CBD for Acne and Scarring
Acne scars are one of the most common skin condition that affects both teenagers and adults. People can suffer from moderate to severe forms of acne for many years and even develop permanent scars as a result. While some opt for costly and invasive treatments like laser, a growing number are turning their attention to cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil. To gain an insight into this skin condition and the benefits of using CBD for acne, read the following guide on how to get rid of acne scars effectively.
What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that shows up as bumps in the forms of blackheads, pimples, cysts, or whiteheads. Hormonal changes that come with puberty are the leading causes of acne, but stress and genetics are also the other contributing factors. The oil glands in the pores are responsible for lubricating your skin and hair. Most of the time, these oil glands produce an adequate amount of sebum, however, as your body matures, the hormones stimulate the glands to produce more sebum. As a result, pores can become clogged and bacteria get trapped inside the skin cells. This causes redness and swelling, which is how acne is formed.
What are the Causes of Acne Scarring?
Acne scars are the result of lesion or pimple inflammation. These scars occur when an inflamed cyst fills with too much oil, thus causing a crack in the follicles. When the rupture occurs close to the skin surface, it is normally a minor problem, however, if there is a deep rupture in the follicle wall, the infected pus spills out and damages the healthy tissue. As a result, the early stages of acne scarring begin developing. When a serious lesion has broken out, the body’s natural reaction is to quickly repair the damaged tissue by forming collagen. The problem with this wound healing process is that the body can produce too much collagen, a protein that creates discolored or uneven scar tissue.
Different Types of Acne Scars
These scars are very narrow and deep marks that penetrate into the dermis. Your skin will look as if it’s been pierced by an ice pick. The scars are thin holes, and some even look like an open pore. Ice pick scars are developed from cysts or inflamed blemishes. When the skin tissue is damaged, it leaves a long column-like mark.
These are oval-shaped or round scars with deep vertical edges. Boxcar scars are wider than ice pick acne scars and make the skin look uneven. When the collagen is destroyed by an inflammatory breakout, the skin tissue is lost, thus a boxcar scar develops. These types of scars can be mild to severe, depending on the amount of skin tissue lost.
These scars cause rolling lines across the skin and differ from boxcar scars as they’re not very well defined. They make the skin look uneven because of the fibrous tissue bands that develop between the skin and tissue. Once the epidermis is pulled from within, the rolling appearance of the skin is created as a result.
These firm and raised scars to grow over the skin surface. They are most often found on the shoulder area and are most common in men. These scars usually develop after trauma and unlike boxcar and ice pick scars, they’re not caused by tissue loss, but rather from an overproduction of collagen.
Keloids are more severe than hypertrophic scars. These raised scars grow larger than wounds and can progress much farther than the original wound. Even after the wound has healed, keloids can continue growing. This is because the skin doesn’t know that the wound has healed so it continues producing collagen.
How CBD Oil can be Beneficial for Treating Acne Scars
CBD for acne is extremely effective as it treats this skin condition in three ways; by reducing oil production, minimizing stress, and inhibiting inflammation. CBD oil for acne can either be ingested orally or applied topically to the skin. This oil helps calm down the sebaceous glands and reduce the overall sebum production. By choosing CBD oil for scars, your face will no longer get clogged up with too much oil production and as a result, your acne will be reduced. CBD oil also has an anti-inflammatory effect, 1 which is ideal for taming acne scars. If this oil is used regularly, the results can be extremely surprising. Since most topical acne medications can cause significant side effects, the organic CBD creams and oil are gaining popularity among people with skin disorders.
CBD oil for scars also has additional benefits, such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which help improve the overall skin health. When creams or oil are applied to the inflamed skin, it will provide relief by allowing the skin to heal naturally. Your skin has the chance to recover from unsightly acne scars without the use of steroids or other harmful toxins.
