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While you may be familiar with cannabidiol (CBD) oils, gummies, and even salves and balms, CBD beauty products are a little newer to the scene.

But do products like night creams really benefit from being infused with CBD oil? And is CBD gentle enough for the delicate skin on your face?

Keep reading to find out more about CBD face creams and our top CBD face cream picks.

When it comes to CBD for skin care, the research is still ongoing. But what’s known so far is somewhat promising.

Here’s what the research says about CBD’s effects on the skin.

It may have anti-inflammatory effects

According to a 2014 study, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may play a role in controlling sebum, or oil, production. Bye bye, oily T-zone!

A research review from 2020 suggested CBD may help protect against oxidative stress, which causes cell damage. But the conclusion is based only on in vitro (aka test tube) studies and not clinical trials with actual people.

It may help treat several skin conditions

One 2018 research review concluded CBD may help treat skin conditions, including:

However, the review authors recommended additional high quality randomized, controlled trials to further look into the effects of CBD on the skin.

Another review from 2019 suggested CBD may also help with wound healing. Again, there’s a need for further study since most of the data included in the review is based on in vitro and animal studies.

Some clinical studies suggest topical CBD can provide pain relief, which may be helpful for people with sensitive, easily irritated skin or chronic facial wounds. But again, more high quality studies are needed to validate this.

According to a small 2019 study that followed 20 participants with irritating skin conditions, applying THC-free CBD to the affected area significantly improved skin health without causing side effects. While this was promising, more high quality clinical trials are needed.

We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

As a part of our selection process, we also considered:

  • the company’s certifications and manufacturing processes
  • product potency
  • overall ingredients
  • indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
    • customer reviews
    • whether the company has been subject to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter
    • whether the company makes any unsupported health claims

Where available, we’ve included special discount codes for our readers.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $35
  • $$ = $35–$50
  • $$$ = over $50

Best CBD face cream for eczema

Medterra CBD+ Manuka Honey Healing Cream

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • CBD type: isolate
  • CBD potency: 125 milligram (mg) per 1-oz. container or 250 mg per 2-oz. container
  • COA: available online

Manuka honey is a particular type of honey that may have antibacterial properties. It may help alleviate the symptoms of eczema, a painful skin condition that causes severely dry, itchy skin.

In addition to manuka honey and CBD isolate, this cream also includes more than 20 botanicals to help soothe the skin. Reviews for the cream are generally positive. People say it helps with eczema as well as many other skin conditions.

In addition to offering assistance programs for veterans and people on long-term disability, Medterra is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified.

Best CBD moisturizer for acne-prone skin

cbdMD Daily Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 600 mg per 2-oz. container
  • COA: available via product page

If you have acne-prone skin, you might avoid using moisturizer for fear of clogging your pores. But even if you have overactive oil glands, your skin benefits from hydration.

This lightweight moisturizer features a blend of gentle, skin-soothing ingredients, like rosehip seed oil, algae extract, and sachi inchi, to help hydrate your skin without suffocating it.

Customers report that it’s smooth, non-greasy, and easily absorbed into the skin.

Plus, if it doesn’t agree with your skin, cbdMD has a no-risk 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Best calming CBD face mask

CBDfx CBD Face Mask

  • Price: $
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • CBD potency: 50 mg per 0.74-oz. mask
  • COA: available online

This soothing sheet mask is designed to soothe, tone, and hydrate stressed skin.

There are five scents to choose from, each of which is formulated with a unique blend of ingredients, like aloe vera, charcoal, cucumber, lavender, and rose.

CBDfx recommends applying this mask after cleansing and drying the skin and leaving it on for 10 minutes to allow your skin to absorb the active ingredients.

Customers note that this mask leaves their skin feeling soft and smooth. Some also report that it works well for sensitive skin and can help with issues, like redness and puffiness.

Best CBD face cream for dry skin

Lord Jones Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer

This well-reviewed face cream has full-spectrum CBD as well as some other good ingredients: glycerin, squalane, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. This is a powerful combination of ingredients in one jar. You’ll have the entourage effect of the full-spectrum CBD, and soothing and hydrating potential for dry skin.

Additionally, it’s synthetic fragrance-free and free of dyes, parabens, essential oils, and sulfates — all of which are more common allergens. The cream is good for sensitive skin and those with certain skin conditions, like eczema.

This ingredient cocktail does mean that it’s a bit pricier than other CBD skin care products.

Because there are so many companies selling CBD — and some of them are not so great — you need to be able to sort the good from the bad.

And when it comes to products intended to go on your face, you also need to look for stuff that’s compatible with your skin type and concerns.

Here’s what to consider.

Potency

Because the skin doesn’t absorb topical CBD products that easily, it’s important to choose potent products for optimal results. Look for creams that contain at least 3 mg of CBD per mL of product.

CBD type

You’ll find products with one of three types of CBD:

  • full-spectrum
  • broad-spectrum
  • isolate

While full-spectrum CBD contains some THC, isolate and broad-spectrum don’t. Additionally, both full- and broad-spectrum CBD contain additional therapeutic compounds, like terpenes.

Third-party testing

There’s no regulatory body that guarantees the safety of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. But a reputable CBD company will get its products tested by a third-party lab and have COAs readily available for customers to view.

Be sure the COA lists the CBD and THC potency, as well as the level of contaminants, like heavy metals and pesticides.

Hemp source and other ingredients

Companies should be transparent about where they source their hemp. Ideally, go with a product made from all-natural, U.S.-grown hemp.

And if it’s for your face, make sure other ingredients won’t irritate sensitive skin.

Using topicals, like CBD face cream, is pretty self-explanatory. Rub them onto the skin and massage the area until the cream gets absorbed, just like you would with any non-CBD cream.

CBD creams vary in potency, but it’s generally OK to use the same amount you would with a non-CBD face cream.

CBD face creams are generally safe to use over and over again, but make sure to do a patch test before applying them to your entire face — especially if you have reactive skin.

Because topically applied CBD isn’t absorbed into your bloodstream quite like ingested CBD, creams are unlikely to cause side effects or interact with medication.

However, talk with your doctor before using a CBD face cream, just in case.

Does CBD face cream do anything for your skin?

CBD may have anti-inflammatory effects and help treat certain skin conditions. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about CBD for skin care, so it’s difficult to say for certain.

Does CBD face cream work for eczema?

Initial research suggests CBD creams may help soothe dry, itchy skin that occurs because of eczema. But most of the research has been on human or animal skin samples, not actual people.

Anecdotally, people report that it helps with this skin condition.

Does CBD face cream have anti-aging properties?

Because CBD has antioxidant properties, it may help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help to smooth skin texture, if that’s something you want. But more research is needed to fully understand the aging support effects of CBD creams.

Just like how CBD may help with sleep issues and chronic pain, it may also be helpful for the skin.

When shopping for CBD face creams, carefully scan the ingredients list and look for anything that might not agree with your skin. Be sure to choose a product from a reputable brand that conducts third-party testing.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.


Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.