le category: Beauty & Skincare
We Asked an Esthetician About Hemp in Skincare So You Wouldn’t Have To
by Danielle Cheesman (@daniellesaid)
By now, you’ve likely seen hemp popping up in all kinds of products, especially beauty and skincare.
And you might be wondering, "I know how hemp works in my body, but how does it work on my body?"
As always, we want to be your trusted resource when it comes to all things hemp. So, naturally we looked to an expert to help us understand how hemp works with your skin. Julie Civiello Polier, is a holistic and nurturing esthetician who specializes in Shamanic facials. Here's what Polier had to say about industry oversaturation, what to look for on a label, and which products offer the best results.
Without any other ingredients added, what benefits can hemp offer skin all on its own?
Inflammation is the cause of almost all skin diseases, and most cancers in the body. So, with high grade, full-spectrum hemp having the ability to initiate an anti-inflammatory response, that's why it's becoming the buzz word in beauty product ingredients (and in alternative treatments for disease, too).
The other incredible benefit, which is a skin savior, is the potent dose of antioxidants contained in hemp, such as Vitamins A, D and E. Vitamin A can act like a retinol, aiding in healing acne and photo-aging. Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory and assists in the repairing process. Vitamin E moisturizes and heals the skin so it strengthens the acid mantle barrier.
And there are essential fatty acids naturally occurring in hemp, which further strengthens the skin's barrier, offering more protection, more nourishment, and more hydration.
Which common skincare ingredients does hemp work best with? Which ones do it a disservice?
I often see hemp paired with MCT oil in products, which is beneficial formulating because MCT oil is nutritious, high in fats, and great for brain function. MCT oil is also a great carrier oil for something like hemp since it has the ability to enhance the potency as well as stabilize and preserve the quality.
My esthetician brain looks for ingredients in products that offer other benefits that differ from what hemp brings to the table. With hemp offering up incredible anti-inflammatory benefits and potent antioxidants, I would look for jojoba oil for its anti-fungal and moisturizing abilities. Or lactic acid that sloughs dead cells in a gentle yet thorough way. Or even coconut oil that offers antibacterial properties.
What I would avoid are products that include any of the toxic ingredients, especially ones from the Toxic 10 list. Toxic ingredients cause inflammation and make organs like the liver, gallbladder, and skin work extra hard.
Hemp has been added to serums and soaps, oils and eye creams, etc. Which "format" is the most beneficial? Which is a waste?
Hemp's healing properties will do their best when they are left on the skin. My opinion is, skip the soaps and cleansers touting hemp-infusions because they are washed off a moment later. Since we absorb at least 60% of anything we apply on our skin, a body oil or lotion containing 100-250mg will offer the most potency and really go to work for the largest organ of the body.
What hemp products are you finding have the best results for your facial clients?
Clients are loving Saint Jane's Luxury Beauty Serum. It's $125 and is super clean in their ingredient profile, and they're not stingy with their hemp milligrams, which is at 500! Another fan favorite is Kana Skincare's LIT Hemp Face Oil Blend. At $75, it's a nourishing facial oil that evens the skin tone and minimizes redness. The formula has a lot of botanicals and mixtures of oils from cold-pressed seeds that offer skin so much hydration and a variety of healing properties.
Some beauty products are advised to be used at a certain time of day. Do you believe hemp-infused products to be most effective in the morning or at night?
I think as long as the product benefits you and it makes it on to your skin in a consistent way, that's the best time! The benefit of applying at night is this is the time when the body enters repair mode. So, my feeling is [that] all those antioxidants and fatty acids in the hemp, plus the skin-adorning ingredients also contained in the product, can really be absorbed and digested instead of used right away or merely functioning as a barrier the way they do during the day time. And one cannot go wrong applying during the morning routine either. Again, the time when it's massaged into your skin, is the best time.
Major retailers Sephora and Ulta have already begun carrying hemp products in stores. Do you believe other beauty stores will follow suit? And are you worried about oversaturation?
I do think the hemp market will spread to other brick-and-mortars, as well as online retailers. The issue right now with many online retailers is the payment gateway, Stripe, is banning the processing of hemp products. So folks with Shopify can still sell but using other gateways, and abiding by state legislation.
And I'm not worried about oversaturation, because my feeling is there is room for everyone. I think everyone brings something new to the table with ingredient formulas or target areas on the body. What I am concerned with is a lack of education around reading ingredient labels or more directly what's shared on ingredient labels and how transparent brands are with their consumers.
What should shoppers look for on labels, and/or avoid, when buying hemp-infused skincare products?
Many labels tout that they are a hemp product by listing the ingredient of hemp seed oil, but this is not the same thing. There are many benefits to hemp seed oil, however not nearly as many potent healing benefits as hemp, which isn't sourced from the seeds, but from the flowers, leaves and stalk of the same plant.
So, consumers, look for a few key things on your product labels: how many milligrams are listed (I recommend 100-250mg), whether it is full-spectrum or not (I think full-spectrum is best and usually points to a higher grade ingredient), and hemp's nicknames: cannabidiol, cannabis sativa, and hemp extract.
Another deeper concern is the number of incarcerations for marijuana possession across this country when it's being legalized and talked about on every beauty blog. I want to highlight Kati Holland, the founder and CEO of Not Pot, which is a hemp gummie brand. Holland partners with The Bail Project, which pays for one person's bail each month for the charge of possession from the profits of Not Pot. Hers is a rare company in a sea of hemp corporations with profits to spare that is taking a look at the justice system and taking action to change people's lives.
Finally, what is your personal favorite hemp skincare product?
I am in love with Mary's Methods' "Brighten" Restorative Eye Cream. It has 50mg of full-spectrum CBD, which they label as hemp extract. I use it everywhere, as well as around my eyes. The ingredient profile is so short and sweet and yet is the perfect combination of nourishing, hydrating, slimming, tightening, and brightening. I also have been yearning for True Botanicals' limited run of the CBD duo of bath salts and body oil to return to the online market. Talk about elevating the bath experience to the divine and ecstatic levels. Daily, I take Real Wellness' Optimize CBD Tonic which contains 1,000mg of CBD, turmeric, and six herbs that promote circulation, nourish tendons and, of course, take care of inflammation. I used this for pain relief after my c-section and it was great; and I feel safe taking it while I'm breastfeeding.