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars by Using CBD
CBD for acne is a suitable treatment and comes in different topical forms including, lotions, creams, oils, salves, and balms. CBD on its own isn’t psychotropic and just like all cannabinoids, it interacts with the human body system receptors through the endocannabinoid system. By adding CBD to your daily skin care routine, you will soon find relief from acne scars. The soreness and redness on your face will be significantly reduced through the application of CBD oil or cream directly on the affected area. You can also take the CBD oil supplement on a daily basis to prevent inflammation. The most extreme cases of acne scars can normally be resolved within one week if there is consistent usage of CBD.
How to use CBD oil for acne
You must first clean the area as your skin comes into contact with bacteria every single day. Wash your hands thoroughly and use a towel to clean the affected area. Now you are ready to apply the oil or cream by massaging it deep into the skin until it dries. Repeat this process two or three more times before washing your hands again. Most CBD topical products contain active ingredients like mint or citrus as these components help relieve pain and inflammation. However, you wouldn’t want to get any of these in your eyes or nose so be sure to wash your hands after application.
CBD Oil for Other Skin Conditions
Extensive research has proven just how beneficial CBD can be when dealing with different skin conditions, such as Psoriasis 2 Atopic dermatitis 3 , fibrotic skin diseases 4 .
The antioxidants in CBD oil have led to research findings that confirm the oil’s ability to slow down skin aging. In addition to CBD’s anti-aging properties, the creams also prevent free radical damage and protect the skin from dullness. If you have sensitive skin, using CBD oil will have soothing effects. Research has also discovered that CBD oil can relieve eczema.
Other skin-related conditions that can benefit from the regular use of this natural product include extremely dry skin and rashes. If you suffer from flaky skin, you will need to apply a powerful moisturizer to the affected area in order to prevent the skin from cracking. The topical CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve burning sensation and reduce dryness or redness almost instantly.
Skin infections are also the cause of flare-ups, which can be relieved with the help of CBD oil thanks to its antioxidant components. These infections can be alleviated before they get worse. For some people, a stressed immune system will often cause the skin to react by turning into itchy and dry rashes, similar to eczema. By applying the topical CBD oil on a daily basis to your affected area, you will soon experience great results.
CBD for Acne Customer Reviews*
Finally, a product that works “Super customer service, fast delivery and the product (Freyja) is the first thing that really helps against postzosteric itching”
Trustpilot review by CF
CBD and Skin conditions Success Stories
There are countless stories online of people sharing their experience with CBD for different skin conditions. A particularly touching story is the one of a woman named Lina, who calimed her struggles with porphyria have been eliminated thanks to a topical cream called Frejya. Read Lina’s success story here!
- Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S., Hegde, V. and Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.Future Medicinal Chemistry, 1(7), pp.1333-1349. [↩]
- Wilkinson, J. and Williamson, E. (2007). Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis.Journal of Dermatological Science, 45(2), pp.87-92 [↩]
- Wollenberg, A., Seba, A. and Antal, A. (2014). Immunological and molecular targets of atopic dermatitis treatment.British Journal of Dermatology, 170, pp.7-11 [↩]
- Marquart, S., Zerr, P., Akhmetshina, A., Palumbo, K., Reich, N., Tomcik, M., Horn, A., Dees, C., Engel, M., Zwerina, J., Distler, O., Schett, G. and Distler, J. (2010). Inactivation of the cannabinoid receptor CB1 prevents leukocyte infiltration and experimental fibrosis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 62(11), pp.3467-3476 [↩]
With close to two decades of successful stint in the Media industry, I felt I was surely missing a piece in my life puzzle. I took a break and set out to seek the purpose of my life. I travelled, lived out of a suitcase, let things flow into life without resisting, and after five challenging years, I found my rhythm. I love to write about Cannabis and Health and try my best to simplify esoteric concepts into simple ideas for life.
Do you want to benefit from the experience of other CBD users? Do you have questions about CBD? Check out this active CBD group on Facebook.
CBD oil for shingles
CBD Oil for Hair Loss and Alopecia – Does it Work?
CBD for Skin Problems – Testimonials & Reviews
CBD For Rosacea: Possible Effects Of CBD On Rosacea
CBD for Porphyria: Facts, Benefits and Use
CBD Oil for Skin Cancer
I enjoyed this. Thank you.
