The word of the year is actually three letters. I’m talking about CBD. Well, CBD is short for an actual word⎯cannabidiol⎯so I guess that would technically be the word of the year, but no one is walking around saying they just tried a new cannabidiol gummy. We call it CBD, and in the beauty and skincare world, it’s a popular new ingredient being infused in various beauty products. 

I’m the kind of person who is always on the hunt for great new skincare products, and admittedly, I’m a sucker for almost anything that claims to be a miraculous new ingredient that will do wonders for your skin. The various Korean snail creams in my bathroom drawers are proof of that. As of late, I have to say that I’ve been blown away by how quickly and how vast CBD-infused beauty products have taken over the market. In my eyes, it really feels like it was an overnight thing. One minute we’re going crazy for charcoal, and the next thing I know, it’s all about that cannabidiol: from facial oils to moisturizers, soaps, night creams, lotions and more. CBD is a prominent player in a slew of new products, each touting promising effects such as relaxation, reduced inflammation and acne treatment. 

The origin of the trend is difficult to trace, but there’s no doubt it started from independent and smaller-scale skincare brands and grew from there. In September, the Chicago Tribune published a piece on CBD beauty products featured at the Indie Beauty Expo in New York City. The paper wrote, “It’s at this gathering that brands test their virility in real time, generating tons of Instagram posts and word-of-mouth testimonials that you literally cannot pay for.” Trade shows like these are where it starts, and if it’s a hit there, brands bet on it being a hit everywhere.

For example, Sephora started carrying a CBD line of products in 2018 called Lord Jones, which they now have for sale in their brick and mortar stores. Other chains are catching on, including Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy. At this point, it’s estimated that the CBD market could reach $20 billion by 2024. In my humble opinion, that sure is a lot of goddamn money. 

So, is CBD skincare worth the hype? The answer is maybe. Mixed reactions are all over the Internet. Bottom line is, you just might have to try it for yourself. More research needs to be done, but some studies prove the potential is promising. According to Everyday Health, CBD is celebrated for its boosting power, meaning it can help enhance the effectiveness of other skincare products. 

When it comes to acne, CBD can help prevent breakouts by fighting excess sebum and killing certain facial bacteria that causes acne. As explained in Everyday Health, our bodies have two CBD receptors, CB1 and CB2. These receptors interact with CBD to “turn down the inflammatory response.” Thus, CBD could also help control or even treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. 

As someone who has long suffered from acne thanks to my out-of-whack hormones, I’m tempted to dig into some CBD-infused, acne-fighting products. The way I see it, even if the CBD isn’t ultimately doing much, it can’t really hurt. From what I’ve seen and read, the worst side effect of CBD is ineffectiveness, as opposed to more dramatic side effects like redness, burn, breakouts and/or extreme irritation (something I’ve experienced on multiple occasions from other acne products). If you are also intrigued, make sure you read the labels carefully before choosing a product. Make sure the label states clearly how much CBD is actually in the product. 

The skincare world, as regimented as it may seem, has some Wild West qualities due to the lack of requirement of FDA approval before going to market. The beauty industry wants your money more than anything else, so it’s easy to get duped into thinking there’s finally a new miracle fruit or extract or chemical to fix your face for good. Some are more tempting than others, and CBD looks to be in that category. If CBD lives up to the hype, it’ll be more than a current buzzword. You’ll be seeing it on shelves for years to come, and hopefully it’ll help you look and feel your best. 

If not, save the receipts. Sephora has pretty good return policies. 

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