution!
We needed to find the cause.
Rich creams can make inflammation worse
Half the battle is convincing clients to ditch their beloved rich creams – sensitive skin is not necessarily dry skin. Julie loved a rich, luxurious cream to soothe her stroppy skin, but they only provide temporary respite and can exacerbate inflammation. We need to treat the inflammation, not just soothe it.
Her inflamed skin is actually dehydrated, not dry
The upper layers of Julie’s skin have become dehydrated, which is often a sign of micro-inflammation.
Cells that were once plump and tightly packed start to shrivel up: water escapes between the gaps, and irritants can get in, leaving skin more sensitive. Julie’s skin needs water-based ingredients to plump up those shrivelled skin cells, barrier repairing ingredients to lock them in and then calming ingredients to calm the inflammation.
Long-term stress had inflamed her skin
Had stress wrecked her skin’s already vulnerable protective barrier? When we face stress, our adrenal glands release a surge of hormones, including cortisol, to help us cope. But too much cortisol makes our blood vessels dilate, leaving our skin sore and blotchy. No wonder stress exacerbates inflammatory conditions such as rosacea and eczema.
Can CBD oil reduce stress?
Several human clinical trials show that CBD supplements can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to better sleep. CBD oil contains cannabidiol which is naturally sourced from the flowers and buds of hemp plants, the non-marijuana strain of the cannabis plant. Don’t worry – the hemp plant only contains trace THC elements which get you stoned. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in the US and most of Europe.
CBD oil is an anti-inflammatory
Anti-inflammatory oils are perfect for calming itchy, sore skin, but I was surprised that a CBD supplement could dramatically soothe sensitive skin.
Which CBD supplements are the most effective?
When buying supplements, remember that CBD oil is not the same as hemp oil or cannabis oil. Check on the ingredient list for 100% natural cannabidiol/cannabis Sativa seed oil.
Don’t let stress age your skin prematurely
Julie’s stress had a noticeable impact on her skin, but stress can be sneaky. It can lead to constant low-level inflammation, ageing your skin prematurely. We can’t see this damage because it happens at a cellular level so often goes undetected. The skin doesn’t have time to repair itself: eventually, the immune system is overwhelmed, and our skin barrier is damaged.
Find your own method of stress relief. I love walking to calm my mind – you might prefer kickboxing. But skincare can only do so much. Prevention is always better than cure.