What i do not understood is actually how you’re not really much more well-liked than you might be right now. You’re so intelligent. You realize thus significantly relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!
As I web site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling fantastic , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.
I had a fall 6 weeks ago and landed on my face and the upper skin came off however it has healed but left dark area of scar or pigmentation which is affecting my confidence as its above my cheek bone will hemp seed oli help to bring my skin back to how it was
Outstanding post, I was wondering if you could write a
little more on this topic?
Hello Beth, we appreciate your kind words and support! We are happy to have you as a reader, and we will look forward to sharing more information.
I have extreme 30 year old acne scars from cystic acne. I have all of the different scars, I’ve pick, use raised scars, box scar, rolling etc. please understand they are extremely raised and extremely deep. I’ve had my face lazered 3times by a board certified plastic surgeon and once healed it looked the same do you really feel that cod oil could reduce my problems at all I took 3 rounds of accurate and I no longer have acne but these scars are ruining my life. I’ve had them since I was 25 and I am now 60 years old. Thank you.
Is hemp oil the same as cbd oil?
There is a big difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is produced by pressing the seeds. It contains several plant materials but no THC. Hemp seed oil, unlike CBD oil, doesn’t contain any cannabinoids, regardless of the fact that they are both extracted from the same plant. Hemp seed oil is mainly used for cooking, but also for food, as it is a good source of protein, fiber and minerals.
CBD oil, on the other hand, can contain many (full-spectrum) or just one (isolate) cannabinoid. It is known for its medicinal properties, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory qualities.
The Hemppedia Team
Will cbd oil help with permanent bumps on the face? I get a pimples on my nose that never go away. Almost like a keloid. It looks like a pump at first with a little puss. But theb puss goes away but the bump or lump remains. I’ve had some for many years and just won’t go away.
Thank you for your question. It might be a good idea to consult with a dermatologist, who can help identify the root of the problem. If it’s inflammatory based, then maybe applying CBD oil could help reduce the inflammation (and pain). We hope this helps.
CBD Oil For Acne: Everything You Need to Know
Bryan is a contributing writer for Byrdie covering all things beauty and grooming. He has over 16 years of experience in beauty editorial and has been with Byrdie since 2020.
Rachel is a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology. She has contributed to Byrdie, as well as Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Allure, Vogue, and the New York Times, and more
Madeline has been with Byrdie and Brides since 2021. Most recently, she lead social media at Glamour magazine where she covered pop culture, beauty, and fashion.
Liz DeSousa for Byrdie
In This Article
CBD oil is seeping into virtually every beauty product category nowadays—even in deodorant and toothpaste. With its anti-stress, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory claims, it’s no wonder this so-called “wonder ingredient” is pushing its way into our self-care routines. Even more, according to the latest studies, CBD oil may be exactly what your breakout-prone, irritated skin needs to get back into shape.
Although there’s still a great deal of required research ahead to determine how best to use CBD to treat acne, we talked to a panel of experts, including cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of BeautyStat, Michele Green, board-certified dermatologist, Kenneth Howe of Wexler Dermatology, and Rachel Nazarian of the Schweiger Dermatology Group to get the facts as well as the potential of using CBD oil for acne.
Keep reading to determine if CBD’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and oil-regulating properties actually work wonders for acne.
Meet the Expert
- Ron Robinson is a cosmetic chemist at BeautyStat. is a board-certified dermatologist based in Manhattan.
- Kenneth Howe is a board-certified dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology.
- Rachel Nazarian is a New York City-based dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group.
Type of Ingredient: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, sebum-regulating.
Main Benefits: Reduces inflammation, healing and calming, regulates oil production, neutralizes free radicals.
Who Should Use It: It is recommended for those looking to treat mild to moderate inflammatory acne lesions at home. It’s also great for sensitive or those allergic to typical anti-acne ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide or retinol.
How Often Can You Use It: Products containing CBD oil can be used twice per day as part of your usual anti-acne skincare routine.
