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10 Best CBD Oil Lotions, Creams, and Other Topicals to Try

May 16, 2017
Oils are hot in the beauty world. As a beauty editor, I’ve slathered everything short of butter onto my face: argan, coconut, rosehip, sandalwood, chia, neroli, calendula, mandarin, macadamia, rice bran, seabuckthorn, patchouli, grapefruit seed, sesame seed, soybean, sweet almond, pomegranate seed, lemon myrtle, sunflower seed—even extra virgin olive oil from my pantry when I was desperate. I’ve washed my face with oil-based cleansers, and dabbed expensive mixtures being sold as “face oils” onto my skin in hopes of achieving that Instagram-ready glow. Contrary to popular belief, the right oil is actually good for your face and won’t clog your pores. Your skin needs a reasonable amount of oil to do its business; as a matter of fact, if you scrub away all your natural face oil (as I was prone to do with rubbing alcohol as a frustrated and misguided pizza-faced teen), you may actually be prone to more breakouts as your skin tries to make up for the imbalance. As cannabis meets up with the mainstream beauty world, cannabidiol (CBD) oil may be the next big thing.

CBD Oil’s Benefits for Your Skin

Two dermatologists I consulted with, New York-based Whitney Bowe, MD and New Jersey-based Jeanette Jacknin, MD, both agreed that CBD’s anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits are clinically proven. “Studies have shown that the cannabinoids like CBD in marijuana are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging and topical CBD has proven helpful for acne, eczema, and psoriasis,” Jacknin told me. “Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom, so it is less pore clogging but a great moisturizer for dry, cracked skin.”

Previously, I had reviewed hemp-based beauty topicals and THC beauty products pioneering the way for cannabis in the skincare industry. This time, I tested the diverse range of CBD oil-based beauty products, which are both potent and legally available for shipping to most states. This is the new frontier in skincare—and these companies are paving the way. Go support them before Sephora hears about this.

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Imbue Botanicals Lifted by Embody Premium CBD Facial Cream ($85)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

There are two preventative procedures you should be taking if you want to keep your skin as youthful for as long as possible: wear sunscreen and wear anti-aging cream at night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t source a reputable sunscreen with CBD, so you’ll have to trust me on the face cream, instead. This organic hemp CBD—sourced from Colorado—and vitamin E oil-enriched formula is too rich for daytime use (unless you have very dry skin and you don’t live in a humid climate), but it’s the perfect luxe treatment to massage into your face and neck before bed every night. After a week of wearing this cream every night, I, a very cystic acne-prone person, did not have any breakouts and had noticeably softer skin in the morning.

The cream smells faintly of the rosemary and mint essential oils and arnica flower infusions—not unpleasant at all (and probably very soothing for bedtime), but beware if you have sensitive skin or are prone to redness: fragrances and essential oils can irritate, and they don’t really add any benefits when topically applied to skin.

Imbue Embody Premium Peppermint Lip Balm ($18)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

I’ve been hoarding Girl Scouts Thin Mints lately (they’re especially good if you freeze them)—the chocolate is fine, but the peppermint oil is what makes them addicting enough to go through a whole sleeve without getting sick of them. I’m also trying to cut down on sugar, though, and while it would be a huge stretch to say that this peppermint oil-infused clear lip balm is a direct replacement for Girl Scout cookies, it really does have a very satisfying full-mouth taste of peppermint. The CBD oil, which soothes and facilitates healing at the same time, makes this formula an ideal balm for outdoor enthusiasts and or just those who are prone to painfully chapped lips. For those of us with long-hair-don’t-care, it’s not sticky—as a matter of fact, the formula is on the stiff side and won’t cause your hair to stick to your face, a welcome departure from many balms.

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Imbue Botanicals Embody Premium CBD Lotion ($69)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

This non-greasy formula is a lightweight counterpart to all those heavy hemp salves and balms that you tend to see on the market, so much so that you could use this every day on your entire body without worries about staining your clothes. Along with the Colorado-grown CBD oil, it has a lotion base made with aloe vera leaf juice powder (good for antioxidants), lactic acid (good for exfoliation), and other reputable skincare ingredients. Keep this by your shower and use it while your skin is still moist, warm, and soft for the best results.

De La Beuh Thin Mint Bath Bomb ($15)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

Oh, was I just talking about Girl Scout cookies? I prefer showers over baths—we all have an allegiance to one or the other—but we can’t ignore how many memes have come out of #bathbombs. It’s satisfying to watch them fizzle, they turn your bath into fun colors, and they claim to provide aromatherapy benefits, too. They’re also much tidier than traditional bath salt products; just chuck one in and wait!

