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The Emergence of CBD Cosmetics

The Emergence of CBD Cosmetics

A cosmetic is defined as any product that is applied to the body, especially the face, with the intent to improve appearance.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has found its way into the cosmetics industry. CBD is already a mainstay supplement in a variety of topical products, from roll-on muscle gels to pain relieving balms. So why shouldn’t it be included in cosmetic formulas as well?

Well, remember our definition of cosmetics: with the intent to improve appearance. This raises the question, “Can CBD improve your appearance?”

Generally, we think of CBD as a health product, something that can be ingested through a variety of means in order to achieve different results. If we want daily wellness-inducing benefits, we take sublingual CBD oil tinctures. If we want improved nighttime sleep aid, we take CBD and melatonin gummies.

However, nothing in mainstream research suggests that CBD actually improves appearance, so why the sudden emergence of CBD-infused cosmetic commodities?


Unlike food and medicine, cosmetics and the ingredients found within cosmetics are not subject to premarket FDA approval. Instead, the FDA relies entirely on consumer complaints to monitor the cosmetics industry. If a complaint were to arise against a specific ingredient or product, the FDA would deem that product “adulterated” and it would therefore be classified as unsafe for use or consumption.

However, CBD doesn’t induce noticeable side effects, and according to many users, it produces no side effects whatsoever. This is to say: any complaints made against a cosmetic CBD product would probably prove unsubstantiated at best. The FDA needs solid evidence to deem a product or ingredient adulterated, not personal distaste.

Looking elsewhere in the CBD marketplace, there doesn’t seem to be a similar lack of regulation. There are strict rules against marketing CBD-infused products as “dietary supplements,” and the laws regarding ingestible CBD goods — oil tinctures, edible gummies, flavor-enhancing syrups, CBD water — are still questionable.

Due to the lack of FDA regulation, it’s no surprise that CBD manufacturers have turned to the cosmetics industry as a permeable subset of the market. In this way, producers of CBD cosmetics are effectively betting against user complaints to keep their products on the shelves. And while the FDA ruminates on whether or not to finally regulate the cannabis-derived compound, CBD cosmetics remain on shelves, untouched by the bureaucracy of regulatory practice. 


CBD, in sum, shows potential to offer external benefits to the body. There is currently research underway that aims to bridge the gap between our understanding of CBD and its potential for fighting inflammation.

Inflammation, when talking about the skin, could refer to acne, redness, color blotches, sun spots, or a myriad of other visible marks on the skin. And CBD’s dermal effectiveness against such blemishes needs more research to be fully understood.

However, early studies show some promise. One such study, first published in April of 2016 by Experimental Dermatology, studied the effects of various phytocannabinoids — not just CBD — with the intent to investigate the relationship between inflammation and cannabinoids.

What did they find? In short: “Based on their remarkable anti-inflammatory actions, phytocannabinoids could be efficient, yet safe novel tools in the management of cutaneous inflammations.”

This means that CBD could be effective at fighting skin-related inflammation, but by the “cosmetic” definition of beauty, it seems not to apply. Why? Inflammation refers more to the root causes of skin-related ailments. When considering CBD, it may be effective at improving the health of your skin, but not actually improving appearance, the goal of all cosmetics products.


Before we can discuss why CBD is in such a broad range of cosmetics, it’s important to note that CBD is in a broad range of products, period.

At CBD Choice, we carry CBD oil tinctures, CBD gummy bears, CBD roll-on muscle gels, CBD face serums, CBD disposable vape pens, CBD dog treats — the list is never-ending and always growing.

Given the specific regulation (or lack thereof) by the FDA, cosmetics were a natural fit for a cannabinoid already sprouting up in every product imaginable.

However, this shouldn’t necessarily deter you from trying CBD cosmetics for yourself. Given the young nature of CBD research, more information could become available as tests continue to develop throughout a variety of scientific fields.

Furthermore, one thing is certain: CBD manufacturers put a lot of care into their products. Because cannabidiol is relatively unregulated, it’s been the job of the CBD manufacturers themselves to internally regulate production, making sure these products are safe for us to use.

Whether or not the CBD contained within these products will improve appearance is up for debate. However, CBD is known to have a plethora of beneficial topical properties. This may make the leap to CBD cosmetics worth it for many users — for others, maybe not so much.

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