Works Well With: Ingredients designed to calm skin and decrease inflammation, including arnica, hyaluronic acid and ceramides.
Don’t Use With: Ingredients that can counteract the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, such as alcohol. Also, be aware that CBD is still an unregulated ingredient, and ongoing research is still exploring CBD’s pathways and other ingredients it may or may not work well with.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD—which stands for Cannabidiol—oil is a compound derived from both hemp (cannabis sativa) and marijuana (cannabis sativa indica) plants, both of which are part of the cannabis family. When it comes to acne’s root causes—a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells getting trapped in your pores—CBD oil seems to have all bases covered. “CBD oil is beneficial to these conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It reduces sebum production and is also antimicrobial, so it works great for acne-prone skin,” says Green. She also cited a 2007 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science that showed CBD oil applied to the skin may inhibit the overproduction of keratinocytes (skin cells), thus eliminating yet another acne-causing culprit.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Acne
- Reduces inflammation: CBD oil helps soothe irritation caused by acne, noticeably reducing overall redness and making breakouts appear smaller and less painful. This is especially helpful for acne-prone skin sensitivity, as CBD oil works without the dryness, redness, or irritation of conventional ingredients.
- Controls oil production: “The most exciting finding of CBD oil is that it’s ‘sebostatic’—it cuts down on oil production in the skin,” says Howe. “Current evidence suggests the skin has its own endocannabinoid system, which is to say cannabinoids are active in the skin, binding to their receptors, and signaling for certain activities to occur or not occur.” How does that relate to oil production? Green explained that “the increase in sebum production is a result of endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2AG) which are produced in the sebaceous glands. These endogenous cannabinoids act on CB2 receptors inhibiting the lipogenic action, therefore regulating sebum production.”
- It’s an antioxidant: CBD oil is packed with potent antioxidants that help protect skin from free radicals resulting from environmental damage and improve texture and tone over time. While none of the dermatologists could vouch for CBD oil’s ability to fade post-acne marks, it could provide an extra measure of antioxidant protection into your anti-acne routine.
- Acne multi-tasker: Rather than act as a spot treatment, acne-targeting products containing CBD oil may help manage the overall issues that contribute to acne formation. Nazarian says, “Because it works as both an anti-inflammatory and can decrease oil production, it has the ability to multitask as an acne product. It may be considered a gentler option and a safe option for many different skin types.”
Other Skin Benefits
One thing worth pointing out about incorporating CBD oil into your skincare routine is how kind it is to skin. “It’s gentle, and that’s what makes it stand out from other options,” said Nazarian. “Additionally, there are many skin types that are either too sensitive to use ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or retinol on, or they have allergies to these ingredients. Having an additional tool in the ‘acne toolkit’ will always be useful in the fight for healthy skin.”
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Though rare, the known side effects of using CBD oil for acne include dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD oil is also known to interact with certain medications such as blood thinners. While there are no known interactions with other topical products, you should start with a patch test if you’re concerned about a reaction. If you experience irritation, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re sensitive to CBD oil, and you should stop using it.
How to Use It
When it comes to actually using CBD oil to treat acne, you may find yourself wondering: supplement or product? Nazarian says, “The evidence supporting use of CBD in treating acne is purely topical at this point. Use of CBD was tested topically on skin cells and has shown promise. Oral supplementation or smoking of CBD formulations has not been evaluated in this manner and can not be recommended.”
The good news is, there’s no shortage of CBD-laced products. One of the most popular routes is face oil. Oils are still having their moment in skincare, as they’re ideal for virtually every skin type (depending on the formulation) and act as an excellent carrier for a variety of potent compounds—like CBD. Oils are also easy to incorporate into a multiple-step skincare regimen, so if you’re looking to up your anti-acne game with an extra product that has very little likelihood to interact with your existing products, a face oil containing CBD oil might be the perfect fit. There are also various cleansers, creams, lotions, and oils for the face and body, but it’s important to steer clear of any that might contain potential comedogenic ingredients.