This mint-green bath bomb, made by Los Angeles-based De La Beuh, combines the invigorating aromatherapy of peppermint oil with the pain relief benefits of CBD. I sat in the bath with this bath bomb soak for an hour—until the water ran cold—when I had both cramps and lower back aches, and while it doesn’t beat ingesting a painkiller, it did help soothe my pains so that I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow. De La Beuh sells bath bombs in many varieties—including a glittery Kaleidoscope version that will turn your bath into “unicorn” colors—so your preference just depends on your preferred aroma.

De La Beuh CBD Coffee Scrub ($10)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

Many people say that you should scrub your body with leftover coffee grounds because the caffeine helps get rid of cellulite. (It is actually well documented in medical literature.) But if you feel weird about dipping into the coffee machine at the office, try this CBD-infused coffee scrub, made with coconut oil and shea butter for extra moisturizing benefits, instead. I like using it when I need a little bit of medication with my exfoliation (which the coffee grounds are for)—plus, the strong scent of coffee will wake you up if you use it in the morning. If you live with anyone else, just make sure to clean the shower afterwards—coffee scrubs can be messy and staining.

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Endoca Hemp Salve ($64)

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Out of all the CBD products I’ve tested and used in the past few weeks, this thick green lemon-vanilla scented salve is my favorite. I massage it onto my sore red knuckles after boxing practice, and if it weren’t so expensive, I would encase my entire body in it. The cannabis sativa seed oil in this salve has antioxidant properties so that your skin can repair itself from the inside out, while the thick balm-like formula protects your skin from environmental aggressors. I would not recommend rubbing this onto your face because it’s so thick, but do whatever you want on the rest of your body—and if your feet are in need of some serious TLC in time for summer sandals weather, consider rubbing this onto your cracked heels and putting on a pair of soft socks before bed. The next morning, you’ll have baby’s feet again.

Endoca Hemp Whipped Body Butter ($82)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

Before I even checked the ingredients list and saw that cocoa seed butter was involved, my first impression was that this body butter smelled like chocolate, so much so that my stomach rumbled with hunger because it was 4pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Don’t the “whipped” descriptor fool you—unlike most body butters you’ve used, this formula is solid to the touch, a balm rather than a cream. But that might be exactly what you want if you’re looking for a CBD-infused treatment anyway—something that feels extra-nourishing and almost medicinal. Luckily, it smells incredible in a subtle, natural way, not like other body butters with artificial tropical fruit scents.

Pure Ratios CBD Topical Salve ($14)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

This pocket-sized salve is perfect for travel or for sports, when you need a quick fix for your sore joints and muscles. It is also infused with arnica, meadowsweet, elderflower, calendula, ginger, vitamin E, turmeric, and other nourishing skincare ingredients that provide anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s good to know ahead of time that this salve is extremely hard to apply—there’s a lot of beeswax in there, which makes it difficult to melt enough to rub into your skin. (There is also a handy Topical Roll-On version so that you don’t have to even use your fingers—the problem is, the roll-on formula is also made with beeswax. It’s been 65 degrees in New York City all week and I still can’t get the formula to melt in the roll-on. Nothing that placing the container in a bowl of hot water won’t solve, but it’s not up to general skincare standards.)

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Ambary Gardens Lip Fix ($8)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

Everyone needs a lip balm in a tube for on-the-go situations, and Colorado-based Ambary Gardens made a clear version with a faint lemon scent and only seven ingredients including CBD extract. It doesn’t leave your lips glossy or shiny or sticky—it just adds a layer of hydrated protection on the surface of your lips. While I’ve yet to try this on chapped lips, I imagine it’s a quick fix for quick relief, no glossy residue left behind.

Ambary Gardens Soothing Soak ($39)

Cannabidiol for Skin Care: 10 CBD-Based Beauty Products, Recommended by a Beauty Editor

This peach-hued sea salt soak is the perfect Sunday afternoon bath ritual—and unlike a trendy bath bomb, it won’t turn your tub water a different color. With ingredients like magnesium flakes (stronger than Epsom salts), pink Himalayan salt, arnica, and of course, CBD extract, these crystals provide proactive therapeutic relief while also relaxing your senses with lavender and clary sage essential oils. You can also use them to soak your feet after a long run, just as you would with Epsom salts.

