A quick scan of the ingredient list on your favorite body lotion or face cream will likely reveal a lot of unpronounceable names that have nothing to do with anything found in nature. Moreover, if a skincare product does not bear a non-GMO certificate, there is a good possibility it could contain GMOs. Canola is sometimes used to make lauric acid for soaps and detergents, for example.
For these and other reasons, many people are turning to natural skincare products. Ingredients like aloe vera and shea are mainstays, but one ingredient that has been getting a lot of attention recently is marijuana. Skincare products that contain the herb can help counteract sun damage and wrinkles surprisingly well. It also has protective and anti-aging qualities, which is why many skincare products are likely to feature it on their ingredient list in the near future.
Caring for aging skin
When it’s used topically in the form of lotion or cream, cannabis can relieve irritated skin and soften those pesky bags under your eyes. This is because the skin contains cannabinoid receptors. When compounds such as CBD and THC are applied to the skin, they interact with these receptors, helping to revitalize damaged skin. The effect is so powerful that one company that makes cannabinoid-based products, Phytecs, believes it will be a “fundamental element of next-generation cosmetic treatments.”
Since marijuana contains a potent antioxidant, it could help treat skin conditions involving inflammation, like psoriasis and eczema. CBD is believed to be an even more powerful antioxidant than Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E; that’s why it’s so good at fighting fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help prevent the skin damage associated with free radicals from smoke, UV rays and environmental pollutants.
Try a homemade face mask
While you probably won’t have much luck if you go up to a cosmetics counter in a department store and ask for these products, expect to see these ingredients in products from natural skincare lines in increasing numbers in the years to come. If you want to try to make some on your own, you can do so fairly simply.
For example, HERB reports that you can make a face mask by combining the flesh of one avocado, 1/4 cup of cannabis oil or hemp seed oil, and two teaspoons of spirulina powder in a blender. A few drops of lavender essential oil can also be added, if desired. Simply steam your face carefully over a pot of hot water to open up your pores, then apply the mask and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
If you are hoping to derive these benefits by smoking marijuana, be advised that the hydrocarbons from the smoke can actually make your skin age more rapidly. Topical solutions are the best route, as you can get all of the benefits without any of the drawbacks.
Dangers of conventional skincare leave consumers seeking alternatives
Some lotions, soaps and other cosmetics contain phthalates, which are proven endocrine disrupters that are also believed to damage the liver, kidneys and lungs. Exposure to phthalates has been linked to asthma, kidney and liver cancer. It is also particularly dangerous to pregnant women, as exposure in mothers of boys has been shown to block male hormones during gestation, which can ultimately cause reproductive abnormalities and adult infertility. As if this weren’t bad enough, some skin lightening products have been making headlines for their dangerous mercury content.
That’s why there is a tremendous opportunity here for marijuana – with its powerful components that can help solve a variety of skin and beauty problems – to shake up the industry and establish itself as a true natural skincare powerhouse.