While the doctors we spoke to were happy to recommend products, they were also quick to remind us that CBD is still an unregulated ingredient, making it difficult to gauge a product’s efficacy. There’s no way to specify the purity or optimal percentage of active ingredients required for the product to be effective.
The Best Products with CBD Oil for Acne
“This product packs a 100mg hemp oil lightweight formulation which also contains adaptogens” (plant-based roots and herbs that help calm our body’s reaction to stress), says Green.
This anti-blemish cream combines 200mg of CBD hemp extract with 1% salicylic acid to calm and soothe active breakouts and clear up blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads while keeping skin smooth and hydrated.
These concentrated patches will help you forget everything you knew about spot treatments that dry zits into painful oblivion. It is packed with the ideal ratio of salicylic acid and hemp to reduce inflammation and speed healing, while hydrocolloid action stops the infection in its tracks.
Each scoop of these luxe bath salts contains approximately 20mg of CBD oil and a host of other de-stressing and body-boosting ingredients, including pink Himalayan salt, arnica, Epsom salts, and calendula. Plus, they get two thumbs up from Nazarian, who praises their ability to decrease inflammation and encourage relaxation. Great for a bacne-busting soak—make sure the water isn’t too hot.
When cleansing broken-out skin, it’s important to be thorough while still respecting the skin’s moisture barrier. While this refreshing gel cleanser doesn’t contain actual CBD oil, it’s stacked with Cannabis Sativa seed and green oregano oils.
The skin around the eye area is the thinnest and most delicate on the face, so while an eye cream isn’t exactly first on the list of anti-acne products, one containing CBD could tick off two essential boxes of your skincare regimen: eye care and soothing anti-acne action.
Rather than applied topically, a few drops of this ultra-pure, ultra-potent CBD oil taken each day orally may help balance out the stress levels and reduce inflammation.
CBD oil is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation, controls oil production, and manages the overall issues that contribute to acne formation.
Yes, it’s especially beneficial for acne-prone skin. “It’s gentle, and that’s what makes it stand out from other options,” said Nazarian. “Additionally, there are many skin types that are either too sensitive to use ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or retinol on, or they have allergies to these ingredients. Having an additional tool in the ‘acne toolkit’ will always be useful in the fight for healthy skin.”
Nazarian says, “The evidence supporting use of CBD in treating acne is purely topical at this point. Use of CBD was tested topically on skin cells and has shown promise. Oral supplementation or smoking of CBD formulations has not been evaluated in this manner and can not be recommended.”
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
Burstein S. Cannabidiol (Cbd) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorg Med Chem. 2015;23(7):1377-1385.
Oláh A, Markovics A, Szabó-Papp J, et al. Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment. Exp Dermatol. 2016;25(9):701-707.
Baswan SM, Klosner AE, Glynn K, et al. Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (Cbd) for skin health and disorders. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020;13:927-942.
Wilkinson JD, Williamson EM. Cannabinoids inhibit human keratinocyte proliferation through a non-CB1/CB2 mechanism and have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis. Journal of Dermatological Science. 2007;45(2):87-92.
Palmieri B, Laurino C, Vadalà M. A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. Clin Ter. 2019;170(2):e93-e99.
Atalay S, Jarocka-Karpowicz I, Skrzydlewska E. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;9(1):E21.
Huestis MA, Solimini R, Pichini S, Pacifici R, Carlier J, Busardò FP. Cannabidiol adverse effects and toxicity. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2019;17(10):974-989.
Casiraghi A, Musazzi UM, Centin G, Franzè S, Minghetti P. Topical administration of cannabidiol: influence of vehicle-related aspects on skin permeation process. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020;13(11):E337.
Lu J, Cong T, Wen X, et al. Salicylic acid treats acne vulgaris by suppressing AMPK/SREBP1 pathway in sebocytes. Exp Dermatol. 2019;28(7):786-794.
Crippa JA, Guimarães FS, Campos AC, Zuardi AW. Translational investigation of the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (Cbd): toward a new age. Front Immunol. 2018;9:2009.