Noël Duan's Bio Image

Noël Duan

Noël Duan (@noelduan) is a New York- and San Francisco-based writer, editor, and researcher. She is writing a novel about adolescence in pre-2008 recession Silicon Valley.

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3 part series

  • Excellent article on CBD cosmetics. Thank you for sharing. Have a peaceful and productive day.

  • I like Sundance Cosmetics hemp infused skin care products.

  • Pamela Jennings Orth

    I have to say, Restorative Botanicals has incredible CBD products. I am using the Relief Cream. Does anyone know if they have other creams?

    • peterhurt035@gmail.com

      got some medical marijuana and Cbd/Thc oil from Dr peter hurt via Phone number +18045370917

      • Brave Mykayla

        I just benefited from Dr services his Cannabis Oil in Capsule treat my Pain and Skin Cancer, i get on him via his #(313) 923-7690

  • Dario Simoncelli

    I’m using CBD Balm from Pharmahemp for my lupus and it works amazing! CBD is great!

  • James

    At least one of the lotions contains phenoxyethanol, which some online articles say has non-zero risk, especially if applied around lips. In contrast, both Endoca products have ingredients that are safe even to eat.

    • EverythingInModeration1

      I think being safe to eat is a moot point. These are topical products. I don’t think anybody is buying to eat them. It’s just a marketing tactic. In regards to the chapsticks, unless you were trying to literally eat the chapstick I think whatever negligible amount may make it past your lips and into your mouth, would certainly not be a health concern from any of these products. What concerns me more is there is zero efficacy with all of these products. Do they just decide over breakfast how much CBD needs to be added for the dosage to work? It’s ridiculous that they are marketing it as safe to eat, and people are buying into that bs and providing no clinical studies or research at all. Just my 2 cents

      • DevilsAdvocate

        Duh – your body absorbs products applied topically. So — seems to me if they’re touting it as safe to eat, that would also mean it’s safe when absorbed.

  • Jane

    Thanks for the great article on CBD cosmetics! I appreciate a lot! I personally found these two great sources for CBD skincare products which as they mention are involving high-tech solutions and seems to be pioneers in the market: https://buycbd.store/ with Cibaderm and Defined lines and http://www.cbdcaregarden.com/ with its products.

  • Estelle Walker

    How to sensibly buy LEGAL and best quality cbd oil cream? Because I got a letter saying customs has confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.

  • Cindy Lee Talisman

    currently selling prime my body nano-enhanced hemp oil ! 100% legal across the board. if interested my number is 919-636-0728 helps with my sciatica nerve pain and my God what a good nights sleep I get! that alone is worth it

  • RandR

    How many Mgs. of CBD oil to add per oz. of body lotion for skin health? Thanks.

  • Jo Ann Welfring

    Recently my eyelids have become red, itchy and scaly. It is not allergies, I know that. What lotion with CBD would you suggest?

    • glen mcculloch

      Try eyelid scrubs with baby shampoo. First wash your face then using a hot water soaked face cloth to soften the scales, for 5 mine, do your scrubs.

  • Paul Pedersen

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c1f29026e74d4595d12fda5b82316db2e1c2b9081355ae7f24f1906fbb6fefd.jpg I use Leeflyorganics.com and it works amazing. And it is way cheaper than the other ones I have tried without the hempy smell. It smells just like lotion.

  • Nice review cbd is really becoling very mainstream nowadays which is great to see.

  • H B

    I have severe psoriasis all over my body. It was suggested to me by several people to use CBD oil, CBD cream, or a CBD lotion. Can anyone recommend one they they have used personally for Psoriasis or Egsama that actually worked to clear up their plaques? I don’t have medical insurance and can’t afford the expensive prescriptions that are out there.

    • kbattgirl

      Revida Labs oil (tincture is amazing, but expensive. Procana also has good tincture. In terms of CBD products it is important to find a product that is lab tested and willing to show you the lab results that prove they have the amount of CBD in it that they claim. Also make sure they use natural and/or organic ingredients. You don’t want any chemicals in the product. Also, if you can, try to go to a store where they are sold and see if you can try a sample if you are doing a tincture. Some tinctures can taste awful. For psoriasis it can benefit you to take it orally and to put the oil on topically. I use CBD for pain but my twin sister has psoriasis and uses the tincture from Procana for her psoriasis.

  • dadyrich

    anybody ever try Charlotte’s Web ?/

  • Nicka Saunders

    Thank you for the info. What product would you recommend for pain relief?